Going into the vineyards and tasting the grapes has become the key to evaluating maturity. Terroir is embodied in the skin of a perfectly ripe berry. Seeking precision, caring for details and defining optimum maturity are all part of a balancing act to find the perfect medium between overripe and not ripe enough. You can taste when a berry is ripe. As Jean-Michel Comme likes to say, “taste is our stock-in-trade.”
On the strategic side, parcel harvesting has long been outgrown and replaced by "homogenous terroir" harvesting, a technique which involves dividing the parcels into two or three sub-parts. Each year brings its own truth, there is no immutable harvest: everything depends on how the grapes ripen.
Harvesters collect the bunches in small crates, which ensure that the grapes stay whole. They are then hand-sorted a first time, destemmed and hand-sorted a second time on a vibrating table for a final check, ensuring that only perfect grapes are kept.