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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

That's the whites in!

Roussanne – the last of the 2009 white grapes – has been picked and while it is macerating on its skins, I am off to Carcassonne to load the tanker with the juice from the Chardonnay and Viognier grapes harvested on Friday morning.

I mange to catch up with my friend, Aussie winemaker Richard Osborne – a living legend in the Midi. He came for a harvest 20 years ago and is still here! He does as much running around as I do, so we rarely bump into each other these days.

A quick call to the Chai to inform John and the cellar team of the exact volumes, the ETA of the tanker and which vats I would like the juice to be put in.

Time to concentrate on the reds now! No time to waste so I go straight down into the deepest darkest Roussillon to check the Vent de Folie vineyards first. As always at this time of year, the wind is up and stronger than ever but the grapes are not be dried but shrivelled!

The bunches of Grenache are in fine condition and taste great but you need to look on the inside of the berry to get a full picture. The green pips, the pulp clinging to the pips and the lack of colour when the inside of the skins are scratched makes me think it’s a couple of weeks away yet. I also cross my fingers and hope the wind dies down a bit – otherwise by the time the grapes are ready, there will be only half the juice left in the berry.

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Back to the Maury Cave Co-op as the first 2009 XV du President starts arriving this afternoon. The XV vineyards will be harvested over the next 15 days, starting with the hotter lower valley vineyards and moving up to the higher cooler ones. I hope to fill at least 4 vats by tonight.

There will be another day of picking tomorrow but I will have just enough time to load the Roussanne in Beziers early on, before the first full lorries start arriving at the Co-op.

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