Thursday night here at Paradise Rescued Australian HQ was a wonderful #CabernetDay party with our fans and customers. Perhaps unsurprisingly after all the bad weather news and vineyard media out of France over the last few months, all the talk at the party was around what was happening in Bordeaux, will 2013 be OK, what is the latest news….?

An abundance of clean healthy Cabernet Franc fruit in the Hourcat Sud vineyard for Cloud9.

An abundance of clean healthy Cabernet Franc fruit in the Hourcat Sud vineyard for Cloud9

As always, we very much appreciate all the interest in our  vineyard and business. And with so much else going on in the market place and in our business, an update from Cardan Bordeaux is now well overdue. At a summary level, Paradise Rescued remains happy and positive about a good quality harvest this October. This doesn’t mean that overall Bordeaux is happy…but if you were able to keep the mildew and disease at bay through the very cold and wet spring and missed the mega hail storm a month back that trashed more than 5% of the total vineyard area, then there is a good chance of a successful vintage.

Pascale inspects the Merlot vines

Pascale inspects the Merlot vines in Hourcat Centre

As so often, the key is “hands on” vineyard management if you are looking for quality. In the “really good” years, you can afford to just let nature take its course. But in the other (majority) of vintages, you have to work with Mother Nature and steer the vineyard towards that positive outcome. You cannot just let it happen in the vineyard and expect good results…. With the cold spring, ripening was not homogeneous so as we progress steadily towards a mid October harvest date, regular (twice weekly) inspections of every vine are carried out with continual adjustments to leaf cover and fruit.

The health and vogour of the Cloud9 CabFranc vines is clearly evident.

Health and vigour in our vineyards

A picture often tells a thousand words…hence why we use so many!! Having prevented disease through the spring, the vines are looking incredibly healthy. The introduction of our revised under canopy and soil management programme is also having an effect – you should be able to see that we have ploughed under each vine leaving the grass area between each row as the “natural organic ecozone” for insects and natural wildlife to thrive. And there is an abundance of healthy fruit – particularly with the Cabernet Franc for Cloud9. Over the next 6 weeks, we will have the opportunity to progressively deselect the least ripe and uneven fruit as harvest approaches. As always the focus is on producing the highest quality fruit (and wine) possible. If there is a good qauntity available at the end, that is a bonus, but the main priority is quality over quantity.

The cold spring has pushed the harvest date out this year to mid October so hopefully we will get some good sunshine and long bright days to allow the fruit to slowly rich optimum ripeness. Can’t wait to be back there to see the results first hand…