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The harvest starts at Domaine la Cabotte


We had a lovely sunny day to start the harvest at Domaine la Cabotte last Saturday. Following an introduction to the winery and an update on the 2014 campaign so far, we made our way through the vineyard to harvest the Syrah plot of vines that will be used in the Garance wine, which is the chosen wine for the Gourmet Odyssey clients.

 

adopt a vine gift in the Cotes du Rhone, France

 

Once Eric and his wife Marie-Pierre, the owners of the winery, had explained to us how to pick the grapes, we spread out among the vine rows in pairs. This year, the harvest was made easier due to the excellent condition of the grapes, with practically nothing to sort or leave behind.

 

Grape picking gift in France

 

The buckets filled up quickly, and by the end of the morning we had filled two trailers. We followed our harvest to the chai to assist with the de-stemming, before the grapes were put into the vat. The berries are separated from the stalks and then, once in the vat, will start to slowly ferment. It was then time to refresh ourselves with a tasting of some of the estate's wines.

 

Wine Experience gift in the Cotes du Rhone to get involved in the harvest

 

After lunch, which was prepared by Marie-Pierre, we headed back out into the vineyard. We learnt how to taste the grapes to decide whether they are ready for picking or if they need more time to mature. It's all a matter of the colour of the skin, the taste in the mouth, and what the pips look like. It all seems very easy to Eric, but for the rest of us, the nuances are often very subtle!

 

Unique wine gifts in the Rhone Valley

 

Whilst tasting the grapes, we took sample bunches from a number of different vine plots of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Syrah. We then mixed these together in the cellar to estimate the sugar levels and hence the potential volume of alcohol of the wine, if it were blended with these three grape varietals. It's quite a simple technique, but one that has to be repeated often and for each plot during the harvest time, to ensure the quality of the juice and of the wine that it will produce.

 

How to be a winemaker hands on gift in the Rhone valley

 

We finished the day by tasting the grape juice produced from the Viognier vine plot, which had started its fermentation two days beforehand. It was still very sweet, but had already started to fizz a little. After a few words on how the estate is managed organically and biodynamically, we had spent a very full and informative day.

 

Harvets Experience present in the Rhone valley

 

Many thanks to all the participants for their questions and enthusiasm, and of course for the snip of their secateurs!

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What to get the person that has everything ?

Adopt a Vine in France and Let Them Follow the Making of Their Own Wine !

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