I’m a winemaker. At least, that’s a third of it: another third is the actual growing bit. Can’t make wine without having grown the grapes in the first place. At least not if you are a pukka winemaker.
So about this time of year in Bordeaux the vines have finished flowering and the tiny bunches of grapes are just starting to form.
If the fruit does not form correctly (in France – Millerendage) it means a reduced harvest and a mixture of grape quality If all is well then I t’s about now that we can start to get an idea of what sort of crop we could potential be harvesting come October (our only crop of the year). That said it is only just the beginning of our worries: pest, disease and natural disaster are still to be overcome before we can begin to relax so whilst you would come here on a warm sunny june day like today (it’s 26* )and see a beautifully green and verdant vineyard with delicate lime green leaves and tiny embryonic bunches of grapes. What I see is the raw materials for the 2015 vintage that despite highly attentive cosetting seem hell bent on self destruction or to present themselves as a delicious treat for any number of lurking predators. Oh and did I mention the hail? No, well with the heat comes the risk of hail: and this hail can wipe out your crop inside half an hour if you are unlucky.
Sort of makes you wonder why we do it doesn’t it? Well for all the risks, hard work and jepody. It’s the final end product that makes it worthwhile and we still consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to be part of this world.
Oh and the final third? Well that’s the selling bit and for this we depend upon the likes of the lovely people at the select wine merchants we supply who tell our story and introduce people to our wine.