Tuesday 16 August 2011

Preparing for the Harvest

It won't be many weeks until the grapes will be ready to harvest. As Jim Budd is fond of saying, it's squeaky bum time now. The weather is warm and wet, which means that fungal diseases are a very strong possibility even in the best managed vineyards. We've been told that the acidity is still quite high in the grapes too, so it may not be as good a vintage as the last few years.

At Château Gaudrelle, like many other vineyards I've no doubt, they are busy making sure the winemaking facilities are clean and tidy in preparation for bringing in the grapes. Old barrels are moved aside so the floor can be cleaned, new barrels are unwrapped and checked for faults.

The big cleanup.
Gaudrelle has barrels made for them by Vicard, a family owned firm based in Cognac who have developed a special system for seasoning the inside of the barrels with heat. They use 75% French oak and are committed to sustainable production.

A brand new barrel.

An old fashioned device for concentrating the sediment
in the neck of the bottle prior to ejecting it.


Sheila said...

What a beautiful barrel. Found
the Vicard website particularly
interesting...and les Monsieurs
Vicard very handsome!

Ken Broadhurst said...

Is the wine in that riddling rack sparkling or still wine? It would normally be sparkling. I think the riddling rack is called a pupitre in French. That same word is also the name of an old-fashioned schoolhouse desk with a slanted top surface, and also an orchestra conductor's music stand.

Susan said...

Sheila: I'm glad someone clicked through to Vicard. I thought their website was extremely interesting. Now I'll have to go back and check the boys!

Ken: The wine is sparkling. I don't think that's what Charles calls the rack, but I'll have to check.

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