Cedars Lost in the Storm

We lost several trees in the storm last friday night, including the ancient and beautiful cedar at the farmhouse. It’s a great shame, and the view from the house won’t be the same without it. It’s going to be a hell of a job to clear it all up, and we’re already a bit behind with the winter pruning. The tree has fallen across the vines, which have just been pruned.

What’s strange is that I’d planted a little corner of different varieties for test purposes right here – chardonnay, riesling, viognier, chenin blanc, pinot noir, syrah and so on. All completely illegal of course under French appellation law* but the vines are clearly identified, ahem, as being part of the garden, not the vineyard. The huge branch has fallen right across the chardonnay. So there is a God, or at least one who’s on the side of the people who make the rules.

Another cedar has come down on the right hand side of the drive as you head towards the château. The uprooted base is absolutely massive, towering above 5 year-old Tom, and the vulnerability of cedar trees, with their shallow root systems, is clear to see. Once they’ve toppled over, that is.

* We’re only allowed to grow merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, malbec, petit verdot, and carmenère for the reds, and sauvignon blanc, sémillon and muscadelle for the whites. Pinot noir and chardonnay, the red and white varieties respectively in Burgundy, for example, are strictly verboten in Bordeaux. It’s all about typicity and terroir, you see.