We hope you've had a good Christmas and that a healthy and happy new year awaits.
Our final photo-journal of the year is a glance at the vineyard, namely the same image snapped over several months. Below that are some highlights which are taken mostly from the previous 11 photo-journals of 2021.
To see just the images of those 11, a swift way is to click through to the fast-loading ‘photo albums’ on bauduc.com here.
Each one of those albums has a link at the start to the relevant 'news' post which are listed here.
And all the posts can be seen in the ‘archives’ on gavinquinney.com – feel free to leave a comment or question on any of the posts there. Or by all means reply to this email.
All the best, and happy new year
Gavin & Angela Quinney
January. First things first because it’s Bugs’s 21st birthday on 3 January 2022. She’s in the USA for the new year before going back to university in Montreal, Canada. Here she is at the beginning of 2021. We’ll pass on any messages or we can give you her mobile number for WhatsApp.
February. The view from one of the bedrooms here. The Merlot vines have yet to be pruned. In the distance are Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
March. Pruning all done and the blossom is out on the trees along the drive.
April. This was the morning before a sharp Spring frost ravaged so many of the vineyards of France. Hard to believe really. More below.
May and the vines come alive. I think it’s best to visit vineyards in France after mid-April as they can look a bit barren before the growing season begins.
That’s assuming that everyone can get into France by then. Just to show how the view can change from one day to the next, this was the following morning from the picture taken above (13 and 14 May 2021).
June. One of the busiest months in the vineyard as the vines go crazy, and need to be kept in shape, and the flowering takes place. Also probably the time to visit before the holiday season kicks off – in normal times.
July and an unusually green look for quite late in the month. That’s because we’d had a lot of rain in June, mainly. At some point the vines stop trying to take over the world by vegetative growth alone, and the lack of water in summer, and the heat, shows the vine that it’s time to take over the planet through other ways. Namely, the production of really lovely grapes which will be gobbled up by birds and animals, who in turn will ‘deposit’ the seeds elsewhere and the cycle begins again. That’s not actually what happens but the vines are programmed to think that way. Sort of.
The start of August and an evocative, closer look across the vineyard. Like the waves of the sea.
August, mid-month, and you wouldn’t know it but the grapes are changing colour. A signal that the ripening stage is about to start. More below.
Mid-September and the white harvest is about to begin.
September and the start of the white harvest this day.
October, the 13th, and another rosé dawn. These Merlot were once again used for making rosé, and harvested a few days earlier. See below.
November and a winter (late Autumn?) frost is good for the vines as they need their rest.
December. We’re missing Bugs (see January above) but it’s great to have Georgie home from London for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Walking the hounds with Ange, Sophie and Tom on Christmas Day.
A few highlights from 2021
Nice, chilly start to the year.
The tirage des bois – pulling the previous season’s branches away.
Nelly pruning young vines.
Bottling the white.
Attaching the pruned vines to the training wires. Sauvignon Blanc, as it happens.
Ange in Les Trois Hectares – old Sémillon vines.
Daniel and Nelly pruning the young Cabernet Franc.
An early morning, spring frost. A degree or two colder and these Merlot would have been toast, so to speak.
The neighbour’s Merlot on the right didn’t make it. The whole parcel was lost before the season had begun. Our Sauvignon Blanc on the right just made it through.
The maintenance work of bashing in replacement posts.
Our new toys. Tractor and über-sprayer.
The new sprayer helps us treat the vines in the right zone.
En primeur time, largely behind closed doors. That’s tasting and assessing the new wines, which are in barrel. The new barrel cellar at Château Troplong Mondot in Saint-Émilion.
Green and vigorous.
We have a large team to lift the vines between the training wires, including Nelly’s daughters Lucie and Marie.
What they call the petit pois stage of grape development.What they call the petit pois stage of grape development.
Daniel trimming the vines. Best not to get too close to the blades.
Le Tour de France comes to Créon. Right past the end of Rue Bauduc.
DQ (granny), Tom (seated, naturally), dad and mum, and Luigi our (British) man Friday watching the tour fly past.
Granny and Tom.
The changing of the colour, known as véraison.
DQ and one of her favourite spots.
New cuves being unloaded. Actually, they’re secondhand from a leading estate in Pessac-Léognan, but new to us.
Soph and Ange at the start of the white harvest.
Daniel and Nelly unloading grapes into the press. They’ve been with us since our first harvest in 1999. And still smiling, amazingly enough.
Posing on a harvesting machine, while trying to look relaxed, isn’t that easy when it’s trundling along between the rows. This was mainly a stunt for a friend’s birthday video.
Early start for the block called Sauvignon Château. Not the world’s most original name for a parcel of vines, but there you go.
Our lovely 2021 harvest team, from left to right: Bruno, from Portugal, who’s still working here, Christmas holidays apart. Nelly, Sophie from Paris but now Marseilles, plus the boss, Guy the harvest machine man, Daniel, and Winnie, from Singapore. And Pavie and Margaux.
Pavie and Margaux under the Merlot, 12 October. A later harvest than normal.
Tom’s 18th birthday, 11 October. Sorting table, 13 October.
The harvest around Bordeaux was featured in our November photo journal. This was Saint-Émilion.
A shame that so few visitors get to see Autumn here.
The beauty of nature, with deer at the edge of the woods, the morning after the wild boar have ripped up part of the lawn. On the right, Nelly and Bruno pruning the Sauvignon Blanc.
Our superstar lorry driver from England, Dom, and another shipment for London City Bond. Thankfully he brought over supplies of tea, Marmite, mango chutney, horseradish, selection boxes, Christmas crackers…
Here’s to 2022. Wishing you a happy, healthy and peaceful new year.