Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Rain Rain Go Away!

In Bordeaux when it rains, it pours and pours and pours, and then just when you can’t take any more, it pours! Today started with pressing the last of the Cabernets, and the machinery wasn’t enjoying the rain either - but with enormous determination the day finally got underway thanks to Petit Denis, who got down to the basics and was ‘legs on’ in the winery!

Meanwhile I left for Chateau La Brande in Castillon to meet the tanker to load the first part of the 2009 Grand Chai Castillon. The rain followed me but was now joined by severe winds and the tanker was late but apparently lost. Finally a very grumpy driver, and an obviously hungry one at that as he turned up bang on time, just after lunch!

Finally we started the loading and then the thunder and the lightning began which was rather worrying when standing on top of a huge metallic tanker overseeing the careful filling of compartments 4 and 6! Once loaded we were off to our next Chateau just round the corner in St.Genes where I was greeted by a very wet berry wearing duo, Vincent Galineau and his father.

A small comedy moment lifted everyone as the now very wet and now even grumpier truck driver slipped and fell over in the rain and the skins from the wine press, fortunately not hurting himself but amusing the sniggering cellar hands pressing off the reds! We soon got down to business though and the tanker pockets 1 and 2 were filled.

Next stop was our very own Chai to pick up the final third of the blend that was racked from barrel early only yesterday by Petit Denis. Maitena was also back from the Midi and straight onto the job of loading compartment 6 whilst I made a warm cup of coffee for the driver that, now he stopped moaning, was actually a very nice man, and I now felt rather sorry for him!

Once the tanker was loaded we headed along the riverside to the bottling plant round the corner in Lamothe-Montravel and the rain continued to pour down. By now it was rather dark and cold as we started to unload the day’s collection into the safety of the stainless steel vats. I left Maitena in charge of finishing the unloading as I needed to meet James back at the Chai to taste and blend all the whites he had been sourcing all day in the Entre-Deux-Mers.


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