The Summer weather has been good across southern France this year. The last time it was this good was back in 2005 which following a pleasant early autumn led to one of the best wine vintages ever. Many will wax lyrically about the extraordinaire '05, the once in a century vintage that saw shelves stripped of red Bordeaux as the world and 'their dog' clambered to get a piece of what is an impeccable wine. Is 2009 going the same way?
Spring was relatively dry. No deluges in May which can diminish yields as this is when the vines flower, unlike back in 2007 when the skies were forever opening. Of course the blame for then was put squarely at the feet of the little girl, La Niña.
No, no, Spring was warm and sunny and Summer has followed suit. If this good weather continues through September then it could all make for a happy vendange or harvest. Indeed, should things pan out favourably then the harvest will be put back. It's a moveable feast and if the weather's kind, then the grapes will be left on the vine longer to absorb the rays of the sun and be able to deliver wines packed with 'fruit'. It's all about timing.
I've noticed the vines here at Le Banquet yielding enormous bunches of grapes this year. I couldn't tell you what variety they are, they've been in the ground for some 150 years or so and serve only as decoration but fruit laden they are all the same.
Aside from the maybe or maybe nots of the pending vintage, around this time of year I find myself making a few changes around the garden. A bit of garden editing if you like. I'll swap this with that, that with this and inevitably make a purchase of some sort as a bit of retail therapy never goes amiss. This year is no exception and I present you below my new sunshine face thingymejig. Sunshine and vines make good friends.