We picked the whites early September but then the red grapes just did not want to ripen. There’s not a lot that you can do about it. The picking team were in the starting blocks, the wild boars were digging under the electric fences, the weather threatening to break and the grapes just took their time.
To give you an idea, if we had picked the grapes at the same time as last year the alcohol would have barely reached 11% instead of our usual 14%. This in itself may not be a problem but if the skins and the pips aren’t ripe you end up with an acidic, astringent style of wine. So we just had to wait… and wait…. and wait. We tasted the grapes everyday for 3 weeks to see when that perfect picking moment was going to happen. And then yes finally it happened ! But in previous years the syrah has been the first to ripen, followed by the grenache and finally by the carignan - one considerately ripening after the other to allow us to organise the harvest. But not this year. After taking 3 weeks extra to ripen they were all ready for picking at the same time by which time most of the the pickers had gone home ! The harvest finished on the 18th October and despite all the stress and worry was well worth it - the wines are looking very good. We pump over the juice of the reds twice a day for 2 weeks and taste every day so you get to know the wines as they grow up. So a special thank you to all of you who shared in the Jones 2013 harvest experience. Not all of you managed to pick as many grapes as you may have liked but there was always plenty going on including some pretty amazing harvest meals. Also thanks to all the washer uppers and I don’t mean of dishes but of the brand new, bright blue picking baskets and in particular my Mum and Dad.
It was hard work, it was at times frustrating but to those who drove from York in a landrover discovery, those who flew half way round the world, those who took time off work and studies and those from last year who came back again for more punishment this year, MERCI BEAUCOUP you have made the Domaine Jones 2013 !