17 July, 2022
As of today, this year’s harvest will begin on September 5th. It could be preceded by the weekend of the 3rd-4th, where friends could come and help, start the proceedings in a fun kind of way. The paid harvest workers will start on the 5th. Thomas would like to have ten harvest workers who do nothing but pick grapes. Two more people could take care of the logistics in the vineyard, emptying the full buckets and filling the transport boxes.
Since it’s supposed to be hot, it might be a good idea to only harvest from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. (and in exceptional cases again from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.). The harvest should proceed quickly this year. The more sun the grapes will get, the higher the alcohol content. We will also be harvesting on Saturdays, Sundays will be free. The harvest should be finished around the 15th.
It would be good if one or two people could only take care of preparing dinner and cook for the harvest workers.
Who sleeps where? Theoretically, Thomas has space in the guest and living room, in the office and in the conservatory. One could also camp in the garden, but at the same time there shouldn’t be too many people in the house, so we’ve already looked around for holiday apartments for the picker nearby. The next-door neighbours’s holiday home will be used in any case.
Before the harvest, the cellar has to be cleaned up, which we already started last week. Various wines that are still in barrels have to be transferred to fiberglass tanks via a soutirage (racking), as we need the wooden barrels to raise the 2022 vintage. Who will clean these barrels? The external barrel cleaners from Bordeaux that Thomas hired last year, or he himself/us? The racking will take about two days, a total of three days of preparation should be enough. I might arrive on 29 August.
The first pressing will take place at noon, the second in the late afternoon. I’ll take care of the (new!) press and need to get acquainted with it first. Thomas expects at least double, if not triple the amount of grapes compared to 2019 (2020 and 2021 saw a decrease of around 50%, both compared to 2019) and has invested in a new press that will be able to process significantly more grapes. (Tanguy Perrault told me I could look forward to it – to the change in profile of Thomas’s wines that will definitely take place because of the new press. »No, that’s nothing to be afraid of, that’s exciting!«)
What else? A van must be hired. Open or closed? Open!