I think if we were here for a month, the feelings would still be the same. Total pleasure, passion, good times together and lots of activity!! And it never feels good to have to leave! But the next visit won’t be far away…

55 year old vine Merlot Hourcat Centre

During one week in a vineyard, you can’t make a huge difference nor great progress. The pace of change is not fast but one can try and make good decisions for the future. The winter weather was almost as weird as the summer weather. At the start of the week it was generally cold with good frost and day time temperatures barely rising above zero. By contrast today as I left the village at 6am, it was a very mild 10C! At least now, after some frost, the sap in the vines will have withdrawn itself down into the roots and the taillage (cutting) can begin. If you start too early, there is risk of new buds bursting too early and being killed off by mid winter frosts. By mid February, Pascale will have the CabFranc vines in Hourcat Sud all smart and ready and the old Merlots in Hourcat Centre tidy too.

The future of Hourcat Centre has been set! With good advice from our team and the Chamber of Agriculture in Cadillac, we have decided to retain and rejuvenate the 55yo Merlot vines and remove and replant those that are dead. All of the Semillons which are 80% dead will be dug up in 2012 and replanted in Merlot during the following year. The paperwork is complete and has been submitted to the Customs authority. Effectively, Hourcat Centre will, in five years, be a beautiful small good density vineyard and the home of our merlot based wine. It will take a lot of hands-on love and care, but we believe we can achieve something very special with this lovely piece of land.

There is probably another blog or two to write about the potential for Hourcat Nord where there are currently 6 rows of essentially dead Cabernet Sauvignon there. Similarly they will be dug up and replanted in 2013. At the moment our thoughts are leaning towards Malbec and Carménère…Carmen who I hear you say….OK another blog is coming soon!! This is going to be real fun!