If you are a purist when it comes to French chateaux, then you understand the importance of having a quality vineyard upon your property. Whether your vines produce enough for 1,000 or 100,000 bottles, it is important that your wine be as skillfully produced as possible. Caring for grape vines is not an easy task, and as such, you should have a professional vintner on your staff. This will allow you to focus on the task of keeping the overall care of your chateau on the right track. You do not want to focus all of your energy on wine producing and ignore other areas that need work. Your vintner should be able to micro-manage the vineyard.
Vineyards in Europe have been vanishing due to the growth of New World winemaking. Of the 1.6 million vineyards in Europe, the average size is about 0.2 square kilometers. Compare that to the 0.5 square kilometer average in Australia and it becomes obvious why wine imports are up over 50 percent to Europe.
Your vineyard does not have to be amongst this dying breed. In fact, because of the shrinking percentage of European grown wine, the wine produced at your chateau will become more valuable, especially over time. The higher the quality of the wine you produce, the more you can charge per bottle, and thus the more of a profit you make. In this light, why would you settle for second best?
Winemaking is equal parts skill and craft. Everyone's taste in wines varies, and as such, you might consider producing different types of grapes.
Hand-picking your grapes is going to give you better results than mechanically harvesting. This is because humans can discern between a healthy grape and a rotten one. Rather than mixing both the good and bad grapes into one lot, a human picker can pick and choose the best grapes. This may not be practical if you have an extremely large vineyard, but it is something to consider, especially if you are picky about the grapes that go into the finished product. Mechanical harvesting is also not as traditionally honored as hand picking is. By having that human choice going into which grapes make the cut, you are making your wine that much better.