by Sophie Ilbert.
2018 can be recapped as such: a very, very rainy Spring that provoked coulure (the non fecundation of the flower) on our Malbec grape that, as we like to say here, is already quite "coulard" by nature.
Fortunately, we weren't submitted to the violent rain storms that can occur in Summer; it was a warm one and permitted the grapes to ripen. Around mid-August we had a mild storm which really helped the vines, most of which would have suffered greatly from drought (something that's becoming increasingly common here) had this rain not fallen.
The final days leading to harvest were perfect. Il was nice out but not too hot, with cool nights that were not humid. We began harvesting on September 17th with the Vermentino (very nice) and started with the Malbecs the following week with a great team of about 20 seasonal workers on September 24th. Every day, the same ritual: my father in law Jean-Pierre and our longest standing employee Alain in the vines with the harvest team, Julien, our new employee Alain and I (I've been 100% part of the estate since July) in the cellar to haul in the harvest. Every day, our team of 25 people ate a home-made lunch made by my mother in law Martine and her mother Roberte! Julien and I helped with the salads.
Harvest lasted 2 full weeks and ended on October 5th. Overall we are satisfied, averaging about 40hl/h. We still noticed that the vines planted on sectors of heavy limestone really did suffer from the heat wave.