Friday, 6 November 2009

The end of an adventure!

Last week represented the end of my 2009 harvest, as I pressed off the last tank of Verniotte Cabernet Franc. I had to do it on my own as the last of my vintage crew had disappeared. Not really an issue for most places, but when you are still using an ancient manual ratchet basket press, things take about twice as long. I always say it will be the last year I use it, but when you are making such small volumes it just makes sense. It may take a while but what’s the rush!!

Although this time on my own did give me a chance to reflect on such a wonderful year, that sadly has come to an end. Yes it was a great vintage, but that is not the reason why I enjoyed it. It was the chance to really get to know my vines for the first time, and learn all the little things it takes to grow the best fruit possible. It by no means went smoothly. I must have broken my sprayer about 4 times, and nearly lost the tractor over a small cliff. But this is the only way you can learn.

I am moving back to the UK with Kaye (and Alfie) in December, as Kaye is starting work again. This means I will be leaving the vines in the capable hands of my French experts. Although I am sad to leave these vineyards, I will be back at least once a month to see how 2010 pans out, and obviously make sure the wonderful 2009 Verniotte evolves into the beauty it should. But before that we have the excellent 2008 vintage being bottled in March, which is sure to impress.

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