Thursday, 3 September 2009

After a very muggy evening in Perpignan, on the Mediterranean Spanish border, the skies finally broke and this morning was fresh with blue skies.

At 6am this morning I was in Maury to check the last day’s harvest of GG grapes and the to taste the settled juice from yesterday. Then it was straight off to east of Beziers to Cousseigues to check on the progress of some Vermentino and Marsanne vineyards.

I met up with Arnoud de Bertier, who showed me some great Vermentino and introduced me to his New Zealand winemaker James Graham. The Vermentino will probably be picked this weekend, so hopefully will be in the Chai early next week.

I mentioned to Arnoud that I was interested in some Roussanne and within 10 minutes, I was on my way to see his brother Phillipe who has a small vineyard of Roussanne at his Chateau! The parcel was fantastic. The Roussanne is later ripening so I have 10 days to monitor the vineyard before I can get it into the Chai.

Lunch 'on the hoof' as I drove about 100 miles to the north of Nimes in search of the village of Ledenon to look at some Viognier with Michel Badon. He also gave me a tip off about some good grapes in the area so I went to check it out. After spending a couple of hours lost in the Costieres de Nimes vineyard area, I finally tracked down Jean-Louis at Cave Co-op Pazac.

He had some exciting Viognier but was not happy because of the low yields – 40 percent down on last year! A good little find I reckon and I am glad.

Sleeping in Narbonne tonight to prepare for an early rise as I am going into the wild Corbières tomorrow!


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