The summer so far

It’s been some time since the last Blog entry but a lot has been happening nonetheless! One of the things we had been working a lot on, was the planning and putting together of a good friends wedding, which was held here on July 22nd.

Of course, we had anticipated very hot weather – going on last summers performance – but it was actually in the low 20’s with some rain and vigorous winds that morning. However, it actually turned out to be the perfect conditions for an evening wedding, especially when donning glad rags and collars! The ceremony was held under the spectacular – more than 300 year old – oak tree at the front of the house. It was so nice to share the special surroundings of Chateau Puynard with our very good friends and family who were here to celebrate the special occasion. The following day we hosted an informal BBQ here, as an after party, with glorious sunshine for the whole day. The week that followed proved to be fairly dismal with very wet weather, so we had infact been very lucky for the whole wedding weekend, thankfully. So, after months of planning, conversing and organising, it all worked out for the best, much to our relief.

More specifically on the vineyard front, we visited the caves in St Emilion to taste our Rose Cremant which has been fermenting there these past several months. It already tastes and looks great and will be ready for labelling and corking this October. This was a very rewarding visit, having hand picked for this Cremant with our extended family last year – this is our first true taste of our very own fruits of labour, and it tastes good!

During the past recent weeks we have been leaf thinning, on one side on the majority of the vineyard with the exception of the cabernet sauvignon, for which we did both sides. This allows the sun to access the grapes more efficiently, allowing them to sweeten and plump up over the coming month or so.

In the past two weeks the grapes have turned dramatically. At the wedding, we dressed the tables with fruits, including some unripened grapes from our vines and as recently as that, the grapes were small, firm and bitter. They’re now more than 90% red and ready to sweeten. I would say the weather has been quite unpredictable over the past month, and forecast to continue that way over the coming week, so hopefully we will get a decent stint of sunshine to bring the sugars with it. Of course, the rain is beneficial too, but some stretches of heat and sunshine wouldn’t go astray from now on.

Now, we are preparing for harvest which looks set to be around mid to late September. We have some visitors due here around then who may have been looking forward to a leisurely few days, but instead they may well get roped into helping with harvesting! Definitely, the ‘more the merrier’ applies during harvest, so if they’re ready and willing, we definitely won’t decline the extra hands help.

In preparation for this, we have new barrels on order for the 2017 premium red wine, ‘The Steps’ which will be a nice addition to our recently revamped barrel room.

So, there is and has been plenty going on about the vineyard, as always. Now, we just want the sun! The weather continues to be mixed, with yet another stormy night with thunder and lightening last night, so hopefully it will settle down in due course. Here’s hoping!