Measure twice (at least), cut once. Pruning is a precision art.

Measure twice, cut once. Pruning is a precision art. Vineyard success depends on it

It probably seems as if we have been deliberately quiet here on talking about all the activity and progress in Cardan Bordeaux. This is not a deliberate tactic, more of a recognition that it has been winter in that beautiful corner of the world and visible activity has not been so easy to see. But plenty has been happening and here is our #Vine2Wine report to bring you up to speed…..

It’s not unreasonable – in fact it is at the core of our business strategy – to say that the key to success for a wine starts in the vineyard. A good wine starts with a healthy thriving vineyard. And a good part of that vineyard success starts with the winter work. Whilst most people are huddled around a warm fire indoors, Pascale has been out there assessing each vine and pruning them ready for the forthcoming season. In reality, her work not only establishes the vines for 2015, but sets the plan for 2016 and in part also for 2017 as well. This is why the attention to detail in the vineyard with the pruning is so critical. An error now can have long lasting effects.

The 2014 wines have run run off into barrel and topped up.

2014 wines have been run run off into barrel and topped

At the same time, dead vines are removed from the rows. The trellis wire and support system is maintained. And as always our vigneronne does as much work with the soil as possible to prepare that ecosystem for the year ahead. Continual improvement of the soil and vineyard block is also a “must” for making better fruit and wine. And for the first time ever, we have added a controlled amount of some organic animal manure. Much of the work in our Hourcat Sud Cabernet Franc block has had to be done by hand as the land has remained very wet for much of the winter.

In the winery, all is quiet. The 2014 wines have been pleasantly re-tasted and now run off into our usual mixture of one and two year old oak barrels. We continue to be very pleased with the results of the 2014 vintage. I can’t wait to do another taste test when I get there in late May.

It may look quiet in the vineyard, but don’t be fooled by the apparent lack of visible evidence. Plenty of excellent work has been achieved in order to maximise the chance of success in 2015. Bud burst is now starting; a bit later than 2014 but for us, a good sign we feel.

Bordeaux spring is on its way. We are ready so let’s go!