“Each head of vine needed a little time…” writes Pascale in her weekly update email from Cardan, Bordeaux. After the cold wet season that was 2013, the vines need a bit of sorting out this year.

Our vigneronne Pascale (left) studying a vine with advice from Albane (and Uno)!

Focussed! Our vigneronne Pascale (left) studying a recently pruned vine with advice from organic viticultural adviser Albane (and Uno)!

Good fruit is the first part of our 3 part Paradise Rescued strategy. It sounds obvious really doesn’t it, so why bother writing it? Why isn’t it automatic and why doesn’t everyone just do it? I won’t answer the second set of questions – that requires a complete blog in itself! The first question is a lot easier. No matter how good a winemaker you have – and we love our Albane Bervas’ amazing work – you cannot make good wine from bad fruit! Period!

So therefore you have to put in significant thought and action to the vineyard in order to produce good fruit. And the first step is diligent pruning, which is why I love Pascale’s remarks of taking a “little time with each vine”. That’s why she always applies the carpenter’s rule: measure twice (or more!), cut once – you won’t get a second chance! Time, thought and strategy are important. Now we are ready for season 2014.