Cabernet Franc grapes – Hourcat Sud Cardan

We have been hesitant to talk about vintage 2012. The difficulties of last year, the deep freeze in February 2012 followed by a short heat wave and then weeks of cold wet weather have prompted us to remain quiet about our expectations for 2012. However there is an unspoken and very determined feeling in the team this year that…after so much hard work in pursuit of our vision, many disappointments ……maybe, maybe we can achieve something really good in what otherwise looks like a very difficult vintage for many Bordeaux vignerons.

Champagne is already sadly announcing a second consecutive disastrous vintage following damaging hail and endless cold wet months. Bordeaux has also been very challenging. Mildew has already ruined many hectares of vineyard, turning foliage grey. We have received commiserating emails because we pursue organic viticulture, with everybody assuming that we have already succumbed in the face of significant natural conditions. Let’s check out what the photos say about what has happened in Cardan.

Hourcat Sud looking towards the 12th Century Church

Yes, 2012 has been hugely challenging and demanding! The pressure from mildew destruction has been massive. But the organic “hands on” approach from Pascale and the Paradise Rescued team in Cardan has so far been amazing. Helped by timely organic micro-treatments with our new back pack microsprayer, the vines in both Hourcat Sud and Centre have remained very healthy. And despite the heterogeneity of the vintage, the colour change is progressing well as the weather changes from cold to extreme hot, setting us up for an early October harvest. With so much individual care and attention given to each vine, we remain optimistic for a good result. I can’t wait to be there for harvest.

Did we tell you about the changes in the winery? We haven’t said much about the chances of some Merlot from the old vines in Hourcat Centre either! Oooh sorry, all that will have to wait for some more photos and another blog. We really will be fully “micro” in 2012!! A bientôt!