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Caronne Ste-Gemme Vendange Report

We’ve just posted the latest staff article over on majestic.co.uk. Piers Marter, who only joined Majestic a few months before the trip, writes about his experiences helping with the harvest at Château Caronne Ste-Gemme in Bordeaux.

Thinning the crop at Château Caronne-Ste-GemmeThe opportunity to spend a week helping with the vendange is one of the more unusual staff “benefits” at Majestic. A week-long working holiday helping in the vineyard and winery might sound idyllic but the vintage is a time of intense activity at wineries and these trips can involve some pretty back-breaking work.

It’s interesting that Piers notes how late the harvest was in Bordeaux. The region experieced a similar pattern of weather to our own summer – a record-breaking April, then a disappointing high summer followed by a long, dry early autumn. The reports we’re getting in advance of the Bordeaux 2007 en primeur campaign all emphasise how important it was to leave the grapes on the vine as long as possible to benefit from this Indian summer effect; François and his team at Caronne were unsurprisingly on the ball.

The harvest at the Chateau began two days before we left and the estate burst into frenetic activity. Some grapes were hand picked and others were machine picked. The quality of the crop was high, vindicating Francois’s decision to harvest late.

Myself and several colleagues will be visiting Bordeaux in early April for the annual round of en primeur tastings and reporting back as often as possible on this blog.