Anticipating Harvest 2010

Harvest is right around the corner at O’Vineyards.  I mean that literally.  If you walk past the corners of our property, you’ll be surrounded by harvesters.

We aren’t harvesting yet.  The grapes just aren’t ready here.  In several days, they will be.  But not today.

Why are the nearby neighbors harvesting?  Different philosophies.  Waiting for that last bit of maturity is relatively risky.  A sudden and heavy rain could lead to watery grapes and grey rot.  Additionally, rain could muddy up the vineyard and make it very hard to pass through and machine harvest.  Alternatively, no rain is almost worse for the guys who sell by the kilo.  As the grapes ripen in the next seven days, they are likely to lose water weight and start to shrivel up just a tiny bit.  When you see a single grape shrivel, you can assume that you’ve lost a huge amount of juice.

With these risks, why does O’Vineyards wait?  Well, we don’t mind losing juice if it means that the grapes will have that extra level of ripeness.  You can harvest now and get good grapes.  But if you wait just a tiny bit longer, you’ll get great grapes.

But we get anxious waiting and preparing.  We’re cleaning all the equipment and moving wine around so that there’s enough space to bring in this year’s 100% hand harvest.  There aren’t a lot of cool movies to film.  I’m basically just cleaning stuff.  But here is a picture just to show you even the boring parts of my life have a beautiful vineyard backdrop.

cleaning cagettes before harvest at O'Vineyards

A new facet of this year’s preharvest anticipation is how jealous I am of everybody who is started or done with their harvest (n.b. these people are in microclimates that harvested earlier this year and escape my obvservations regarding the nearby neighbors mentioned above).  My web efforts have brought me much closer to a lot of estates in the Languedoc-Roussillon and around the rest of the world.  And a lot more people are bringing the harvests online.

It’s oddly distressing to have to watch all these harvests progressing just an hour’s drive away from here.  But it’s okay.  We can form a club of late bloomers.  The tardives climates.  The medium to high altitude vineyards.  I was commiserating with Castelmaure high up in the Corbieres who look like they’ll start even later than me.  I think most of the work getting done so far in the Cabardes estates is limited to white grapes (which aren’t actually included in the classification).

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
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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.