Friday, 4 September 2009

Today is an important day! The bottling of the very first Laithwaite Pere et Fils, vintage 2007.

This is a wine that we have wanted to do for a while, ever since I became interested in the same area where my father started 40 years ago ... Castillon. It brings together parcels of fruit from growers who my dad has known for many years, such as the local Mayor’s son Fred and Jean Pierre Seguinel, the man who kindly sold me his best vineyards at the beginning of the year.

The fruit was fermented at my Verniotte cellar in Ste Colombe, and we paid particular attention to maintaining its character by using the natural yeast to ferment, and techniques such as hand plunging to keep the wine soft, supple and very approachable. 2007 was not a year for big tannins, so perfect for this style.

Bottling is one of those processes that sound simple, but it is often where people can undo all their hard work in one fell swoop. Having heard bottling horror stories, I was extra careful to make sure the wine was perfectly prepared for its trip into glass format.

We use a local bottling company who do all the Chai au Quai bottling and have proved to be a real success. They turn up with their truck with everything on the back; fiddle around a bit, stick a hose on to my tank and off they go!! Talking as a man who has done countless ‘hand bottling’ operations with my very first wines, this was almost too easy!!

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