Harvest 2016 gets underway…

September 16, 2016 at 12:10 pm

After a long, dry summer Harvest 2016 is underway here at Domaine Boutinot, Cairanne. It’s a busy time so here are just a few pictures from the past few days……

Syrah hand picked into baskets

Our team, armed with secateurs and small baskets started picking Syrah on the 13th September at La Ruche and La Truffiere, two plots which lie in front and behind our cellar on the slopes above the village of Cairanne, before moving to Les Garrigues further down the plane.

Luckily, here in Cairanne (in the Southern Rhône) we seem to have escaped the natural disasters – severe spring frosts and devastating hail damage – borne by other areas of France. Here it’s been hot and dry; the Mistral has been blowing and we’ve a healthy crop without disease.

Grapes are carried to the cellar in small red baskets, used to prevent bruising the fruit.

Then into the hopper, guided by Marinda Kruger Van Eck who’s come to help with the harvest.

Then it’s into the tronconiques, 6,000l oak vats, to wait for fermentation to begin…

Our winemaker Julien (Dugas) and Marinda get going with ‘remontage’ – circulating juice from the bottom of the tronconique to wash the grapes at the top and prevent the ‘cap’ from drying out. We allow a slow fermentation so this will become a regular ritual for the next month.

Ever wondered what French winemakers eat at the end of a hard day harvesting?

To  see our Harvest 2016 as it happens, follow us on Twitter @BoutinotRhone