Friday, 18 September 2009

A Walk with Sutre!

Monsieur Bertrand Sutre is our vineyard consultant. He advises us on the growing season and basically what to do in the vineyard to get the most out of our terroir, and keep our vines as healthy as possible. He works with many great Chateaus in the region, most notably Chateau Ausone of St Emilion. So he must be good!

He walks down the rows of each parcel, tasting, chewing, thinking and then writing scores for each element of the fruit composition. The first time he went through my vineyards I was quite nervous; I felt like a school child who was awaiting his exam results, he might turn around and say ‘zis tastes like rubber!’

Thankfully he didn’t, and it turns out I have bought some pretty damn good vineyards ... Hooray! But anyway back to the analysis and it looks like that little bit of rain on Tuesday has held the sugar levels, and also helped to develop and release more tannins, which will need time to soften.

Although everyone is talking about a band of clouds coming in on Saturday that could yield more rain. Apparently it's something to do with the September equinox that always brings a period of rain this time of year! If we get too much rain (over say 25mm) then the vine tends to re-circulate its polyphenols, some of which are located in the leaf and stems. These can be astringent and make their way into the berries, which can then take a good 5 days to soften and disperse. So how much rain we get on Saturday will dictate when we start picking next week! It’s getting close.

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