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Monday, 08 September 2014 12:59

Storms during harvest!

Storms during harvest-Update!


09:00h, Friday 3 October 2014, Domaine Sainte Rose-  Update!


There has been a lot of publicity about the severe storms that have lashed the Languedoc over the past 3 weeks. Worst hit has been the eastern side of the department of the Herault, with particularly striking flooding images of the centre of Montpellier. For those vignerons and producers who had not finished harvesting and those who had not even begun it has been a hugely stressful period!


At Sainte Rose we were incredibly lucky to have all of our grapes harvested well before the storms. We started picking Chardonnay for sparkling base wine on 31 July, which is the earliest ever and had all the white varieties safely in the winery by the 15th of August. We lost no time picking our red grape varieties and all of these, for rosé and red wine, were safely in the winery by the 15th of September – phew!


Ironically, given all the drama over the weather, 2014 is looking like our best ever vintage in the 13 years we have been growing grapes and producing wine at Sainte Rose. And much as we sympathise with those badly hit by the storms, the prolific rainfall has been very good for replenishing the water reserves that had become much depleted during the very dry spring and summer. As they say, every cloud has a silver lining!


09.00h, Monday 8 September 2014, Domaine de Sainte Rose


Hail is every producer’s nightmare and over our 12 years at Sainte Rose we have thankfully never had any serious hail damage.  As I write this post, there is a storm raging right overhead in Servian and there has been what sounded like the rattle of hail.  Fortunately that fateful rattling was very short-lived and certainly not sustained enough to do any serious damage, but it has certainly done nothing to settle the nerves of the Sainte Rose team!  We had been due to harvest Mourvedre for rosé starting at 03.00h this morning, but brought it forward to 23.00h last night due to the inclement weather forecast.  The grapes were therefore safely in the winery and the work done before the storm began!  We’ll be carefully checking our remaining parcels for any minimal damage later today, but happily have already brought in all our white grapes and a significant amount of the red in what has been a very early harvest.

Published in Wine talks
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 15:52

Wacky Weather

Wacky Weather This Spring!


The weather this year has provoked much discussion in wine producing areas all over France, from early flowering worries to talk of drought, white grape shortfalls and a very early harvest.


In the Languedoc at the beginning of April the vines were about 3 weeks in advance following a period of significant rain (we received 200mls – one third of annual rainfall) and then unseasonably high temperatures.  Vine development is now more like 10-15 days in advance as the temperature then returned to normal levels for the time of year, thus slowing the growth.  


The knock-on effect of this for producers in general is bringing forward the treatment programme in line with vine development.  The biological cycle of parasites follows the weather patterns so producers need to be vigilant.  They also need to have their weed control programme firmly in place as naturally the weeds are also thriving!


At Sainte Rose the weather so far has not caused any problems as we are always vigilant!  The vines are healthy and if they continue this development then we are set for a good vintage!  There are however always surprises for which one can never be prepared, such as a localised hailstorm two weeks ago that affected some sections of our vineyards.  Happily for us there was hardly any damage to the leaves and tiny bunches that are in early development.  Others were not so lucky, a reminder that the one thing that cannot be controlled is the weather!

Published in Wine talks