Looking through the old vines towards the winery across the new terroir ready for Merlot planting.

Looking through the old vines towards the winery across the new terroir ready for Merlot planting in the spring.

Looking through the old vines towards the winery across the new terroir ready for planting.

2014 is already racing ahead. There has been so much exciting news already that I have not had a chance to bring everyone up to speed with what was happening during our visit to Cardan. Our newsletter subscribers will have already seen our notes (and more) a couple of weeks ago.

I had expected a fairly quiet visit to Cardan – maybe even a chance for a holiday. Our team as always were ready and full of great innovative ideas and ready to share…so away we went! Sheer pleasure…

We did blog previously about our 2013 Cabernet Franc, the harvest and the amazing wine that this is and will be, despite a very difficult season. For us, this is a clear vote of confidence in our “hands on” approach in the vineyards and “micro-cuve” strategy in the winery. Very very pleasing result. Watch the story in  our recently released picture album video….

Out in the vineyard itself, despite the continued winter rain, there was also plenty happening. We always try and prune the vines reasonably late. Pruning has the effect of waking up a plant and if the young vines get going too quickly, the risk of frost damage to young buds can occur as late as mid April. So the Merlot vines are all done and the Cabernet Franc will be complete this week. Then we will be ready to start the new season!

Mayor Denis Reyne, wishing our commune of Cardan every success in 2014 at the "Fete des Voeux".

Mayor Denis Reyne, wishing our commune of Cardan every success in 2014 at the “Fete des Voeux”.

In the Hourcat Centre, Paradise Rescued home for Merlot, the land to the north of our current tiny “old Vine” block is now ready for re-planting (in Merlot of course) during mid Spring. Hopefully the weather this year will be kinder and let our new young vines get off to a good start. I continue to talk up this block. If I could walk you across the land up the gentle slope, let you look down towards the south, imagine the medium dense planted new Merlot vines, you would see the vision very clearly. We will be writing wonderful things about this block…..in a few years time. A small section above the winery will be planted in Cabernet Franc as we continue to gently increase our vine coverage in this beautiful varietal in response to your demand and amazing support.

We caught up with friends, our wonderful community and developed new partnerships for the future. Another successful visit to that special corner that we call Paradise!