Ripe Merlot fruit in Hourcat Centre September 2012

We can forgive you for thinking that the first half of October has just been party time with grape picking teams, paella eating mixed with a little wine making and daily pump over work in the winery! Yeah, we wish? And yes there has been a fair bit of that, and it was fun but harder work than one might imagine. Very carefully in the background our vision and strategy for Paradise Rescued has continued to progress.

It is a secret but I can tell you that we have made a very small quantity of Merlot from the tiny block of 55 year old vines at the southern end of Hourcat Centre. We are very pleased with this! Firstly, you will recall that when we signed the contract to purchase this block in early 2011, the vines were almost completely dead and only Pascale’s dedication and love has managed to revitalise them to this point where they can start to give us some good fruit. Secondly, although the yield is very low (and will continue low, given the age of the vines), from what we have initially seen in the quality and taste of the recent harvest, we have high expectations for this terroir.

Where young will meet old  – looking north in Hourcat Centre

The vision for Hourcat Centre is Merlot!

To the north of the old merlot vines, the dead Sémillons have been dug up and now the land has been cleared of all the vine trunks, pickets and trellis wires ready for the tractor and plough to start work before the winter. Replanting will be carried out in springtime – we will continue / maintain current medium high density planting with a row spacing of approx 1.8 metre and plant separation of 1 metre. Our commitment is to produce the best possible high quality Bordeaux Merlot fruit and wine. The first real harvest will probably be picked in 2017.

That’s why we need a strong vision! And plenty of patience….