We love receiving the news from Pascale our vigneron in Cardan. There is nothing more motivating than to hear her talk about the progress in the vineyard, what she has achieved this week and what we need to do next week to maintain our progress towards the goal of “Good Fruit”. Our high level strategy remains the same and as simple as ever: “Good fruit, Expert Wine Making, Focussed Market Access”. Each step builds on the previous and therefore depends on getting the first one right!
Season 2012 is definitely a challenge. After the intense cold of February, came a hot late March, followed by a cold April and a wet May. June seems to be a bit of everything. As Sœur Petite’s recent amazing photos show, the vines are in a very healthy condition. But this year, it requires a significant effort from Pascale and our vineyard team to keep it that way. Humid changeable conditions encourage disease such as mildew and black rot. The only way to control them is through almost daily care and attention to each vine in the vineyard and frequent micro- treatments (ie often but very small quantities). Plant and foliage growth are very rapid at the moment with some shoots growing more than 10cm every week. This requires a huge effort to maintain the right balance of foliage and shoot growth to support a ripe high quality fruit load at harvest time. Quality always comes before quantity.
The vines have just flowered, giving a beautiful sweet smell to the vineyard. This phase sadly doesn’t last long but it does signal the start of the “countdown” to harvest, which is usually 100 – 110 days after flowering, given reasonable weather. I have a feeling that this vintage will be one of those where a successful harvest of “Good Fruit” can only be achieved by very detailed work in the vineyard. When passion and hard work combine, great goals and results are achieved. That’s why the name Pascale Bervas is on every bottle of Paradise Rescued #Cloud9 wine. The one compliments the other.
At the same time, big things are also happening in Merlot territory – otherwise known as Hourcat Centre! There will also be some news of developments in our winery with some exciting preparations for vintage 2012. We will bring those to you in the next edition of Vine to Wine or for Twitter fans, we will make that #Vine2Wine, starting next week. Love that Wine #Cloud9 !