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The 2019 harvest of cinsault grapes in the Languedoc


We spent a very enjoyable day harvesting the grapes under the bue sky in Domaine Allegria’s plot of cinsault vines.  It was a plot that had unfortunately suffered from the heatwave on the 28th June, so the quantity was reduced, but there were still enough grapes to keep us busy!

 

Meet an organic winemaker in teh Languedoc area France

After the introductions and instructions on how to harvest, we were each given a pair of harvesting secateurs, and we started to pick the grapes and put them in the crates.

Grape picking experience in Languedoc, France

We quickly got into the routine, and by midday we had finished the plot. We had picked 1200 kg, compared to 2500 kg in 2017 for the same plot, less than half the quantity.

Harvest Day experience in Languedoc, France

We then headed back to the winery, where Delphine, the winemaker had prepared a delicious lunch, centred around the old variety tomatoes that had been grow in the winery’s garden, and of course tasted the different wines throughout the meal.

harvesters' lunch at domaine Allegria in Languedoc, France

After lunch, we headed to the fermentation hall to put our harvest into a stainless steel vat. We first emptied the crates into the de-stemming machine to separate the grape berries from the stems.

Wine-making experience in Languedoc, France

The grapes then continued their journey into the vat, and we then washed the emptied crates. In 30 minutes we had put all of the grapes into the vat and all of the materiel was cleaned, thanks to our enthusiastic and efficient team of apprentice winemakers that we would like to have with us every day in the cellar!

Harvest experience in the chai in Languedoc, France

The day ended with a walk in the vineyard and a visit to see our adopted syrah vines. The grapes from this plot will be blended with the neighbouring mourvèdre grapes to make the Tribu d’A wine. The grapes had already been harvested because they had reached optimum maturity, and once that has happened, you can’t wait any longer!

Comments

  • A fantastic day at Domaine Allegria where our hosts looked after us royally and showed us that being a winemaker is a great job that brings together lots of technical skills to plant the vines, nurture them, harvest the grapes, and manage the wine-making process in the cellar until bottling, when you get the reward of tasting the fruit of all that labour.

    I started the day with a bad back, so I tried out a new harvesting technique, to the surprise of Ghislain, by sitting or lying under the vine to pick the grapes. It’s a little unusual, but you get to see all of the grapes from underneath, which isn’t so easy when picking them from above.

    Admittedly I wasn’t as efficient as some of my colleagues, but I was happy to do my bit throughout the day, and loved the harvester’s lunch which was delicious.
    Many thanks to Ghislain, Delphine, and their children for their welcome, patience, and all their explanations. Our bottles of Allegria will be even more cherished now!

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