Sunday, September 14, 2014

Harvest 2014 Chapter 1

The 2014 Domaine Jones harvest is well underway and we have harvested all of the white grapes – grenache gris, grenache blanc, macabeu and muscat and they are all safely in vat.  When I say we, I mean our fantastic team of harvesters which this year included some old favourites as well as some surprise pickers from Thanet. 

The white harvest has been abundant – large juicy bunches of grapes compared to the small meagre bunches of 2013 harvest.  Even in this generous harvest our yields remain relatively small (25hl/ha) and although quality is more important than quantity here at Domaine Jones there is always something very satisfying about harvesting large bunches of healthy grapes.

We were very fortunate to have a visit from some of the members of the Thanet Wine Appreciation Society at the beginninig of the harvest.  Not only can they now recognise the different grape varieties but they made light work of harvesting the first vineyard of grapes in Tuchan. 

We had a very enjoyable 2 days, ate and drank far too much and became very attached to the bunches they picked.  So much so that I am sending regular updates just to let them know how the wine is coming along.  A little bit like sending pictures of a new member of the family !

I always forget just how physical the harvest is.  In the winery it is non stop !  Lifting crates of grapes into the press, carting hoses and buckets round the winery, screwing and unscrewing pipes, cleaning, brushing and rinsing presses, pumps and destalkers.   I get my annual fix of excercise and love the physical challenge but I may not be saying that by the end of the harvest.

The press is now sparking clean as we wait for the reds to come in.  I must say though that up to now we have been very fortunate with the weather – an indian summer, sunshine, smiles and a fridge full of ice cooled beers.  BUT there are clouds on the horizon – literally !  The weather for next week is rain, rain and then a little more rain.  This is bad news and we can only hope that the north wind makes an appearance sooner rather than later to chase away the mass of humid, wet clouds.  Perhaps the weatherman has got it wrong – as is so often the case here – here’s hoping !