Quick notes from the 2012 Rhone Vintage

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After a week of waiting, the harvest is full on again. Great to be out there among the vines, and the grapes are looking quite lovely. Yesterday we harvested syrah and some of the first grenache. The skins and the pips (seeds) are ripe, the grapes are juicy and ready with only very few being touched by the fungus botrytis or by powdery mildew. Those we try to sort out in order to avoid problems in the winery. The more natural the wine is, the more important it is to put only healthy grapes into the presses. Domaine Duseigneur does not make “natural” wine right now, but they try to work with as minimal additions of sulfur as possible. The vineyard owner, Bernard Duseigneur, is starting to feel very optimistic about this 2012 vintage when it comes to quality. The Rhone is a blessed place to grow grapes when you are an organic viticulturist – the strong mistral winds come in after every rain to clear up any humidity and thus reduces the risk of mildew or rampant botrytis.

Today, Tuesday the 18th, we are harvesting the first vines in Chateauneuf du Pape. Mainly syrah. Take a look at the vine in the picture – it is 130 years old! Unfortunately this is not the one I got the pleasure of picking – it’s grenache and still not completely ripe. Still, amazing, that vineyard feels like a sacred place to a wine lover! Chateauneuf du Pape is the most prestigious appellation in the region – wines of great power and intensity. For Bernard to have taken over 12 hectares of vines here is almost unheard of. The vines seldom change hands. The land is incredibly expensive, so he is “renting” the vines on a long-term contract and currently converting them to biodynamics. The conversion period is special – harvesting today felt like wading through a jungle! Now the sorting table at the winery is waiting for our watchful eyes and quick hands, and I will leave you with warm greetings from the vineyard!

Av: Erica Landin

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