Mother Nature's Fertilizer

Georgeous and Beneficial to the vines: the locals say snow provides Nitrogen.

It’s a day off for everyone and especially for the winemakers….we are spending the day in front of the fireplace…sampling some O’wines! .. could be worst!

welcome to week 3 of winemaking 101. To begin this episode I would like to apologize for my often inept ability to convey my thougths clearly  in writing. It has been brought to my attention that the  literary  skills, I aquired at U-Mass Dartmouth sometime back in the 70’s, may be deteriorating a bit. I have promised myself to make a more conscience effort from this point forward but what the hell its all about the content N’EST-CE-PAS!

OK back to the vines. There has been no recognizable change in the vines this past week, probably due to the cold weather and SNOW that I wrote about last week.  I have never seen such little activity in the growth of the vines at this time of the year but things appear to be back to normal with plenty of sunshine, warm days, cool nights and steady winds.

The winds of the langaudoc region help to keep the vegatation dry which limits the risk of diseases and should limit the amount of treatments (chemicals) used on the vines.  By simply following the advice of the local chamber of agriculture  we seem to treat half as much, if not less, than other grape growers in the area.

But I digress, and the treatment story should be an entire post on its own. Anyway, although there was limited change visible in the photos this week, I have a strong feeling next week’s photos will show impressive growth. Thanks for visiting and feel free to comment.

note from Ryan: I was just driving back from Montpellier and the vines closer to the cost are like ready to lift wires (i.e. way ahead of us). It’s crazy what a huge difference there is between our medium altitude micro-terroir and the lower plains on the way to the coast.

Another post from dad as he chronicles the freak snowstorm that we had in the south of France on May 4th. SNOW IN MAY?!

This is Joe the Winemaker with a special bulletin in my continuing coverage of the O’Vineyards Merlot saga.

Normally, these blog updates are weekly. However due to the unprecedented May snow storm, you get two updates this week.

It snowed at O’Vineyards in Carcassonne on May 4th! Unheard of!

People ask, “Should red wine ever be served chilled?” I’m asking if red vines should ever be chilled! We were very worried because there is already a lot of growth on the vines and a late frost could harm them. Additionally, the heavy, wet snow that fell for over an hour could cling to the new growth and break it off. Luckily, the snow failed to cling to the young shoots.

carcassonne may snowYou can see in these photos that the snow mostly stuck to the wooden posts and to the trunks.

snow vineyard mayBy pure speculation (my son calls that “making shit up”) I am going to say the warmth of the ground and stones due to the normally warm temperatures we have experienced over the last two weeks was enough to melt the snow. Anyway, it appears the parcel of Merlot I’m blogging about has escaped any significant damage.  But we still have to see how the freeze affects growth over the coming week.

Earlier when I was still willing to leave the house.We’re experiencing a mighty snow storm these past couple days. Pruning is impossible. Snow drifts have entirely covered small sections of the vines and have blocked a few doors.

Power went out for a bit the other day because everybody in France is cranking the heat. Thankfully, we’re working off a woodstove and we could stay warm.

Most of my appointments for Love That Languedoc have been rescheduled until the roads clear up. We’re not used to this kind of snow down here. We only get a handful of snow days and it’s usually nothing serious. That’s wonderful, but it leaves us a little unprepared to clear roads and whatnot.

I hear a good freeze is good for the vines. Helps the sap run down or something. Well, the vines are chilling.

How to find us

Domaine O’Vineyards, located in the North Arrondissement of Carcassonne, is just minutes from the Carcassonne train station, the Medieval City, and the Carcassonne Airport.
GPS coordinates: 43.259622, 2.340387

Wine, Dine, Relax at our Boutique Vineyard
Unique thing to do in Carcassonne
Wine Cellar. Winery Visits. Wine Tasting.
Wine & Food Pairing

North Arrondissement of Carcassonne
885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire
11620 Villemoustaussou, France
Tel: +33(0) 630 189 910

  1. Best by GPS.
    Follow the signs to Mazamet/ Villemoustaussou using the D118. At the end of the last straight part of D118, you will come to a roundabout with the Dyneff gas station.
  2. Take the exit towards Pennautier. Continue 500m to a small roundabout and go straight over.
  3. Look out for the second road on your right, Avenue des Cévennes which curves up hill (about 1km) to Avenue de la Montagne Noire on the left.
  4. At the last juction, bear left. the road sign “Ave de la Montagne Noire” (confusing as it seems to show a right turn)
  5. After another 500m you will see our red brick color building in the middle of the vines.