Cloud9 revisits his origins...in the CabFranc vineyard of Hourcat Sud.

Cloud9 revisits his origins…in the CabFranc vineyard Hourcat Sud.

You have heard us talk several times previously about the need for a vision and the critical role it plays in any organisation and its future. When well communicated, deployed and maintained it is the beacon which draws an organisation forward towards the successful future it designs for itself. The original Paradise Rescued vision needed a refresh and the long plane journey here afforded that opportunity superbly.

And am I so glad we did that too!! Without that vision, that clear view and perspective of where we are going, the arrival in Cardan would have been hard, the positives almost impossible to see. But behind every vine leaf, the clay mud of the unplanted vineyards, the warmth of the community welcome and the barrels in the dark back corner of the winery, there is massive progress and a huge sense of destiny unfolding. But you have to look for it; to the uninitiated eye one might simply see a blank bleak picture. Let’s share all the good news…

Yes, the vineyards are wet! Well very wet and cold to be precise. But despite all that, they are healthy and we are continuing to hold disease under control. Despite the fear that flowering would be badly affected by the conditions, this doesn’t appear to be the case and in particular the old vine block merlots are absolutely loaded with fruit – some early bunch selections will probably be needed!

The new Hourcat Centre Merlot block has been beautifully tilled and prepared ready for planting – probably next year now. It will be so amazing to bring that terroir back to life again.

In the CabFranc vines Hourcat Sud...so healthy despite the cold wet spring.

In the CabFranc vines Hourcat Sud…so healthy despite the cold wet spring.

And in the winery, magic continues to happen. The 2012 Cloud9 CabFranc and our new Cabernet Franc Merlot are absolutely stunning. Do not let anyone tell you that right bank Bordeaux 2012s are no good. It was a difficult vintage but the results are amazing. If we do the comparison with our lovely successful 2010 Cloud9 CabFranc, there is no doubt that the 2012 wines have benefited from the low yields of the vintage harvest but also three years of dedicated hands on organic conversion have more importantly made an unbelievable difference. We are proudly biased (and so we should be, we think!) but the 2012 Paradise Rescued wines will set a new quality benchmark.

When you look at the detail and then compare it to the vision, you see the full picture. The outside wrapping paper can sometimes hide a beautiful reality. Lots lots more work to do, but the direction is clear. Let’s keep moving – bounce forward! Onwards, upwards. The glass is so full….when you have a vision!