The lovely, dry weather gives us the double benefit of waiting for the grapes to ripen and the chance for us to ditch any bunches which are affected by botrytis or rot before they are picked. As well as Nelly, Daniel and Samira, we’ve got Clementine (right) and Ronan staying with us to help out. This week we’ve been snipping away at the white grapes – the sauvignon blanc and the semillon.
It’s chilly and dry in the mornings, which helps to stop any rot spreading, but jackets are off later in the day.
Meanwhile, it’s my job to taste the grapes, check on their condition, watch the weather forecast, and decide when to pick each parcel. The white crop is well down as I have reported before but the quality has markedly improved in most blocks thanks to the dry spell since the 13 September.
The rot on this bunch stopped just in time – much more rain and it would been too unripe and acidic, and the rot would have spread. But now the grapes taste great – well, not the actual one I’m fingering here. Notice how tightly packed the grapes are in a bunch of sauvignon blanc. Now imagine lots of rain being pumped up by the vine, dilution of the flavours, grapes bursting at the seams, rot spreading in the damp conditions…