Mine’s a Merlot! Wednesday Vine Report#3

Well, of course she would have to be a Merlot, wouldn’t she? My all-time favourite red. Sensational perfume. Smooth, satisfying taste. Hits all the right notes. A symphony in a glass. Great legs. She’s a late developer. Bless.

Merlot vine

mine’s a Merlot!

Here’s what she looks like today.

Look above and slightly left of the central bole and there you’ll find the first leaf ready to unfurl. April 17th. You heard it here first. You could be looking at the next gold medallion winner.

Our wines from this region often rate very highly at the French nationals. And it’s not just the reds. The Viognier from Domaine La Baume just down the road from here came in at 13.5% and took gold last year. That was one belter of a white wine. Well, it would be at that strength, n’est-ce pas? Click on the link and take a look at their website (in English). Learn why they harvest at night. Watch the video for a brief introduction to their domaine. We always take all our visitors there for wine-tasting before you buy. Nobody has ever been disappointed.

The history of the Viognier grape is interesting. It was almost extinct in the 1960s. It’s prone to powdery mildew and might not produce high yields. Picking at exactly the right time is essential to achieve the best perfumes and strength. Here in Languedoc, Viognier tastes different from that produced further north. The vines like our heat retaining soil and dry summer. Here’s the current state of play with the whites in the next field to our Merlot.

Chardonnay vines

Chardonnay romping in April sunshine

Look more closely and you can see the tiny clusters of flowers developing.

grape flowers

tiny clusters of flowers

Grape flowers are so small you wonder how they can possibly develop into luscious fruits.

They are so inconspicuous you have to really look hard to find them.

But there they are, hiding underneath the leaves, quietly getting on with the business of growing beauties like these.

 

Viogniergrapes

Viognier grapes on the vine

Mmmm. I can taste it already. Nicely chilled. Make-your-mouth-water-juicy-fruity.

That reminds me. It’s time himself dragged out the barbecue and gave it a good clean. In fact, the sun is warm enough for sun loungers. Better make that my task while himself is occupied. When he gets back from his bike ride. (Trying to shift some weight)

Himself

himself

 

Cycling through the lanes is a great way to see the countryside. From the top of the hill there’s a sea view. Just. And the Pyrenees with Pic du Canigou the highest peak visible from here.

village cemetery

main gates

victim of WW2

never forgotten . . .

After taking this morning’s photo of my Merlot, I wandered through the gates into the cemetery. Birds were singing. There was a comfortable calm about the place. It’s always well-tended. Villagers visit their family mausoleums regularly to leave fresh flowers and messages. Everything is clean swept. Some of the mausoleums are very grand.

village cemetery

well-tended burial places

 

 

Outside the cemetery, Languedoc is bursting into life.Under cobalt skies, the land explodes into spring colour.

wild flowers

wild flowers

 

 

Between the vineyards, some fields are left uncultivated.

uncultivated fields

spring fields

 

 

 

 

 

And, looking over village houses, cemetery and vineyards, our unusual water tower.

water tower

painted water tower

Famous with Ryanair pilots. They often point it out to passengers about to land in Beziers.

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