Adopt a Vine and Make Your Own Wine

with the Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience

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Debudding the vines in the Languedoc


Last weekend we headed to the south of France for some welcome sunshine and warmth.  We were at the Allegria winery near the Languedoc town of Pézenas for a Gourmet Odyssey Wine Discovery Experience Day.

Wine Experience Gift in south of France. Adopt-a-vine and get invovled in making your own wine.

Ghislain d'Aboville, Allegria's owner and winemaker, welcomed us and recounted the journey that he and his family took before finally settling in this tranquil and idyllic Mediterranean setting.

The main purpose of the Discovery Experience Day is to learn about the work undertaken in the vineyard.  We therefore started with a little tour of the vine plots where Ghislain explained and showed us the different soils, grape varieties and pruning methods used, as well as describing how he cultivates his vines organically.  Watch the short video.

Learning about the terroir and grape varieties in the organic vineyard

At the other side of the vineyard we arrived at the plot where the adopted vines of our clients are located, a small chalkboard indicating each micro-plot.  It didn't take long for the cameras to come out, especially once the opportunity to win a magnum of wine in the "My Vine" photo competition was announced!

Photo shoot of the adopt-a-vines

It's currently the time of year when the vines start to develop rapidly, and they can grow several centimetres a day.  Without any intervention, the vine will try to grow as much and as far as possible to the detriment of the quality of grapes.  It's therefore important over the coming months to keep on top of the vines to control their growth.  The work to be done at the moment is debudding.

Debudding consists of removing the excess buds and shoots which will drain the vine's energy.  And so with so many pairs of hands available, Ghislain welcomed our help with this manual task!  Most of the time, it's fairly easy to see what needs to be removed and what should stay, but there are always a few exceptions to make the job more intellectually stimulating!

Debudding in the vineyard

Working under the sun at 30°C makes you thirsty, so luckily a chilled magnum of rosé was waiting for us in the shade of the mazet.

Wine Tasting in the shade

Back at the winery, we continued the wine tasting session during the meal, trying the various white and red wines produced by Allegria, including the Tribu d'A Côteaux du Languedoc Pézenas red wine chosen by Gourmet Odyssey.

Wine Tasting over lunch

In the afternoon, we visited the fermentation hall and cellar.  Here Ghislain introduced us to the vinification side of wine making, something that we will go into much more detail with during the Harvest and Vinification Experience Days.

Tour of the fermentation hall and cellar

Many thanks to Ghislain for sharing his passion for winemaking with us!

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