Harvest Time

Once again the harvest is upon us, the Vignerons have been very busy, caring for their vines.

Now the grapes have changed colour, they wait for the correct sugar levels; which require the right amount of sunshine. This year has been particularly dry and we are told a good year!

The picking has commenced with white grapes and red for rosés; they will pick the grapes from now until the the end of the month maybe even later dependent on the what they desire in the juice.....flavour, sugar, alcohol level.

We will be posting pictures of the harvesting process very soon.

From growing to harvesting

The vigneron works throughout the summer months, cutting, treating and tending the vines. They must ensure that they get the required results to achieve their final objective.

The grapes grow week on week, and so does the vine, this needs to be kept cut so that it does not interfere with the growth of the grape; the foliage has protective qualities and shelters the grapes too! They must decide on the best methods to control pests and weeds, others may see these and as part of nature.

We  must not ignore the vast area that they must cover. Some work by hand and others use machinery but this is still no small task....

A little break from vines to enjoying the grape....

An invite to Domaine Autrand in Vinsobres was met with great delight as they offered some amazing award winning wines together with some pairing food. It was all held in their Cave with their tall stainless steel vats dominating the scene.

Concrete Vats
 A marquee with tables and benches was laid on where you could sit and enjoy the wines with some cold meats. We were soon ordering some wine for ourselves and will certainly be putting this cave on our list to visit again.

We would recommend this cave for its outstanding Viognier and Rosé together with the Côtes du Rhône and Vinsobres Reds.

Selection of their finest

Grapevine continued..............

And so the fruit appears...........it has been just over a week and now you can see that the flowers have been fertilised so we see the first sign of fruit. Not all of the grapes and/ or grape varieties. It all depends on the variety, positon and of course the weather.........

The Grape Vine continued....

The vignerons have been busy in the vineyards spraying the crops against pests.

I  must also mention here the importance of position and soil types,as these all have a place in the final taste and quality of the wine.

The three key soil types here are slopes of clay and calcereous, 'les garrigues' stony plateaus and sandy calcaeous soils.


The large stones help the vines to withstand heat and drought.

And a week on from seeing the flowers on the grape; they have started flowering another key part that mother nature has to play ! The flowers lose their flower cap 'calyptra' and then pollen is released from the five stamen. The fertilisation process can take place when the pollen lands on the pistils of other plants.

The flowering 

The Grape Vine

We want  to take a look at
a year in the life of a Grape Vine.

Les Souches
So we start with the trunk and cordon, also known as "Les Souches".

In the early part of the year, the Souche produces buds and even now the vigneron must control what they want from the vine and may remove some.

Then in Spring life "Springs Forth"

The speed with which the vine grows is amazing and can be seen in front of your eyes on a day to day basis.

The growth is so fast that sometimes even this has to be controlled as too much foliage can hinder later growth.

Day 1
Day 3
Day 2

 Then we see the first glimses of the fruit which starts with the bunches of seeds, which will flower.

The first sign of fruit

And as the time is now May, we have to wait for the next development.........which will appear here on our Blog soon.

The Independent Vigneron

The Independent Vigneron Charter that I came across really does say it all...

Not only do they respect their terroir, cultivate their vineyard, harvest the grapes, vinify their wine, produce brandy, botttle their own wine, sell their wine, perpetuate tradition and welcome visitors,

They own their own business, and as a result have to wear so many hats.

I cannot put into words the respect that I have for these individuals, and of course those that are the cooperatives too.

The France Show 2016

Here we are again at The France Show it has been a busy 2 days, we are now waiting for the doors to open for the last day of 2016. It has been a busy show with lots of visitors. We have enjoyed sharing our passion, and have enjoyed wine tastings with our prospective clients with some wines from Domaine des Favards.

We have also enjoyed the display of cooking by Guy Wolley and Franck Raymond and Christine Vidal; with wine pairings from Susy Atkins.

It has been fantastic.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part!