Languedoc Vine Report #18. July 31st

It’s HOT. This Vine Report is going to be a short one. I haven’t the energy to walk far. My apologies to readers who look forward to lots of new photos of what’s happening in the vineyards. However, here’s this week’s photo of our chosen vine, Mademoiselle Merlot.

Merlot vine

Merlot on the turn

The sun is beating down as I stand beside the vines to take the picture. I think I might have been a little weary – it isn’t the best picture I’ve taken. My hands must have been shaking; it’s a little fuzzy. Blame it on the Féria wine.

It’s too hot to walk much further for more photographs. Fortunately, it’s only a short step to take a picture of the other vines we’ve been watching.

Across the road in the next vineyard, Chardonnay vines are plump.

Chardonnay vine

Chardonnay grapes looking lush!

Chardonnay grapes are used in Languedoc’s bubbly – Crémant de Limoux. Sometimes called Blanquette depending on who’s making it and where, it’s champagne in all but name.

Blanquette bubbly

lubbly bubbly!

We tasted quite a lot of it during the Féria. It’s a great drink for celebrations.

After the three hectic bull-packed days of the Féria, we’re all feeling a little worn as well as more than a little warm. Temperatures have held at the mid-thirties these last two weeks with nights not dropping below 26 degrees.

And the HUMIDITY! Don’t talk to me about the humidity. The Marin brings cloud from the Mediterranean and locks in the heat like a blanket. There’s no escape. Visitors from England learn why we close the windows and fasten the shutters.

Why are you living in the dark indoors? they ask from their sun beds as their skin turns red and crinkly.

For the relief of it, we tell them.

Humidity can be a huge problem in the vineyards.

Powdery mildew is a white fungal growth affecting the leaves and fruit. Affected parts may become yellow and distorted, and the mildew may kill small areas of plant tissue which falls away leaving small holes. The fungi are most prevalent in dry soils but where the air is humid. Plants suffering from drought stress are more likely to be affected. So, the growers have been out spraying and trimming again.

vines

looking toward the village

It’s a relief to reach the shade of home.

lonely bench

lonely bench

In the square outside our gate. Where is everybody? Hiding from the sun.

Home

a welcome sight

Ah! Home! Anybody fancy a cold beer?

Cheers! A bientôt!

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