July 31, 2011

Hi All

I know its been awhile.

Summer has come to the vineyard – the vines are doing very well. Versaison has begun, with the berries starting to turn blue and purple.Its going to be a great crop this year – the plants are healthy and the fruit set we got is great – will be a very good harvest – for all of the valley!!

As I have in years gone by, I took a day and traveled up to Nyons (known for its great olive oil !!!) – about 1 hour away – to see the Tour de France as its passed by. With no real hero to root for, it was a good chance to watch the entire peleton pass, and see just how FAST they really ride…here one minute, and gone the next!! By the time they reached this stage, Thomas Voekler, a Frenchman, was still in the maillot jeune (Yellow Jersey) and the local fans were very welcoming and supportive.

I also took a long day-trip around the country-side to catch the sites – those places that I travel past but never really stop and ‘see’.
The Luberon valley, with all its lavender in bloom and its sunflowers was a great study in colors.

And the hill-towns of the Cotes du Rhone, like Sablet, were out in fine form on this sunny day.

The new wines continue to develop. The 2010 Cotes du Rhone will be ready for the bottle shortly. Its going to be a nice well-bodied grenache, with plenty of dark red fruit. The new ‘Ombre du Chateau’ is still in barrels, and has a bit to go yet – but its develping into a very nice wine, with lots of fruit and spice. I think the 2010’s will be by far my best so far.

Meanwhile sales continue to not quite meet expectations. The 2010 vin de pays rose is selling well, but at the lower price the return is not what I would like. The 2009 reds are selling, but slowly, not unlike the 2008. And still no US importer in sight.

Must run – I have watering to do for the new plants in the vineyard. All for now.