The end of May, if you’ll forgive the cliché. Whatever next?
June, you say, and a fair amount of sport still. It’s also an important few weeks ahead in the vineyard as the vines have just started flowering, and this unspectacular yet critical period can potentially make or break a wine grower as it plays a huge part in determining the yield. A poor flowering and you won’t get decent bunches.
Ten years ago but it’s still in fresh in the memory. 2009 turned out to be one of the great Bordeaux vintages for reds (okay, so 2010 and 2016 and now, arguably, 2018 would sit alongside it) but for us it was close to disaster with not one but two hailstorms in May. The vines that didn’t get clobbered on the 13th May were whacked on the 25th.
We’ve been bottling again this week, bringing in the same contractor but using an even smarter machine than before. This one comes in at a couple of million euros on the back of a few trucks, with all the bits, according to Thierry Bergeon who wrote the cheque. He’s the bottling guy and the logistics partner for many of Bordeaux’s leading châteaux. And us. Keep reading
It’s Bordeaux en primeur time and 2018 is actually a vintage to get quite enthusiastic about. There hasn’t been such a great year since, erm, 2016.
The fine wine world descended on the region earlier in April and, along with thousands from the global trade and scores of journalists and critics, Gavin tasted hundreds of barrel samples.
Good Lord. The 29th of March 2019 already.
Now we’re into time added on – what in football we used to call injury time – we still don’t have an answer to the most popular question from visitors in the last two and three quarter years – ‘how will Brexit affect you?’ As Brits in France, exporters to the UK from the EU, and as importers in the UK, we’ll put some answers on a postcard in due course, once we’ve got a stronger indication as to where we’re headed.
The start of the year might seem like a quiet time yet there is so much to be done. We don’t host tours and tastings at Château Bauduc until April, so we have fewer visitors, but along with the bottling and other important tasks in and around the winery, there’s the winter pruning and preparation of the vines for the season ahead. Here’a an album of pics of the pruning, removal of old branches and the tying down of new ones.
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.
What a month. 23°C yesterday afternoon here and who’d have thought we’d need refrigerated trucks to transport our stock around in February.
Not really, but we have been busy with shifting the new vintages of our wines. The complete series is available for delivery in the UK.
Sorry to use the ugly b-word in the subject line but we thought we should let you know that we have a plan B and, all being well, this one is deliverable.
‘They are bottling early this year at Château Bauduc’ writes Jon Henley in the Guardian early next week, so our plan isn’t quite so cunning that we have to keep it a secret. We simply aim to get as much of our new wine over to our bonded warehouse near London before the Ides of March, and a considerable stash to our collection point near Calais much sooner.
Duty on wine in the UK goes up tomorrow, 1 February. More on that below but it’s one reason our new season offer will include the option of UK delivery or Calais collection – for those that want to swerve the new UK duty rate of £32 for 12, or more than £40 for a dozen sparkling.
Everything could turn out fine but, just to be sure, we’re getting a wiggle on.
It was a pleasure to welcome Jon Henley, The Guardian’s European affairs correspondent, to Bauduc last week. He was on a mission to find out more about the impact of a possible no-deal Brexit on Bordeaux wines, and his piece is scheduled to be in the paper early next week. Do look out for it – we’ll mention it on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – and we’ll link to the online version here when it’s available. (Update – it’s online here.) Keep reading
November has been a hectic month, though less so in the vineyard itself. We sometimes forget how beautiful it can be at this time of year, with the golden rows of vines set against the autumn backdrop of the woods.