It has been a wet, but rather mild winter so far at Sainte Rose, although the past week has seen extremes of temperature ranging from 23 degrees C on Monday afternoon to 0 degrees C the following Wednesday morning! We are hoping that the temperatures remain cold for another month, to allow us to finish the pruning and to avoid the vines emerging from dormancy too early.
Much of the all-important pruning is complete, with only the large Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc blocks remaining. This process is key to managing growth and yields for the new season and is tailored to each particular grape variety and the position of each vineyard within our Estate.
The old plane trees in the courtyard at Sainte Rose have also been pruned, or pollarded, creating fantastic gnarled shapes and shadows against the winter skies. These trees are pollarded every year to encourage them to grow outwards rather than upwards, creating much needed shade during the summer months and to avoid them growing too high in what is a relatively restricted area.
Elsewhere at Sainte Rose, there is still work ongoing to repair the damage caused by the flooding in November 2019, when the River Thongue broke its banks and we saw the highest levels of water ever in the garden and orchard at Sainte Rose. Happily the winery and receival area was unscathed, but there was significant erosion caused around the Domaine, especially the riverside areas. The team have been busy reinforcing the protective dyke by the river, looking at options to safeguard the bore hole and pump, clearing detritus brought by the floodwaters and releveling roads. There was more flooding in the neighbouring department of Aude recently and we really feel for those who are once again suffering the consequences of these freak weather conditions.