At the vineyard

Long gone are the days of chemical weed and grass killer – it’s tillage time!  Properly carried out, mechanical weed and grass control improves soil aeration, the soil’s physical structure and aids water penetration. It also promotes biological activity and soil life and in turn provides nourishment to the vines.

We manage the process plot by plot. In some areas we just cut the grass and for others we simply tillage every other row to control the competition between the grass and the vine. Click here to see the action.

Winemaker masterclass

We were thrilled with all the positive feedback following our last on-line tasting, so for customers who missed it first time around, we are running two more tastings on the 27th May and 10th June.

It’ll have the same mix of amusement and information, covering topics like people, terroir, vintage and sustainability. This time we’ll be spreading the six wines over two evenings. Starting at 6pm, we expect each tasting of three wines to last around 60 minutes. Click here for more details.

 

Frost latest

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the first buds of the 2021 vintage in temperatures of 24 degrees. Then last week we watched in horror as temperatures dropped to minus 3 degrees, damaging the early buds and reminding us of the constant challenges that the weather brings.

Around 10% to 15% of the new buds of Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc were affected, but we’re hoping that a second budding will reduce the full impact on this year’s production. Some neighbours lit fires (with limited success) whilst other vineyard owners tried very expensive methods of keeping the frost from the buds: giant fans, candles, helicopter down-draught.

Sadly, there are reports that Burgundy will lose a significant proportion of the 2021 crop thanks to the cold weather.  Being a winemaker has its challenges.

2018 Reserves released

The 2017 vintages of the Reserve red and white are both drinking really well at present, as they will for many years to come.

We are now also launching these wines from the 2018 vintage. It was a tough spring with rain and high humidity bringing the risk of mildew, but that was followed by three glorious summer months and a harvest in perfect conditions.

Both the reserve 2018s are great wines, so please do learn more about them here: white & red.

Zoom new vintage tasting

I miss our wine tasting events.  The sounds of people chatting, the buzz from tasting multiple wines in a short space of time and the sense of pride from seeing so many appreciative reactions all belong to the time before Covid.

It may be foolish, but on 1st April we are going to create a virtual alternative.

Time: 18:30 – 20:00
Venue: your place via Zoom. Email richard.boden@grandmayne.net to join.

We’ll be tasting the new vintages 2018 Merlot Cabernet, 2020 Rosé, Reserve Merlot Cabernet 2018, Reserve Sauvignon/Sémillon 2018, Fusion red 2018 and Sauvignon 2019 (The new 2020 will be bottled later this year).

It will be a fun and informative evening with our winemaker Mathieu and others from the Grand Mayne team. A tasting case is available here containing the wines at only £60 (remember to log in or use DISCOUNT25 code) or you can just join in without the wines by emailing Richard here and I’ll send you the Zoom log in details.

 

Rosé 2020 available

Our 2020 Rosé was bottled a few weeks back, and has now safely arrived in our UK warehouse. I am always a little apprehensive when tasting new vintages: will it be as good as last year?

I needn’t have worried. It’s really delicious already. Close your eyes and the fresh citrussy delicate aromas evolve in to the fine red fruit of the Cabernet.

It’s got lovely balance, and yes, it made me smile. Winter evenings won’t be so dark now.

Vine Snippets

Pruning is an important element in our vineyard management for the ultimate wine,

Imposing disciplined growth patterns helps vine management, and ensures consistent yields and the healthiest, best grapes possible.  We aim to create even crop loads and a balanced leaf canopy, with enough leaves to fuel the plants, but not so many that the fruit is overly shaded.

We ensure that each vine has the right number of fruitful buds to provide the right crop level, and that the grapes have plenty of aeration to avoid fungal diseases.

At Grand Mayne we use the Guyot System, promoted by Charles Guyot in the 1860s.

This system can have one or two canes and spurs. The canes are tied to wires and the buds on the cane grow in to the vine’s canopy. This results in good leaf exposure for photosynthesis and evenly spread fruit beneath the trellis.

We pride ourselves on using modern techniques, but it’s interesting to see that we still rely on some traditional basics that have been practised for over 150 years.

Busy at the vineyard

If you have a spare 120 seconds, take a look at our video of January’s activity at the vineyard here.

We may not be allowed to leave our homes, but we can at least imagine being with Mathieu and the team amongst the vines and in the winery.

Our latest wine quiz

Test your knowledge and judgement on wine trivia, with our quick wine quiz here.

Pour yourself a glass of your favourite wine, as that’s bound to help you get the right answers.

Better still, share it with a couple of friends (socially distanced!) and see which of you scores best.  For each of the 28 statements, all you need do is call TRUE or FALSE. Any score over 25 deserves a big pat on the back, or another glass of wine …

The answers can be found here.