Monday, October 10, 2011

Newsletter # 12 The end of harvest 2011

A bumper crop

Harvest is over for another year and we have managed to stuff our 'cave' to the gills. I am still wondering where the hell I am going to put all the finished wine but this is a nice situation to be in after the previous lean vintages. It has been a hectic harvest that has seemed to drag on forever but we have been blessed with fantastic hot days and cold nights. This is perfect for ripening grapes slowly. On top of all that my lovely wife has managed to help pick grapes throughout the harvest and only have six days off to go and have a baby!!

A Bouncing bumper baby

The wife announced that she was going to take it easy on the morning of the 21st of September. I found this quite astonishing as we were picking our 'Espinasses' Syrah block and we only had two other pickers that day. So Martin, Libby and I went out in a sweltering hot morning and picked until midday. I was really happy with the fruit but we didn't manage to pick all the block. The wife was complaining about some stomache problems when we returned, I thought she might have had bad wind. Advising her that she might have to go to the toilet Libby and I decided to go and finish picking. It was well over 30 degrees by this stage and after one row I went and sat down in the car for a rest as I had a bit of a headache. Unfortunately I couldn't get back up and Libby had to drive home as I had been struck by the sun and needed to be somewhere dark! On our return Isla met us at the gates suggesting that maybe we should go to the hospital. I thought this was a great idea so that I could be put on a saline drip so I asked if she could drive. This wasn't met with the response I was expecting and I was sent to my bed and told to be ready to go in two hours. Apparently Isla directed proceedings downstairs in the 'cave' while contracting every 15 minutes. 'I am fine!' she bravely stated until her mum timed her contractions and realised that they were only five minutes apart. I was rudely awakened and two hours later we had a lovely baby boy called Peter Alexander.

The fruit of our labour

It was a cracker year in the vineyards this year. This was despite some hot humid weather in july that brought on some severe powdery mildew (Oidium.) We went in and picked our Syrah blocks quite early so that we could maintain some freshness and we are very happy with the results. Our Cinsault was also picked very early and has provided a good acidic backbone to our Rosé. We juiced some Grenache and Mourvédre to make up the Rosé blend. The real stars of the harvest however are Grenache and Carignan. Both these varieties cropped well and ripened beautifully giving some dark and fruity wines. It is early days but I think the Grenache is the best we have made in our short time in Faugères.

Support home and abroad

A big thank you to all those who helped over harvest. You are too numerous to name but please accept our heartfelt thanks during what was an interesting and quite eventful harvest! A very special thanks to Libby and Miguel 'the wasp' for the early mornings, the backbreaking picking, the carrying me out of the vineyard and the constant abuse. We could not have done it without you. On the sales side we have had another order shipped to Australia. A distributor in Brisbane has taken on our wines and they should be in the sunshine state by the time Quade Cooper returns as a national hero. Also we have had a great review by an old mate of mine, Dave Brookes. He is kiwi and is not speaking to me this week but just to let you know Dave I still love you! Check it out on his site Vinofreakism

Keep on drinking
Love Paul, Isla, Rory and Peter

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