May 17th, 2009

Hi to all

Well, summer has come to the Cotes du Rhone. It has been mostly sunny for the last month – we got rain for a day last week – and the temperatures are rising. And with all the nice weather, the vines are growing very nicely. In the morning sun, as was pointed out to me, the vines almost glow.

So far this spring/summer we have done the spring pruning – l’ebourgeonnage – which is pulling the small suckers and noon-vertical shoots off. It also is the thinning in the middle to allow better air flow. You can see in the picture above how upright all the plants growing – that’s the positive result.

Also, over the last 2 weeks…with a BIG help from friends – Thank you Tim and Melissa – the planting of all the new replacement plant – les petite plants – is now done – about 400 in total. We planted grenache, cinsault, mouvedre, and syrah. The grenache on the left was planted about 2 weeks ago, and you can see that it is coming right along. The blue mesh is to keep the rabbits away – just like we did for the small plants earlier in April. When the plants are this young,l it is REALLY important that the rabbits don’t get to them to allow them to get a good start.

In the winery, sales are slow. Its not quite “Tourist Season” and the drive-by traffic is minimal. On a positive note, however, we did get all the Cotes du Rhone red wine bottled – about 600 cases.

It now sits quietly awaiting its official release, which I have set for the first Saturday in June (the 6th). I will be sending out an announcement, like I did for the rose, next week. Hopefully that will increase interest. Many of the Julien’s previous customers were red wine buyers only, so I am hoping that will be the case again.

Also – we have NEW – MAYBE- GOOD NEWS!!!! Last month, when I was in Seattle, I met with a local distributor about importing the red wine into Washington. I am pleased to say that they liked the wine well enough to continue discussions on how we might do so. I have set aside some of the wine – without labels and capsules -(labels and capsules are different for the US than for in France) – until we can reach an agreement. BUT – it looks promising (thank you, thank you, thank you Tam) – and we could have wine into Seattle by the fall. Wouldn’t that be cool!!!!!

Not much else to report for today. Its Sunday, so I am thinking about a drive down to the coast today – maybe Cassis – for some afternoon sun and a lovely seaside lunch.

You all be good out there.