Chateau Bauduc – harvesting in the dark, with pics

This is an email we sent to everyone on our mailing list – do sign up for our missives in the box above on a computer, or below on a mobile.

night-harvest-5-of-31Another weekly update on what’s happening at Bauduc doesn’t really rank up there with Bake Off and Brangelina but we thought we’d keep you up to date with our harvest news and the latest photo album.

After last week’s hand picking, this was ’harvesting in the dark’ week. There are a few reasons for picking Sauvignon Blanc by machine before dawn. Firstly, the grapes and the juice come in nice and chilly, with less risk of oxidation. Secondly, the other chateaux who hire our man Guy and his machines rarely start before 8am, so we can usually make up our minds about what to harvest at the last minute. (Guy, you see, is from the Charente and he’s that rare sort of Frenchman who wants to bill for as many hours as possible.)

night-harvest-12-of-31Thirdly, we leave the cold juice and the skins together in the ’skin contact’ tanks for the rest of the day, before pressing off the juice in the evening. We think that extra time brings flavour to the wine, as long as you have good grapes in the first place. Those specially adapted tanks are then free for the following day’s harvest.

Version 2Finally, you need a team that’s slightly bonkers, and we fit that description quite well. We’ve kicked off before 5am most mornings, so the juice has come in at around 9°C, before the sunny daytime temperatures shoot up into the mid-20s – it’s 27°C this Saturday.

img_3263If you’re interested in what’s happening with the Bordeaux harvest in general, I wrote this article ’Bordeaux 2016 – refreshment at last’ – for Jancis Robinson’s website and for Liv-ex, the leading fine wine exchange. It includes the fascinating weather chart below.

005153_rain-temp-apr-sept-2016-4-jrHave a good weekend. We’re harvesting on Saturday and Sunday morning so do follow us on Twitter and Instagram for pics on the fly.

With this photo gallery, you can tap, touch or click on a photo to enlarge it and for a description, then use the < arrows > to scroll through. Then use the X (top left) to exit.