It’s here again. We have reached that exciting but nervous time again when the success of a whole season’s hard work hangs off a couple of weeks of weather!

Pascale's focus will once again be on producing exceptional fruit from the vineyards

         As always Pascale will be keeping a close eye on the ripening and maturity of our grapes

The mood across Bordeaux seems to be much more positive this year. The weather has not been great but it has been a lot better than 2013. It could hardly be any worse so 2014 has been an improvement! July and August delivered a lot of rain, including a couple of big deluges, which saturated the vineyards. The start of September has been sunny and dry allowing some recovery plus hopefully also removing some of the excess humidity and the pressure from grey rot. Three more weeks of the same would be nice but the weather forecast is not currently compliant with our request! From the middle of next week, the going may get a bit rough! Stand by vineyard operations team!!

Our approach to this year’s harvest will see only a couple of changes from the usual plan. As always we will harvest by hand, employing multiple selections and reselections both in the vineyard and at the winery door as determined by the health of the fruit. With the small Merlot block looking in good shape and with limited ripening issues (coulure) this year, we have elected to harvest the two grape varieties on different dates according to their maturity. This should allow both Cabernet Franc and Merlot to achieve the best results possible.

The Old Vine Merlot block is in great form and looking very promising.

                     The Old Vine Merlot block is in great form and looking very promising for 2014

In the winery a new small vat (cuve) is on order and will hopefully arrive on time from Italy for the later CabFranc harvest in early October. We only have just enough room in our tiny winery for this one 500 litre vat but it will give us more capacity which we calculate may be needed for the first time assuming both vineyard blocks remain on track. In 2012 and 2013, yields were very low and vat capacity was not an issue. This year could deliver a very full winery!

As always, Pascale has organised an amazing team of grape pickers from our local community and a couple of fun working days are planned. This is the reward for everyone, a full win-win outcome. Our rural heritage and beautiful village sustained – together.

My tickets are booked. Smiling….