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A sunny harvest in the Languedoc-Roussillon

The harvest has at last started in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France. Last Saturday we welcomed our apprentice harvesters of the 2013 vintage at Domaine Allegria.

Ghislain and Delphine d'Aboville, the winemakers, recount the day:

We had to delay the Harvest Experience Day this year by 8 days due to the cold spring that slowed the growth of the vines. At the beginning of September, we were 15 days behind last year. In 2012, we harvested our Roussanne vines on the 29th August. This year, we had to wait until 10 am on the 14th September for the first snip of secateurs on this plot.

 Harvest Grappes French Vineyard

The grapes had started to have a nice brown and golden colour, a sign that they were now ripe. The grape bunches are carefully cut and transported in 15kg crates to be stocked next to the press. The temperature remained fairly mild, not going over 23°C. So much the better because it is preferential to press the grapes when it is relatively cool to avoid the risk of oxidation.

 Harvest French Wine Producer Tasting

Once the entire plot had been harvested, we headed back to the winery for a well deserved lunch prepared by Delphine. Accompanied of course with a tasting of all the wines produced by Domaine Allegria!

 Harvest Wine Storage

During this time, the crates of Roussanne waited patiently in the shade next to the press. In the afternoon each of the participants carried the crates and emptied them into the press, and by mid afternoon, it was filled with our day's harvest.

 Harvest Wine Storage Winery

One hour and fifteen minutes later of pressing gave birth to 2000 litres of Roussanne which will be fermented in oak barrels.

 Harvest Wine Tank Winery

Many thanks to Ghislain and Delphine for their very hospitable welcome, and to our apprentice winemakers for their enthusiasm!


  • Nous nous sommes tres bien amuses pendant le jour de vendange. Il faisait tres chaud (pour nous pauvres anglais) mais l'experience de couper les raisins (et aussi le doigt) etait agreable et on se sentait partie du proces entier de produire le vin.

    Le repas etait delicieux et la degustation tres agreable. Tant de vins. tant de choix!

    Et puis nos vignes adoptes! Apres ca, la chance de jeter les raisins dans les grands containers avant de voir le jus couler dans le grand tonneau.

    Ghislain et Delphine: Merci beaucoup pour un experience unique!

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