Hi All

Winter is here. the weather has turned nice and clear and cold. The vines have dropped all their leaves, and winter pruning is now done.
This heavy pruning removes all the year’s growth – back to 4 or 5 arms, which allows the vine to re-shoot next spring. In addition, by selecting the branches to be trimmed vs. removed, it helps to shape the vine into the desired “goblet” shape – a wine glass shape – or – imagine your hand inverted with the fingers extended upward as though you were setting a plate on top.

In addition, I have finished digging up the old dead plants from the main vineyard. I have to get back out and work oin the “Old Vines” in the next week or two – as soon as the weather warms up just a bit to make it bearable to sit out on the backhoe in the wind.

In the winery, the work has been to get the 2010 rose (Vaucluse) and the 2009 Cotes du Rhone reserve cuvee – “Ombre du Chateau’ (trans. ‘Shadow of the Castle’) ready to go into bottles. The mobile bottling truck arrived the morning of the 7th and away we went. Hooked up the hose from my tank to the truck, loaded corks in the hopper, and bottles on the end of the line, and voila – BOTTLED WINE!

In the course of 2 /12 hours, we bottled 1500 bottles of rose and 1500 bottles of the reserve. Wine is resting now, and should be ready for labels and then release by February.

On the personal side, I had to send my US Passport to Marseilles to get it renewed at the Consulate. It takes about 3 weeks, so for the moment, I am With Out Papers. So I need to be sure to mind my manners while I wait.

All for now. Stay Warm