Saturday 17 February 2024


How to say something new about the same thing every year? 

Normally I tend to focus on the things I fucked up. It’s funnier for you, easier for me, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that news must be bad to make it into the papers or on tv.

But I'm a new me! And for this report I won’t. Not that things didn’t go wrong (like the barrel I blew up), just that all the really important things went right.

I’m not talking about the wine. I can’t if I’m not allowed to talk about how I tried to ‘clean’ 1000L of mouse through fermentation by adding a bit into oh you know just about every tank and multiplying my problem by oh I dunno around 9***.

For the same reason I’m not allowed to talk about how I turned all my red wines pink, or how on the first night of using my new-old press I turned a (thankfully) not essential part of it into scrap iron. And I already fucked it up by telling you about the barrel. It’s fine, I have a table now. 

Obviously my life would be a lot more chill if I wasn’t sitting on 90hl of maybe or mini-mouse. And I quite like red wines that are red so it’s a shame that mine aren’t. But it’s just wine! No matter what I do they will always do their own thing, which is a) better for them and b) I prefer drinking others’ anyway! The juice behind is clear and good. The maybe-mouse might not manifest and the mini mouse will go away.

— stops to pray — 

More important to me than what wines I made is how harvest 23 consolidated something I was already suspecting: that my wines most most important purpose is making me friends for life.

People come and go often from all over and that’s great, but there are also those who, even though they’re gone, are there to stay. In touch, in spirit, in the little things left in my life, the totems in my chai. Already in 22 I couldn’t believe my luck for the people who came to help, but this year I realised that while I’m lucky, maybe two years in a row is not luck. Maybe it’s just how it CAN be. Anyway, it’s how I believe making wine should be. Collective, with many captains, ideally with me not doing any work. 

But maybe you aren’t interested in all that and would like the stats. Here are some things that come to mind:

I welcomed people for work into an actual chai. I had my two press running at the same time at least once. I have a pump. This year I rented the truck for a whole month. We were a team of 8 on rotation and we made NINE THOUSAND LITRES (yes yes, of mouse). We slept in the van. We slept in vines. I slept in the chai. Meg is the BEST cook, Mattis wasn’t bad. You too Aimé. We swam, we painted, we bottled, we packed. We had German pils, fancy coffee, Italian snacks. We had an SB 16/20 and a resident deejay. I don’t really remember what we did to each wine but I remember how much I laughed. 

For pictures, see here.

1. Viognier (and 500kg of Muscat. Re-passed over Gamay = mine is now red!)

Mattia Carfagna. We had a chauffeur and a transpalette that weighs shit and 11T refrigerated truck = chillest harvest ever plus delivery with Americanos on the beach after. I swear it took until my second reading for me to see the pun.

2. Sauvignon Blanc

Sylvain Saux. Swam in the sea. Police gave me a warning for nudity. Craziness huh nudity on a beach. Three of us slept in the van in the cold. Picked in the rain! Ate a lot of figs! Meg packed us rice balls! Picking 1.2T took until 16h bc of all the mildew = verrrryy slow. Future name: SB 7/7?

3. Syrah

Rita-Rita leaves so it’s just me and j-dog and the best tuna-tomato casse-croute in the shade outside of MADA’s gate, ever. Seb, we met you at Orfenor for your briefing beers later! Speeding ticket number one. Whole grapes, 10 days.

4. Viognier

From the same producer, same 400km away, same highway two days later. Another killer road-side sun-set snack-dinner. Limp Bizkit! The Offspring! Le Cousin’s Le Franc! Press direct bc off-ripe. First (last?) time I had three men in my press.

5. Cinsault

Left for the south at 18h and slept in the vines under a full moon which sounds romantic but (not)sleeping with a lamp over your head is not. Speeding ticket 2. Carried out 1.7 tonne. Rows v v long. Mattis there when we get home.

6. Pinot Noir

The home-grow was down to 7 caisse this year, picked in a million degree heat. Pressed by candlelight with four caisse of Gamay.

7. Grenache

Same as in A toi nous from across their road except theirs is good and mine is f*****. The part that isn’t was pressed direct and is the bod of Hot Girls 3. Fried chicken for lunch.

8. Gamay d’Auvergne

Manuel Duveau and Nicholas Lebleu-grown plus thanks to Felix, Yanis, Victor and Zach for the extra hands. Got drunk! 

9. More cinsault

From Gerald Oustric who says it’s “pour le proche” samedifference as me calling it ploussard from the south. We kill a lot of time on the tractor, then a lot of time at lunch. Good thing Ardéche is close! Truck over-loaded. Cokes on the road. 

***dear my distributors: please still distribute me?

My <3 to: Rita, Meg, J-dog, Seb, Holly, Nicoline, Mattis for all of you. Orfenor for being the halfway house for my krew. Lisa and Paul for their contact, Aimé for his when two of mine cancelled, and to all the growers for doing what I couldn't do. Thank you. 


Harvest report 2021

Harvest report 2022

© ( :. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig