Wednesday September 24 2014 - So far so good
The harvest is going very well. We have not had any rain so far, and actually ideal conditions to pick the grapes. The weather is good, during the day around 25 degrees and cloudy with no rain. We get wonderful grapes. The quality is very good and there are many to pick. It looks very good this year. We had sun and rain at the right times and there we have been spared of hail and rain. We are now trying to catch up as quickly as possible because the weather can quickly turn arounnd and the grapes are very ripe. If it starts raining hard then the grapes just drop from the branches.
Last week a car suddenly landed upside down in the vineyards. The Portanelle road had been asphalted road and there was quite some loose gravel laying on the road. Someone probably took a bend too fast. Five vineswere damaged but luckily the driver was not hurt.
This month our Château de l'Horte Corbières Sélection de la Portanelle is Wine of the month at PLUS supermarkets. A delicious full-bodied red wine with a flavor of ripe red fruit and a little spice. Excellent wine for Dutch dishes like pulled pork with potatoes and green beans with pasta or cheese. If you buy 5 bottles this month at PLUS Supermarkets you get 1 free.
Meanwhile, we have welcomed many customers of Château de l'Horte. This week Kees Poiesz of Poiesz Supermarkets in Friesland and Groningen visited us and he enthusiastically helped with the picking of the Carignan grapes. Jan Verbeeten from the PLUS Verbeeten stores include Malden and Overloon was back in action and helped us to pick grapes we use for the Corbières wines that are sold at PLUS supermarkets.
Bottling is meanwhile continuing. We have a number of special projects bottled and put on a transport, like C1000 entrepreneur Hans van Leeuwen. He sold his stores to Jumbo Supermarktets and as a thank you for his customers he has ordered wines with custom made labels from us. Also we've been working on a nice label for the 950th anniversary of Sliedrecht for Albert Heijn in Sliedrecht. Fun projects with fine wines.
We expect to be working on picking the grapes until the weekend, after that we return to the vineyards to maintain them. And in the cellars we will be busy with the processing of the grapes. Never a dull moment here in Montbrun!
Thursday September 18 2014 - The harvest has started
The harvest started last Wednesday. We started with the old Grenache vineyard on the Allee Romantique. The weather looked threatening, but eventually we began to pick the grapes under a radiant sun. In areas around us as especially in l'Herault the storm was very heavy while hail and thunderstorms moved very slowly over the area. With disastrous consequences for the harvest there. There have been a lot of flooding and much damage.
The Grenache is beautifully ripe and full of juice. This year e work with eight pickers and two carriers. We want to bring the harvest inside as soon as possible, now the weather is so unstable and so we have a larger group than usual.
Meanwhile, other work continues. We have made a custom labels for magnum bottles which are packed in wooden cases for one of our customers. Many of our customers will also come over to experience the harvest. Leen Hoogvliet of Hoogvliet supermarkets even came to help with the harvest! We will continue this week with the Syrah and Cinsaut. Now we keep our fingers crossed for good weather.
Saturday September 13 2014 - Vendange!
The harvest of 2014 is about to begin! We start after the weekend as we are still waiting for the final push that the sun is going to give the grapes the coming days. This gives us just a little more maturity and sugars in the grapes and we are waiting for the ultimate time to start picking. Maximo has arrived again with his team in Montbrun. Like every year, Maximo and his team comes over for a few weeks to work with us in Montbrun. They know the vineyards through and through, and know exactly which clusters they can pick and which are not ready to be picked yet.
Sometimes a bunch of grapes has been damaged by the sun, it is not mature enough, or other abnormalities, and these won't be used to make wine. This selection takes place in the vineyard itself. And then it is necessary that we work with experienced pickers such as Maximo and his team. We will begin with the Grenache grape variety, which is the first one to be ripe this year. There are a number of vineyards with old vines Grenache, which we will pick first, these vineyards are often over 80 years old.
In the coming weeks we will regularly post the latest news about the harvest on this page. With actual photos as well. If you have any questions about the harvest, you can send a message to Paul.He will answer your email as soon as possible.