The last ten days have been wet and cold in Cardan. In fact, this has been the first decent period of rain since last November! Although our vines have survived the dry spell very well – thanks to Pascale’s excellent work and our organic strategy – the rain is very welcome and will now finally start to fill the grapes with juice.

Now that there is moisture again in the soil and with the return of warm sunshine later this week, the vine vegetation will grow rapidly. This will be the time that our vigneron undertakes a second “rognage” or hedgecutting of the vines. Pascale will prune the highest shoots and side growth. A delicate balance has to be achieved. Too much pruning and there will not be enough canopy and leaves to absorb the sunlight and ripen the grapes. Too little pruning reduces ventilation and encourages disease. And at the same time, the vine’s energy will be diverted into stem and leaf growth and not into producing excellent fruit. Normally a vigneron will carry out a “rognage” 3 to 4 times during a season.

We have had a number of visitors recently stay at Cardan. Without exception, everyone has commented on the health of the Hourcat Sud block of Cabernet Franc vines. We have also had a couple of comments back indicating that the vines are in better condition this year than last – and that is despite the drought! The conversion back to full organic viticulture is a slow and steady one. We are optimistic that we will continue to see improvement for many years to come. Nice work, Pascale.

PS – the recent photo was taken before the recent rain, with the vines growing slowly. Now, after the rain, a hedgecut will be needed!!