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The 2014 harvest starts in the Languedoc


The first of the Gourmet Odyssey Harvest Experience Days for the 2014 vintage took place on the 6th September at Domaine Allegria, and we were blessed with a magnificent summer?s day. This year we decided to start a little earlier so as to avoid the strong midday sun.

Vineyard experience in Languedoc

At 8:30, we headed out into the vineyard where we grow our Cinsault grapes. Cinsault is one of the oldest grape varietals found in the Languedoc, and our small plot is 35 years old. We had a half hectare of vines for our apprentice harvesters to pick.

Rent a vine in Languedoc, unique wine gift

We started relatively early because the temperature soon climbed to 30°C. For the grapes, and for the harvesters, it's better to pick when the temperatures are as low as possible. If the grapes get too hot, we then have to cool them down before putting them into the vat. It's always best to manipulate the grapes as little as possible.

wine making experience in France

The grapes are in great shape this year, but it's a smaller yield due to the very dry winter and spring. Around 11:00, we finished the harvest, and headed to the Mazet vineyard where the Syrah vines are adopted by the Gourmet Odyssey clients.

Wine tasting gift in Languedoc

Delphine had prepared lunch for us, a local recipe of mussels cooked on a plancha, called brasoucade. After lunch and a tasting of some wine, we helped put the grapes into the vats. We emptied the crates into the de-stemming machine to remove the stalks, and then we pumped the whole berries into the top of a vat.

At Domaine Allegria, we don't add any sulphur at this stage, the wines are vinified without adding any, and it is only when it comes to bottling that we add some. And finally we ended by cleaning all of the material.

It's what takes us the most time during the harvest. To make one litre of wine, it takes three litres of water to keep all of the material clean!

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