Latest update : 30 November 2016.
No later than when the crop is at the door, you have to face the question of how the grapes should be picked. While hand-picking is generally regarded as of high quality, the machine never truly got away from her reputation of being as delicate as a “Sherman Tank” from WWII. The decision for one or the other type, however, is based on a variety of factors: technical, practical, economic or even philosophical. Here are some facts and suggestions.
Homage to the machine
The machine is on (...)
The vintage 2013 in France can be considered as extraordinary, even if the annual balance sheet of Météo France disagrees with that.
Everyone still remembers the hailstorms moving around the country, as well as the unusually cool and wet spring. But we tend to forget that the first consequence of bad weather is not a loss of quality, but of quantity. The weather in 2013 was especially problematic during the flowering period. But when vine florishes, it does not want to be disturbed. Cold, (...)
2012 - Fruity or rather spicy, with good tannin structure and grapes with a lot of character from each vineyard.
“A year of staggering purity, freshness and elegance” - Jeb Dunnuck.
2013 - Capricious weather, low yields, moderate sugar content ... Therefore, good balance between acidity, body and structure.
2014 - Dry weather before harvest, late picking brought fully ripe, healthy grapes.
2015 - Balanced sugar / acid ratio, outstanding tannin ripeness. Harmonious vintage without (...)
Spring began with very mild, even unusually warm temperatures and a rainfall deficit in April and May. An exceptionally sunny June provided perfect conditions for flowering, followed by 60 mm of rain in the middle of the month. The weather remained nice until the longed for rainfalls (without strong thunderstorms) in the middle of August. The vineyards were enjoying perfect health and despite of some rainfalls early September, the grapes ripened under best conditions.
Picking of white (...)
“Wine can and should stand on its own!” This is what John Gillespie, a recognized economists and observer of the American wine market, said during an interview 2013. Although Gillespie spoke more on the subject of “Wine and Food”, his words perfectly fit to our thoughts on wine aging.
The wine barrel was probably invented in the 6th century BC and brought to perfection by the Gauls for wine and beer storage many centuries later. The use of wood casks was widespread from the 3rd century, but (...)
Already during picking the grapes gave us an insight into the high quality of the vintage. Not concerned by this summers heatwave, the fruit showed a good balance between sugar and acidity, as well as extremely ripe tannins. While the vintage was still considered as being particularly precocious in spring, some highly welcome rainfalls in August brought us back to normal picking times. Tasting of berries, as well as the first fermentations promised a particularly harmonious vintage. (...)continue
Balanced and healthy soils are the basis of any healthy and sustainable agriculture. A truism that one, however, had to rediscover in a more or less painful way in the last décades. This puts an end to the false promises of the “glorious”, chemical sixties! Many have understood: We have to take care of our soils. You have to protect and cherish them, so they can live on. Because soils, these piles of stones and dirt, may even die ...
“Agriculture has literally to go back to its roots and must (...)