every day a little bit more

As I told you in my last post, it’s not yet wine – but while the natural yeasts are going ahead in transforming grape sugar into alcohol, it’s getting more wine-like every day. The saccharometer is indicating less sugar left to transform every day – the cap of stems and grape skins comes up more and more easily, pushed by the gas formed during the transformation, and my work of “pigeage” becomes easier, as it gets softer in the process…

half way through fermentation

half way through fermentation

The color is beautiful, a deep velvet like purple red – and even if it’ s still rather sweet, you can detect more complex fruit aromas and some tannins – yes, our 2009 – even if it’s not a big quantity, is on its way to become a real wine – a mystical moment, which brings back a smile on my face after all the previous deception

You can find a beautiful article about white juice with the usual gorgeous pictures on Bert Celce’s webside – just another color and a bigger cellar:-)…

after the harvest: cellar work

Well, keeping your fingers crossed didn’t really help – as we didn’t have any rain since my last post, all our co-habitants around our vineyard doubled up in love for our grapes and braved the fences – badgers and wild boars were joined by roe deer, who couldn’t find any fresh grass – and they all enjoyed our juicy, sweet grapes…

No new photos of the massacre, just so much: we will have not enough grapes, to elaborate our three distinct wines in 2009 – there will be a “passe tout grain” – a mixture of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, Petit Verdot and Mourvedre – but I doubt, that it will “be an uncomplicated, fruity wine intended to be consumed young” as they tell about the Burgundy passetoutgrain AOC in the wikipedia article…

grape juice 2009

You can see the already intensive color and the potential alcoholic degree on our “mustimetre” or must weight. Ours is the classical French model “Dujardin” – I think, in English, it’s called a saccharometer – not yet the modern refractometer – and it showed potential 15 for the juice before fermentation started in our smallest stainless steel vat.

In the meantime, fermentation started and I enjoy taking a glass each day, before I crush the “chapeau de marc” – the cap, that is build by grape skins and stems (we don’t destemme our grapes) on top of the juice by stumping it down into the liquid with a heavy piece of wood. This helps to extract more color and tannins and keep the fermentation with our natural yeasts going…

not yet wine...

not yet wine...

ty it up and keep it clean…

Flowering goes on, even the Mourvedre started and our first heat wave (86 F /30 C) during the last days helped our sulfur spraying to do it’s work – no oidium (powdery mildew) on the leaves, and a heavy wind prevented mildew so far, so no copper spraying not yet needed.

The vines are not only growing, they seem to be shooting up every day – and they are looking for support where they can find it:

tendril 1

tendril 1

Each has it’s individual way to take hold of the wires with a hard grip

tendril 2

tendril 2

or more graceful and you never find the same constellation twice

tendril 3

tendril 3

and they are even inventive, when the space seems already taken.

tendrils mariage

tendrils mariage

and where there is no wire, they work together in mutual help…

Some of the upright Mourvedre plants are already higher than me (which is not so difficult…:-)… and as this is a grape variety with vigorous stems which don’t bend easily to the ground, we can keep them without wires or trellis systems as individual plants and they are formed and pruned in the socalled gobelet (goblet) system, typical for many vineyards of the South of France. You will learn a lot more about them next winter, when you may accompany me on my long and lonely pruning days in the vines…

Mourvedre behind Lisson farmhouse

Mourvedre behind Lisson farmhouse

As you can see easily, we have to continue the “cleaning” of the vineyard, which started already early this spring,and consists in brushcutting the natural herbs and flowers, before they become a source of humidity, which would once again spread fungus to easily to the leaves and the fruit, if aver we have a rainy period. No tractor possible in our steep vineyards and narrow terraces, and as we would never use chemical weedkillers on our land, this is never ending hard work.

Klaus started behind the house early in spring

brushcutting

brushcutting

Then we went on to the upper terraces with Pinot Noir, which is an early “starter” among our grape varieties – also trained in gobelet shape, but with individual wooden poles, to bind up its much more supple stems later in summer.

