The winter and early days of spring were quite mixed in terms of weather – the temperatures were sometimes surprisingly high for a while before suddenly dropping again.
These sharp drops in temperature, when they occur in late April or start May, can freeze the buds. Unfortunately, we now have to worry about this every year but, in 2019, our vines were spared. We were luckier than a lot of other winegrowers in France.
In May, as the vine had woken up fairly late, we thought we would be harvesting at the end of September.
We then had a hot, dry summer. The only upside of these types of conditions for the vines : not much work required to manage the grass and few treatments. The downside : water stress in the young vines, the scalding of the grapes when the sun is too strong, a rapid fall-off in acidity in the grape berries, and a drop in yields.
So, summer 2019 followed and was a repetition of summer 2018. It is now obvious that drought and heatwaves are no longer occasional occurrences, they are, and will continue to be, all part of today’s climate. This raises a lot of questions about the future of our activity and the wines we produce. We are putting in place those solutions available to us :
– Work on the plant material bequeathed to us by Henry Pellé. As well as being a winegrower, Henry was a vine nurseryman until the early 80s. Les Blanchais, Le Carroir, Les Cris are still planted from massal selections that he himself carried out.
Here, we are taking the wood from the vines whose grapes ripen later, which helps create a natural acidity and freshness in the juices. Our recent and future plantings are the result of this work.
– The planting of trees near the vines to provide shade and add biodiversity. We have gone for fruit trees (the blossom for the bees, the fruit for us).
The intense heat brought the start of the harvest forward and we commenced picking on 13 September. We had the same challenge that we always have with these hot vintages : harvesting at the start of aromatic maturity as the grapes can quickly overripen. The duration of the 2019 harvest was unprecedented, after 12 days’ picking all the grapes had been brought into the winery – a big thanks to all those who made this possible!
We would mention that, in recent years, some of our staff members have retired after 40 vintages at the domaine, an entire generation is passing on the baton.
In the vatroom, the 2019 juices present a profile similar to those of 2018 – wines that you can enjoy any time. These last two vintages are sunny, meaty and succulent, yet also crisp and mouth-watering. This is thanks to the quality and freshness of our terroirs.
We continue to look to you to share our wines wherever you are! We wish you a happy holiday season and,above all, a clement 2020.
Tel. +33 (0)2 48 64 42 48
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