Chardonnay 12th of August, 2011

The first grape variety to ripen at Sainte Rose is always the Chardonnay.  As it was for our first vintage in 2002, so it was for this, our 10th harvest.

Maybe it is the terroir, maybe it is the aspect, maybe it is a combination of the two in conjunction with our wonderful sunny climate here in the south of France!  Regardless, as soon as the berries turn golden and assuming the weather is kind, the Chardonnay is first into the winery and the juice becomes the first fermentation of the year.

On the 11th and 12th of August, we picked about 23 tonnes of Chardonnay grapes, which after destemming and crushing turned into 180 hectolitres of juice.  This juice was cold settled over 3 days before being racked off the ‘gros lies’ (i.e. sediment).  It will now be inoculated with yeast and carefully managed through primary fermentation.

The start of the harvest is always an exciting time and the whole family as well as the whole team were present to see the first berries picked.  We even had our Machine harvester’s elderly father looking on (his 36th harvest!).  He came because he loves the smell of the berries and juice as they are picked and transferred into the winery, and he was anxious to be part of one of the first nights of picking in our area!