Pinot clean

Pinot clean

And as we had some rain in May, he has to restart the work downhill again…

terrasses of Les Echelles and oliv trees on a sunny morning in june

terrasses of Les Echelles and oliv trees on a sunny morning in june

a never ending story as so many things in nature and agriculture…

Wine meets Web – our first winery-blogger meeting an OFF during Vinexpo 2009

Even if the lissondiary in it’s English version is a real newcomer on the Web, blogging about Lisson and our wines has already been a part of my life for quite a long time now. All started with a French version nearly 4 years ago, soon followed by a German one, as one of my fellow winemakers, Thomas Lippert, known to his German public as the as the Winzerblogger, complained about not being able to read my French texts. So I started weingut-lisson – Tagebuch einer Winzerin in autumn 2005.

Both blogs and their different readers (finally from all over the world in the meantime, as I can learn from my Cluster maps), not only improved our contact with people, who loved (and occasionally bought) our wines, but also led to some real Internet-friendships with other blogging winemakers all around France and Germany.

We all enjoy comparing our work in the wines, follow the pictures from different regions, see what the plants look like in Champaign, Bordeaux or the Beaujolais, at the Mosel-River or elsewhere… try to encourage those who had bad weather or congratulate each other for rewards and even taste our exchanged wines…

Logo: winemaking bloggers event OFF

Logo: winemaking bloggers event OFF

So I didn’t hesitate for a moment, when some of them proposed, to join together for the first meeting of blogging winemakers (vignerons blogueurs) during the coming VINEXPO at Bordeaux and we started preparing ou OFF Event at Château Luchey Halde, at Mérignac, on monday the 22th of June 2009.

From 11 in the morning up till 7 pm we invite all our readers, professional journalists, wine bloggers, merchants and importers to come to meet us and meet the faces behind our blogs – and do, what we can’t yet offer on a blog: taste our wines:-)!

If you are around Bordeaux at that moment and interested to discover this bunch of 21 winemakers from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, you’re welcome.

You can find the complete list of the participants and all further information in English on this page

Or go to our common blog, where you’ll find a map, showing where we come from, another one, where to meet us and all our answers to a short interview about our blogging experiences (in French).

http://blogsetvignerons.over-blog.com/

the delicat aroma of flowers

A new delicious smell in the middle of honeysuckle, old roses, red valerian, broom and other flowering companions, which color the small bouquets I bring back from my vineyard:

flowers from a walk through the vineyard

flowers from a walk through the vineyard

it’s delicate, pure, it has to be the event, we are waiting for at this time of the year: the wines start flowering.

flowering Chenin

flowering Chenin

I follow my nose – that should not yet be the Mourvedre, known as rather late, directly behind our house – but my nose directs me in the field. And now I see them: some wines of Chenin and another “stranger”, which I would’nt find in the small edition of the ampelographer’s bible written by Pierre Galet . it’s one of our rare plants of Carmenere, which we multiplied ourselves by grafting some wood we took at the ampelographic collection of Domaine Vassal at Marseillan about 15 years ago.

As it is a near parent of Cabernet Franc, I continue my ascension up the terraces of our Echelles de Lisson – Lisson’s ladders, to have a look, and I’m overwhelmed by the same smell. Further up, the Cabernet Sauvignon will follow his cousin soon – and Pinot end Merlot up on the hill are always early too.

wild flowers in the wines

wild flowers in the wines

I’m pleased that we had already the time to brushcut the wild herbs among the wines, were the soil is clean, you can see the wines dancing with pleasure, with their fresh green colors, without any disease for the moment.

Pinot Noir - Clos du Cure

Pinot Noir - Clos du Cure

During the flowering period, we don’t like to interfere in the wines, not to disturb this delicate moment, which is decisive for our 2009 harvest. And I have some pitiful thoughts for my colleagues in the Bordeaux and Beaujolais region, who already encountered thunder and hailstorm several times this year and have lost part of their future grapes.

Coming down again through the terraces, I have a closer look at the olive trees: yes, they too will flower soon, you can see the first timid blossom…

flowers olive trees

flowers olive trees

And in some days, the sweet chestnuts will join another aroma to our valley – omnipresent for some days

sweet chestnuts in blossom

sweet chestnuts in blossom

– it’s a pity that I can’t include all these fragrances into this blog for you:-)…