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First Harvest Experience Day at Domaine la Cabotte

Last Saturday was the first time that we ran a Harvest Experience Day at Domaine la Cabotte, and here is a small resum of how it went:

09:30 For this first Harvest Experience Day at Domaine la Cabotte, the day was forecast to be cloudy, but thankfully there shouldn't be any rain before tomorrow. Ideal conditions for harvesting without getting too hot. Everybody looked motivated, we'd find out once we're in the vineyard !

  Domaine La Cabotte

Marie-Pierre, the owner of the winery along with her husband Eric, introduced us to the region and the history of Domaine la Cabotte, and explained why the harvest this year is 2-3 weeks later than in a normal year.

10:00 We started the day in the plot where the adopted vines are located to see and take a few pictures of our vines. Eric explained that the grapes are not as abundant as usual, and that they are not quite mature enough to be picked, so we headed off to another plot of white Grenache grapes lower down in the vineyard.

2013 Harvest La Cabotte 

10:30 The buckets and secateurs were awaiting us, and after Eric explained how to harvest the bunches, we spread out amongst the rows in pairs to get down to work! In the middle of the first row, the sun came out and it started to heat up. Would we get to the end?! Marie-Pierre kept our spirits up by making us think of the wine tasting and meal to come! After the first row and a quick refreshment stop, we set off to harvest a second row each - uphill this time! We must have started to get the hang of it, because we were getting much quicker, or was it in anticipation of the wine tasting?!

2013 Harvest La Cabotte

13:00 Mission accomplished in filling the two trailers with grapes. We followed them back to the chai where we emptied our harvest into the press and set it going for 2 hours of pressing. Eric reckoned that it would give about 1000 litres of juice. Whilst waiting for the press to do its thing, we quenched our thirst by tasting some of the estate's wines. We started with the Colline Ctes du Rhne white wine, made from the same plot that we had just harvested, but last year in 2012. We then tasted the Colline red and the Gabriel 2011.

Wine Tasting La Cabotte 

13:30 Under the shade of the trees, we continued the tasting with the Garance 2011, accompanied by the delicious home-made meal prepared by Marie-Pierre. We ended the meal with cheese and desert accompanied by the Sauvageonne 2012 white wine.
15h00 After the coffee and the meal, it was difficult to get going again, but the hard work was now behind us. As the press finished the last part of its cycle, Eric explained the differences between working with the harvest for white and red wines, and talked us through the first stages of fermentation. We then finished the day by tasting the juice from the grapes that we had harvested and that from another lot which had been picked a few days earlier. Having finished being pressed, the juice from our harvest was then put into a refrigerated vat. The discarded stems, skin and pips will then be taken to the distillery. Finally we had harvested enough to produce some 1500 litres of juice! 

Juice Tasting La Cabotte
Many thanks to Eric and Marie-Pierre and to all of our guests for a thoroughly enjoyable day!



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