Our oak barrels – “barriques” to be exact, each with a volume of 225 litres – arrived into the winery last week. We are using one year old barriques as we feel that new barrels would overpower our young Cabernet Franc wine. Each barrel has been carefully selected and supplied by Tonnellerie Baron from leading chateaux in Bordeaux. We are now ready to start the final and most lengthy part of the wine making process: the barrel maturation. This is where we learn how to get the best balance between the beautiful fruit and the complexity of the oak.

Bordeaux is one of the less developed wine regions of France, when it comes to organic production. Or at least that’s what it claims!! As we continue to learn about organic viticulture, it is interesting to see how many other very respected chateaux in the Bordeaux region increasingly practice organic viticulture. For instance, Chateau Doisy Daene, Premier Grand Cru Sauternes – one of the best Barsac wines around – has been making a slow re-conversion back to organic over many years, supervised closely by its owner viticulture Professor Denis Dubourdieu. In a recent interview Pascal Delbeck, former manager at Chateau Ausone in St. Emilion revealed that he had been practicing organic viticulture for the last fifteen years. The reality is that a good wine is a reflection of the land or “terroir” on which it is made. When you consider how a vine works in harmony with the earth, tipping persistent herbicides on that ground and washing the vines with pesticides is unlikely to deliver a very healthy natural product?

Sœur Petite has sent us through the latest photos from our Hourcat Sud block in Cardan. Winter has arrived and the vines can take a well deserved (cold) rest!! Thanks, Sœur Petite for bringing this special piece of France onto the computer screens and homes around the world. Please also take note of the very precise architecture of the vines and their branches created by Pascale.