It’s been a scorcher this summer and that’s good news for wine lovers

Whilst it might have been a wet and windy summer here in the UK, down on the Côtes de Duras France has been experiencing its third hottest summer since 1990 – and that’s good news for the wines produced from this summer’s harvest. Whilst Mathieu and the team have had a hard time making sure things didn’t dry out too much, the heat has produced really healthy vines, drying up any hint of the dampness that can lead to fungus diseases and a negative impact on the grapes.

There’s no denying that it’s a fine line to walk, however. Only two weeks ago Mathieu was commenting that the “hot weather is starting to be too much for the vines”. With only scorching heat there is the worry that the vines will dry out too much and, those that survive, will provide only small fruit. However, with careful management (and some much needed rain more recently) things have turned the right way. The heat has kept the vines free from disease and the recent rain has provided much needed relief. As Mathieu was telling us this week, “now things are growing well we want dry and hot weather during the days and cool during the nights…”

We’re keeping everything crossed that we get exactly that… and we’re looking forward to this year’s crop as exceptionally good quality. We will keep you updated as the summer heads towards harvest.

What’s been happening at the vineyard this month?

News of awards, harvest and other things going on at the vineyard in August.

  •  Véraison is a viticulture (grape-growing) term meaning “the onset of ripening”. It is originally French, but has been adopted into English use. The official definition of véraison is “change of colour of the grape berries.” This month we’ve been checking that this maturation has taken place successfully and the berries have an increasing amount of sugar in them.
  • Following several weeks of heatwave, we’ve also had some much welcome rain. This has meant the team spending time checking all the vines to make sure they have remained free from disease.
  • In the cellar we’re working hard to organise things for the harvest. Fifi is fitting the harvest machine and we’re all planning the weekend for when our shareholders visit, as well as preparing barrels to rack the 2014 white and red wines.
  • Hector has joined the team to help out, as things get busier. He has been working on personalised labelling as well as running tastings in the shop.
  • We’re looking forward to hearing the results of the latest Hachette guide. We’re confident that we have received some awards but won’t know the number of stars, or the wines chosen until the end of August/beginning of September.

News of Domaine du Grand Mayne’s famous harvest weekend!

The harvest event at Domaine du Grand Mayne was one of the highlights of the event calendar for many years and now it’s back!

On the morning of Saturday 26th September you can pick up the secateurs and get grape picking before lunch and the obligatory glass or two of Grand Mayne wine. Having joined in with the harvesting, you’ll be able to relax later in the day in convivial surrounds with a celebratory meal and a steady flow of delicious wines.

On Sunday 27th you can shake off the cobwebs and join us for tours of the vineyard, a tutored tasting with Mathieu and brunch. The price for the weekend to include all food, wine, and entertainment is just £125 per person and that includes a small contribution to our favourite charity Action Against Hunger.

You may like to drive down and load up your car with your winter drinking but there are also plenty of flights available to Bergerac airport (30 mins), Bordeaux (75 mins) or Toulouse (120 mins), and we have a list of recommended gites and hotels that we can forward to you or you can find on our web site – click on the link below. Places are limited however so if you’d like to join us please contact Richard on 01256 772898 to reserve your place.