South facing panorama across the Cloud9 Cabernet Franc vineyard of Hourcat Sud Cardan Bordeaux

       South facing panorama across the Cloud9 Cabernet Franc vineyard of Hourcat Sud Cardan Bordeaux

We love it! As always….. The most common questions we receive from friends, fans and customers is “How’s it going in Cardan” “What’s the news from France” “How is vintage 2012 coming along”????? Yesterday, I must have spent about half an hour chatting with three separate people on this topic. Thank you. So here is a good section of the news from our beautiful vineyard and winery in Cardan Bordeaux.

Spring has (finally) sprung in Bordeaux! It remained cold and wet through most of April and it has only really been in the last couple of weeks that the vines have really started to grow. And grow very fast and with a lot of vigour, which is an indication of the continuing success of the organic viticultural programme! We have cut all the grass between the rows but left it untouched under the vines to allow the ground level ecosystem to prosper and spread back throughout the vineyard before we trim under the vines later.

Wild flowers grow under the organic vine rows

           Wild flowers grow under the organic vine rows

As the weather continues wet and showery, the first micro-treatments for each vine will begin in order to prevent mildew diseases. Once again, we will use our spray back pack system, treating each vine by hand to maximise effective foliage cover and minimise the use of organic materials. Shortly thereafter, with the risk of frost behind us, Pascale can then start to review each vine and decide how many buds we will allow to grow on each spur of the vine, controlling quantity and maximising the quality at harvest time.

In the winery, Pascale cautiously reports with words such as “very promising” for the 2012 Cloud9 CabFranc and “so fine” for our first ever Merlot Cabernet Franc. I can’t wait to be there to bring you more detail.

A 56yo Merlot vine starts the new season with vigour

           A 56yo “old vine” Merlot starts the new season with vigour

In Hourcat Centre the “old vine” Merlots continue to gain strength and prosper. In the northern “new” section of Hourcat Centre – the future home of our Merlot production – the soil has dried out sufficiently and we have completely prepared ready to plant the new vines. There is a whole passionate story and blog to come there – the replanting of Hourcat Sud is a significant milestone for Paradise Rescued.

Finally did you see the recent photos? Click here to see Sœur Petite’s amazing new photo album. Beautiful…