Ξ September 18th, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ A Day at a Time, International Terroirs, Wine News, Winemakers |
The Mistral has blown last week’s rain off the vineyards, has settled down into a gentle breeze and now the sun is warming temperatures and grapes. Bonjour tout le monde, La Vendage est arivee!
Regular readers of Reign of Terroir will know I was lucky enough to have won a competition a few months ago on WLTV. Well now I am in France enjoying that prize, on site at Chateau Pesquie near the town of Mormoiron. Myself and the 3 other winners arrived on Sunday 14th to a partly cloudy sky and a brisk wind (The Mistral) to be told of rain the week before which resulted in “wet” grapes, a little too much water than really desired. The Mistral was a welcome arrival, as rain was now not forecast for several days, and rising temperatures were set to bring the harvest back on track.
I’m writing this piece mid-week now and the four competition winners have already helped hand-pick a plot of Syrah destined for Pesquie’s 2008 “Les Terasses” red, the Rose is already in tanks about to start fermentation and with at least 2 more clear days before rain is due the white harvesting is due to begin in earnest with the Rousanne and Viognier.
Temperatures towards the end of the week are expected at about 20-25 C (68-77 F) and the Mistral wind has died down to a gentle breeze (also good, as too much and excess drying out occurs) so the only factor now that will have a major influence on how the rest of the harvest progresses is whether the rain due to arrive on Friday or Saturday will last half a day or 5 days, the winery’s 2 sources conflict somewhat in their information. If the latter then the end of the week will be chaotic around here!
I will be writing a full report later on in the month once I am back in the U.K. and the harvest is done (the practicalities of being on a winery during the harvest mean time for polishing off articles is not paramount!). For those with a more in-depth curiosity daily reports are being posted on the WLTV forums here but suffice to say I have seen and learned a mountain of information on the winemaking process and life in general at harvest time, plus made some good friends.
Addendum: Thunderstorms hit at about 9pm tonight, 9/18, and heavy rain continued well into the night – it looks like Avignon and the Rhone area around there got the rain earlier then we did.
Addendum 2: By Friday morning the rain had stopped and we’ll see if the sun and Mistral return. The white harvest was pretty much finished before the rain hit, but most of the red is still on the vine.