29 June, 2016

So nice to cut stems: it means no rain

Finally, the tops of the vines have been cut in all plots.

As the stems grow longer, they become quite heavy as well, and the vineyard grows more and more chaotic.

Shorter lengths help to control this otherwise rather uncontrollable growth.

This season the weather has been rather uncontrollable.

Lots and lots of rain has made it rather difficult to find time to do this job.

As you cannot drive the enjambeur tractor in the plots when it's too wet.

There is the risk of sliding.

But even worse, the weight of the machine may compress the soils which anyone would want to avoid.

So we have done other things as we waited for better times, better days.

And less rain.

Well, yesterday was such a day, and now the job is done.

For some time anyway.

In a week's time the next set of stems will have grown longer. And then it will be their turn to have their tops cut.

One of summer's pleasures. Or whatever.

This year it's sort of nice to cut since it means no rain for a little bit of time.

27 June, 2016

Chardonnay between flowers and rain

A crucial stage for Chardonnay and the other grape varieties: The flowering.

We saw the first flowers of the year last week.

Grapes need sun
The weather is rather crucial at this time.

Good conditions - sun, warm temperatures though not too warm and a bit of wind - will determine the amount of grapes.

Well, we are not very optimistic. To be frank with you.

Rain complicates work
This year we have incredibly difficult conditions to work with.

Rain almost every day which makes it very difficult to do a good job in the vineyards as we are dependent on the tractor which cannot be send through when the soils are too wet.

The combination of a very humid air due to the heavy and frequent rain and rather warm weather especially when the sun peeps through helps advancing disease more than grapes.

But... we do what we can. So far, we are quite happy to finally spot flowers.

16 June, 2016

Just before the flowers

Despite the endless rain we endure in Champagne, the grapes do develop.

From small apple-looking green little things a few days ago, we now see them slowly opening here and there.

Each little thing will open to let a flower out.

This is the next crucial step since the flowers must be pollinated for a grape to be developpned.

Some come rain, come shine... we believe, we have seen the rain, now we'd like some shine to finish this nicely.

The first flowers are reported now, we expect to see them in the days to come.

13 June, 2016


Another monday morning in Champagne, and what are we up to at the office?

There's always work to do. We tend to choose the tasks that are urgent, the rest can wait.

Like updating the website, work on an idea on how to label future bottles. Find customers for them.

Because rain or shine, shorts or coats, rubber boots morning, midday and afternoon. The vines grow.

And thus we lift the wires.

In fact, we have been lifting the wires all week.

Low wires, high wires. First hook.

The next will follow. Soon enough.

Before we put the agrafe in place, we push the stems a bit to the side to create enough space for the little piece of wood.

Each autumn we collect these to reuse them again until they get weaker and eventually break.

This is the first part of the lifting. Many stems don't yet have the length to reach the upper double wire, and we will have to place it manually.

Because of this we only put one agrafe at this time. Later we will put more, one between each plant to seperate them nicely and make sure that the stems with many grapes are well exposed for the sun.

The low wires stay side by side due to another type of agrafe that looks like white plastic. In fact, it's made of starch, thus it's biodegradable and saves us a round-trip of collection.

Thanks to the lifting the stems stand nicely upright, rather than climb or bend towards the neighbouring lines of vines.

Collegues in other villages have begun to cut the tops of the vines. Soon we will follow.

These ones have the length and the position as well. Due to the lifting.

05 June, 2016

Romance in the vines

Rain and rain and then, you've guessed it, rain again.

These last weeks have been incredibly wet, even for Champagne.

Happy days for snails
Apparently it suits some of us fine.

This couple seems to head towards founding a family.

And it all happened in Loisy-en-Brie this very weekend.

Snails are usually not that big of a problem, but it does depend on the amount of them.

As you can see in the picture, the vineyards are incredibly green at the moment. Unsurprisingly.

Therefore, can we ask for some sun please? Or just, no more rain, to let the soils dry a bit and the weeds grow at a lesser speed.

Lifting the wires
Next week, we should be out there to lift the wires.

A bit late actually, but you can't expect miracles when temperatures have been low for so long.

It's not cold these days. Just grey. However, today the rain has ceased and there are even some spots of blue skies with sun.

So hold your breath, and so do we.

03 June, 2016

Forår i Frankrig med 60 mm regn

Dette er et arkivbillede.


Sådan ser det ud i Loisy-en-Brie, når alt for meget vand løber de helt forkerte steder.

Det hedder erosion.

60 millimeter vand hos os
Fra søndag eftermiddag og til tirsdag først på eftermiddagen stod vandet mere eller mindre uafbrudt ned i stænger.

Det har beriget de underjordiske reservoirer med 60 millimeter. Når de engang når derned.

Ganske meget vand på ganske kort tid.

Men vi piver ikke.

Oversvømmelser og ødelæggelser
Vi har ingen oversvømmelser, og dem er der ellers mange af mange andre steder i Nordfrankrig i disse dage.

Se bare her Paris på den våde måde. Louvre holdt lukket for at evakuere kunst fra sale, der kan være i farezonen, hvis vandet stiger igen.

I Château de Chambord, en af Loire-dalens mange juveler, når vandet helt op til slottets fundamenter, og selv det var en af Francois I's idéer med et slot helt omgivet af vand, er der ikke nutidens ønske. Fredag er slottet lukket af samme grund.

Læs mere om ødelæggelser her.

Græs er en hjælp
Hos os altså ingen problemer.

Vi har tidligere haft en del vrøvl med vand, der løb ned igennem visse af vores parceller ved heftigt regnfald.

Denne gang er der græs i rækkerne i parcellerne overfor vores, og det forhindrer vandet i at løbe ned som en springflod.

Det er i øvrigt ikke slut. Der er i øvrigt meldt mere regn.