Since the beginning of September, the harvest takes place in the Luberon Coeur de Provence. The activity is in full swing and winemakers, grape harvesters and oenologists work together to collect the fruit of a year's work.
And yes, this is the period when the most fragile clusters are harvested very early, when the grains are lovingly sorted and when teamwork is in full swing from the vine to the vat!
The heat wave of this summer has influenced the size of the berries: the grapes are smaller and the yield of juice is lower but 2019 looks like a beautiful year!
The first juices are in vats and the fermentation work has begun: the juices of future white, rosé and red wines will be accompanied by the oenologists of the various domains.
In a few months, the first assemblages and bottling (December for some whites and rosy, for reds it will be necessary to wait March/April).
How is a working day for the harvesters?
The winemakers survey their grape varieties all day and taste their grapes in order to defend if full ripeness is reached before making the decision to start the harvest for each plot.
Generally, it is the harvest of white wines that kicks off in each area. Muscat, Viognier, White Grenache...
Once the start is launched, the winemakers, from dawn, give the first shears of the day and the day ends in some areas with a friendly meal.
This is a wonderful show throughout the month of September:
The winemakers gradually evolve in the middle of the vineyards. With their pruners they cut the ripe bunches and place them in a kind of 'silly backpack'
Carefully, the clusters can then be placed in crates on the entire row. They are loaded into a tractor that carries the harvest to the end of the field.
Elles sont ensuite vidées sur un tapis roulant, dit « sauterelle » qui permet de détacher les grains de raisins de la grappe. Le processus de vinification commence...
Some also practice night harvest in order to avoid oxidation of grapes...
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Discovery of Luberon wines and tasting experience during the harvest - narrative of a day discovery
Located in the South of France, the Luberon offers us landscapes comparable to Tuscany...
The harvest season turns the landscape into a true anthill with grape harvesters in all fields, tractors and tankers running on small roads to carry the harvest in the cellars...
The wines produced here are part of the wines either of the AOC Luberon or Ventoux depending on their location on the Parc du Luberon, some are in PGI Vaucluse and they are all part of the wines of the Rhone Valley...
A few days ago, I took advantage of the last days of summer to discover in more detail my region and especially the wineries.
During a walk, I observed the sumptuous landscapes of the Luberon, its terroir and its diversity.
I continued this walk to the Domaine de la Garelle in Oppède in the Luberon.
A magnificent view of the vineyard and the estate was offered to me. Currently in harvest season, I have contemplated the meticulous work of the winemakers.
Surrounded by nature, the atmosphere was relaxed. A dozen men carefully cut the grapes, separating the good from the bad grains.
This physical and authentic job is tiring for winemakers who, once the day is over, still enjoy their evening with a good drink and a full table.
Following the pedagogical path in the vineyards of the estate, I was able to discover what a grape variety was and the different compositions and characteristics of the wines thanks to the explanatory panels. Some grape varieties are used alone, others are assembled. The goal is to have wines with generous and authentic aromas.
After crossing the vineyard, I entered this 20th century building. A resident of the region since my childhood, I had never been interested in wine production before. I was welcomed in a modern and very pretty cellar, by a nice and passionate young man.
He presented me the different wines detailing the aromas of each and explained to me the differences related to the grape varieties.
So I tasted the AOC Luberon Solstice Rosé 2018
Excellent, I recommend!!!
All the wines tasted are recognized by the AOC, Designation of Origin Contrôlée.
Domaine de la Garelle produces white, rosé and red wines.
Whether white, red or rosy, I could be surprised by the know-how of the winemakers and during the tasting, by the flavors of the wines,
I first tasted white wines, Chardonnay & Vermentino, Viognier, Cuvée de Solstice Blanc. We find Vermentino, Viognier, Ugni Blanc Rousssanne, Chardonnay, but I preferred red wine such as Réserve 2016, composed of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache du Luberon.
The winemaker atoned me full of details about the different taste on the palate.
On the nose, we find smells of violet and cherries, while on the palate we appreciate the fruits of the woods and the aromas of vanilla.
I ended with what seemed the best: rosé, excellent wine in my opinion, the best of the three, perfect for an aperitif with friends!
I found unexpected tastes like caramel milk in the Cuvée de Solstice Rosé. He then talked to me about other local products found in the region, which are there to accompany wine, such as cheese. On leaving, I enjoyed one last time the magnificent view of the vineyards and nature.
Twenty-five hectares were offered to me with, in the background, the Luberon. The meeting with winemakers, producers and wine professionals allowed me to have a different view of my region, to taste the wines and to know their flavours.
At the end it was possible to buy on site the wines tasted beforehand and I chose the rosé La Cuvée du Solstice since I enjoyed the aromas of caramel milk that came out once in the mouth.
I think tasting is a playful concept that allows you to discover the wines of the region, with this discovery of unexpected aromas. I had an unforgettable experience that it is essential to share with someone, I would have preferred to be accompanied this day, but only this day I took the opportunity to make an unusual discovery!
I was really passionate about the know-how of the winemakers and I look forward to discovering another domain...
All you have to do is try the experience and discover the landscapes and wines of the Domaine de la Garelle.
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