As well as taking care of his vineyard, the Lavaux wine producer is the gardener of this iconic and ancient landscape. Pioneers of Lavaux viticulture in the 12th century, Cistercian monks constructed many walls and built the terraces that their descendants have to constantly maintain.
Machinery that can be used in these sloping vineyards is rare and the vast majority of the work is done by hand. The year begins by the winter pruning, followed by the ‘belle saison’, or good season, a period of intense vine growth. The debudding, thinning of the leaves, training the vines: everything is manual. Cable cars, funicular railways, monorails and sometimes helicopters can facilitate access to the vines on the steep slopes for transportation and treatment.
After the summer bottling, fermentation takes over Lavaux as the grape harvest approaches. The start date for the harvest, decided by each commune and its wine producers, is on everyone’s lips. After the frenetic work comes festive relief, and then the methodical activity in the cellar to produce the wine.