The core of baie-par-baie vinification is the pinot caviar: grapes destemmed by hand, berry by berry, with a pair of scissors – leaving the grapes intact with the pedicels in place. It’s simple; however, it takes practice, and is seriously time-consuming.
I got Pierre-Olivier Garcia, the founder of Domaine Garcia, to demonstrate the baie-par-baie technique on four different pinot clusters, each different: some open and quite easy, others closed or full of millerandage berries.
The video illustrates for comprehension purposes the timing issues involved in producing wines like this. Please note that all the grapes in the caviar are undamaged, with intact pedicels still sealing them.
As said, this is definitely time-consuming. But it’s also the reason why baie-par-baie vinification produces such beautiful floral notes – various roses, and hints of lilac and peony.
The assignment – the challenge
Around four tonnes of grapes had to be hand-cut during the 2021 harvest: 120 kg of pinot caviar for each 228-liter oak barrel of wine, with one-third baie-par-baie, another third whole cluster, and the rest traditionally machine destemmed.