We were able to reflect on the improving fruit and wine quality from the Cabernet Franc block.

  Improving fruit / wine quality from the Cabernet Franc block was very evident

I am very conscious that we have now been back 6 weeks from Cardan, Bordeaux and not really said very much about the progress there. Some of the news has been held back a little as we make it a priority that our customers and newsletter fans get to hear as much as possible first. Our monthly newsletter subscription list continues to grow strongly and we would love to have you on our list too – simply hit the link here and leave your email address.

We hope you had a chance to at least read our earlier blog and assessment of our 2013 and 2014 Cabernet Franc wines. It was a pleasure during our time in Cardan to welcome some customers to taste the success of those vintages compared to our first one in 2010. The feedback was unanimous! The improving quality of the wines spoke volumes about our organic hands on strategy in the vineyard and continued development of the soil and vines. Turning a vineyard round and creating a healthy terroir is a long term project that will take many more years yet. But we can taste (and others confirm!) that we are on the right track. We love that.

And we will continue to work on our vineyard and individual blocks according to their needs, grape variety and locations. The Hourcat Sud block is typically very wet in winter and particularly so after a number of consecutive wet seasons. We would love to be able to get some more soil management work happening in a similar way to what has been achieved on the drier Hourcat Centre block. Preliminary works to enlarge the Cabernet Franc area have started and will accelerate as drier weather returns.

Even in mid winter the growoing health of the old / new Merlot block is evident.

  Even in mid winter the growing health of the old / new Merlot block is visible

You will recall in the Merlot block that Pascale’s love and dedication managed to save the tiny 30m x 30m 55 year old Merlot vine part and that we have nourished, prepared and replanted the back section last July. With judicious and skilled tractor work to turn over the soil, remove all the weeds and plant winter cereal between the rows, the results are very visible that a healthy ecosystem is rapidly returning to that area of the vineyard. And quick sips of the 2014 Merlot similarly confirm our optimism for the Merlot in the future.

The evidence of positive and significant progress was clear. The results of many hours of detailed effort from Pascale and the vineyard team could easily be seen. The light is clearer this winter. Gentle frosty nights continue holding the vines back. The pruning is complete in both blocks. We are ready for a great season and vintage ahead.

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