June – July 2011

There’s something interesting going on in the vineyard. Look at these pictures of the same vine taken at the same time this year and last year : late last month, the grapes were about three weeks ahead of themselves. Today they are almost back to normal. Why ? The most convincing theory is that they are unusually abundant and beautiful this year, and the vines have slowed down in order to nurture and nurse them through the onset of ripening. And magnficent they are too, hanging happily like freshly washed laundry. So we’re doing a quick recalculation and are placing our bets on an early September start to the harvest...

There’s something interesting going on in the Languedoc vineyard as well.  No sooner had its top nine appellations been given ‘Grand Cru’ status, than it was whipped away last month by the inspectors of the French national winegrowing organisation,  the INAO.    The case rests on legal niceties, but is not dead.

Speaking of inspectors, this month an inspector called, doing a surprise spot-check on some randomly chosen Limoux vineyards. He counted the number of vines per hectare, the number of grapes per vine, the way the vines were pruned, everything in short to make sure there was nothing untoward going on. The Inspector himself will be inspected by an even higher authority, to make sure there’s nothing untoward about him either. A South African winemaker with us at the time looked on in open-mouthed amazement.

Ah well, it’s all for the good of the good name of Limoux.  But as for us, when it comes to good names, we can think of none better than Georges Pauli.  Every year we dedicate  our chenin blanc to someone really special (hence its name, Dédicace). The 2010 was bottled late May to the acclaim of La Revue du Vin de France which listed it as one of the six ‘Exceptional Successes’ of Languedoc white wines. So we are doubly pleased that the dedication on its label is to Georges Pauli,  our agronomist/oenologist Consultant and friend who has seen us through thick and thin for nearly a decade. (Seen here on the right, inspecting the vines).

We will be spending the first two weeks of August in Ireland, sailing Blanquette, a dinghy of the Ette class fueled by fizz – but the office will be helmed by Céline who will be happy to help you. And then the harvest will be upon us before we know it. Here, to finish off, is a graphic illustration of how time flies …

July 19, 2011