Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Planting Day Approaching

Well I know the weather is partly responsible for causing absolute havoc with the planes, but I have to say it is doing wonders for our field. It is completely bone dry and perfect for ‘ripping up’ with the deep plough next week. We have finished the fencing which looks great and haven’t seen a cheeky rabbit or deer anywhere.

This week I took delivery of 26 pallets of 20,000 little wooden stakes which will support the vines in there infancy. The reason I choose wood when most go for metal rods is because I am using a very good inter-vine cultivator for weed control, instead of having to resort to weed killer. For this reason I need a solid stake to prevent the machine from damaging the young vines. Only problem is that I have to manually bang in 20,000 wooden stakes!

We have also been busy tree planting to help control the wind which seems to come form all directions. It is my one concern with this site so everything must be done to help, even though a bit of wind is good for disease control. Fertilizer has been added for potassium and magnesium and we are now looking to plant first week in May.

Whilst all this was going on I also had to make a very important trip over to Bordeaux to bottle our 2008 wines. Both La Clariere and Verniotte were bottled in beautiful sunshine, although I think bottling stresses me out more than vintage. It is a very important stage and if not done properly can seriously damage the longevity of the wine.

Apart from the labels arriving at the same time as the bottling machine everything went smoothly and I can say that 2008, as we always knew, is a great vintage. I know 2009 has now overshadowed everything, but the 2008’s have such a great expression of fruit for such a difficult year and it’s balance will keep it going for many a year to come.

Chateau La Clariere will be going out to the Confreres soon but my Chateau Verniotte and Aux Trois Freres will stay in bottle for a while longer, to be released before Xmas.

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