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

This is a vine. Not just any vine. This is a forty year-old chenin blanc vine, and it has been doing some extraordinary things since we took this picture exactly a month ago. If you are interested in its story, and in experiencing the perils and potholes of the rocky road leading from vine to wine, then please click here for the start of the journey (and keep your eye on the leaves). Apologies for the quality of the video, but we hope to get better at it as time goes on - as you can see, it's a tough enough job just trying to keep up with the vine itself. In May we plan to accompany it through its flowering, the most crucial and critical time of all ... in the most forgiving and unforgiving month of all.

Things move so fast that our attention forcibly has been turned inwards this month: there is a lot going on. The vineyard has changed overnight from what a visitor called a wasteland of barren bonsai, to a spring tapestry of leafy vines interwoven with wild flowers … and weeds. So it's all hands on board as we get down to hoeing, ploughing, weeding, clearing and cleaning, setting the scene for the 2010 harvest. Because, as we all know, what you give is what you get.

Last year's barrel-fermented wines are also well on their way. Monday will be our last blending session, and yes, in case you were wondering, the 2009 vintage has indeed given us another Trilogie, our prestige True Limoux blend of chardonnay, chenin and mauzac. But there will be no more than 1000 bottles or so of it, and the wonderful, unexpected surprise is that this Trilogie sings to the music of mauzac ... to the tune of about 40%.


Speaking of which, we are absolutely delighted that the leading Italian publication Gambero Rosso devoted its April edition to the wines of the Languedoc, and highlighted the two mauzacs from Rives-Blanques - with and without bubbles: the Blanquette de Limoux and our celebrated Cuvée Occitania. Molte grazie for that, we are always so pleased when Mauzac gets a public pat on the back.

Occitania will actually be on show at the Maison du Languedoc in London next Wednesday (May 5) as part of the “Traditional Grape Varieties” tasting organised by Sud de France. On the other side of the pond a week later (May 10), the Maison du Languedoc on New York's Fifth Avenue will feature the “Award Winning Wines” of the Languedoc. Daughter Xaxa will be there pouring two of our wines: the chardonnay Cuvée de l'Odyssée and the chenin blanc Dédicace.

And we ourselves are looking forward to being back in the lap of literature in the UK next week, where our chardonnay-chenin country wine carries the colours of the Bath Literature Festival, and pouring our wines at the Great Western Wine's shop on Saturday May 8. But if we don't see you there, we hope to catch up with you again this time next month ….


Home - Wines - Diary of a Vineyard - Twitter

If enough is enough, please click on to be released from next month's Vine Lines.

April 30 , 2010