The (lady)birds, bees and a close encounter with nasty Mr. Hail!!

I love these titles as a different way to introduce an update from our vineyard in beautiful Cardan, Bordeaux, France.

As the warm weather continues, it has been hard work for Pascale, our vigneronne to keep pace with the fast growing vegetation. Thank you to Jean-Luc and his friend Jean for their additional assistance to keep it all under control. Furthermore, the vines are already starting to flower – that’s three weeks ahead of the normal schedule. A mid September harvest time is now likely.

Let’s hope our luck continues. Most of the hail storms in the Gironde region three weeks ago just missed us but caused a lot of damage further north towards Créon. Hail storms are one of the worst thing things that can happen to a vineyard in mid season or harvest time in Bordeaux. Fingers crossed that that is the last we shall see of that sort of weather for 2011.

Although our change back to full organic viticulture was instantaneous, nature takes somewhat longer to respond after many years of chemical attack from herbicides and pesticides. However those changes are occurring slowly and steadily. Pascale has seen many more ladybirds in 2011 (we saw our first one last year!) and bees are now abundant amongst the vines. These are all very promising signs for our organic future. Great work, Pascale, thank you.