Winter at Château Fougas
In the wine cellars
In the cellars winter is the period of "barrels topping" because with the temperature drop, the wine contracts, leaving an empty space at the level of the barrel bung.
It is then necessary to proceed to the toppings which consist in keeping the barrels full by a regular addition of wine, in order to avoid any oxidation.
The barrels are opened one after the other and filled to the brim with the same quality of wine as that contained in each batch.
During all these months the wine always tastes badly jostled as it is by the cold and the sudden variations in atmospheric pressure.
But from March with the return of fine weather, it will again regain its balance and its particular roundness. Maturation in barrels requires attention and patience from the winegrower.
After the vine pruning , the removal of the branches from the trellising wires and the wedging of the two slats on the first wire, it is necessary to tackle the "carassonage".
This step, which takes up the whole month of February, consists of checking the good condition of the trellising that must support the weight of the new vine branches.
We replace the defective stakes and we tighten the wires that will support the branches. This step is essential to regulate the growth of the vine and to ensure the good health of future grapes.
Stable trellising guarantees good control of the subsequent steps: Lifting in the trellis, leaf stripping, etc… Until the final step: the harvest.
This winter's temperatures were about 0.7°C above seasonal averages. However, in January, we recorded 13 days with negative minimum temperatures, which is favorable to the vines which can then get rid of the risk of wood diseases.
The month of February turns out to be more rainy than usual and compensates for the water deficit of the two previous months.
Spring is now coming its way with its beds of violets, daffodils and mimosas crumbling under its flowers.
Our old cat "Chatelaine" has disappeared...
Château Fougas has been filled (reinforced) with two new arrivals "Punky" and "Sable", slayers of mice and moles certified...