Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Roll Out the Barrels


The coopers Saury have bought a parcel of oak forest near Blois. This has been greeted positively by at least one local winemaker who has taken delivery of a 500 litre Loire Selection barrel. Chateau Gaudrelle make one wine which they mature in new oak barrels and every year they instruct either Saury or Vicard to produce a barrel to their particular requirements. These barrels cost several hundred euros and are used for 5 years to make a dry white wine from late harvest Chenin Blanc grapes.

They can't wait to see how Loire oak will influence the wine and look forward to this additional aspect of terroir that can be applied to the wine.

The harvest started on Monday in Vouvray. Chateau Gaudrelle had expected to start a week ago but the appellation ruled that 21 September would be the earliest the winemakers could pick. Alexandre was worried that his grapes destined for sparkling wines were already at the upper limit of their sugar content and the later than expected start date would make producing sparkling difficult. Fortunately a lot of rain fell (45 mm overnight) and the grapes have plumped up with water, thus reducing their percentage sugar. Unfortunately a whole lot more rain fell several days later, an absolute deluge, and everyone started worrying about the chenin blanc grapes again.

According to the local paper, the rain has put a dampener on the mood of the winemakers, who were happily expecting an exceptional harvest, but in fact the grapes haven't been much affected. Enough to lower everyone's hopes for the vintage though. Jim's Loire reported some rot developing at Montlouis, but it may depend on vineyard management practices.
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Loire Valley Nature: An entry for Thick-point Grimmia Schistidium crassipilum has been added. Although common in Britain this moss is rare in the Touraine.
An entry for Roman Snail Helix pomatia has been added. This local delicacy is now rare and protected.
An entry for Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum has been added. This common dragonfly can be seen all over the Touraine.
A photo has been added to the Red Helleborine Cephalanthera rubra entry. This rare orchid is one of the loveliest in the Touraine Loire Valley.

1 comment:

  1. There is a healthy Roman population down by Moulin de Chevernay...
    they really are huge!!!

    ReplyDelete