A monthly newsletter on the wines, vines and times at Rives-Blanques

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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 beautiful and bountiful this year, and the vines have slowed down in order to nurture and nurse them through the onset of ripening. And magnificent the grapes are too, hanging happily like freshly washed laundry. So we're doing a quick recalculation and are placing our bets for an early September start to the harvest...

Nothing fishy going on in the vineyard though. 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 nothing untoward was going on. The Inspector himself will be inspected by an even higher authority, to make sure there's nothing untoward going on with 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.


Speaking of good names, every year we dedicate our chenin blanc to someone really special (hence its name Dédicace). The 2010 was bottled in 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 (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 and blown by bubbles – but the office will be helmed by Céline who will be delighted 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 ...








No apologies for this vine-centric Vine Lines; it is all we can think about at the moment - but we promise, no vines next month! And of course you can always click on to be permanently released

July 19 , 2011