Thursday, 29 July 2010

The First New Barrels Arrive!

The 2010 harvest must be close because barrel-maker Marc Le Grand was here today to deliver his new barrels to the Chai. He has come all the way from Pala├žoulo in north east Portugal. The barrels are made with the finest French oak and the climate in the far north east of Portugal is perfect for the storage and drying necessary to make the barrels.

Petit Denis was very excited to see the new barrels; a cellar master likes nothing more than gleaming new oak in the cellar! We all carefully unloaded the barrels from the truck into the cellar – there is something magical to see barrels once again on the quai by the river even if they did arrive by road.

The barrels will remain wrapped up until the last moment to keep them clean and dry. Putting the new barrels in the cellar is a bit like putting presents under the Christmas tree and when the first juice of the 2010 harvest arrives at the Chai, unwrapping the new barrels will be like Christmas Day for Petit Denis!

With that done and Denis briefed on the next couple of days cellar work, I am off to Bordeaux airport for a late flight to Lyon. From there I will pick up a car and drive into Southern Burgundy to the town of Tournus in the Macconais wine region because tomorrow I have big tasting with Bernard Derain at his winery.


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