It's so pretty in the vineyards during the summer months. Most of the activity comes from bees, birds and butterflies to a soundtrack of birdsong. There's a general sense of peace and tranquility, as there's not much that the vineyard team can do other than monitor for signs of stress or disease, (thankfully little of either this year so far), and wait for the grapes to fully ripen.
The Côte 128 plot is looking particularly vibrant, with even bud burst and a healthy canopy. We named this wine Pech Sevignac, which pays homage to the old Occitan name of this site on the ancient ordinance survey maps. This plot is on a slightly higher altitude than the other vines in the estate (averaging 128m) and the vines are on average 20 years old. This means we get a lower-yielding vine, but the grapes tend to be rich and concentrated. We harvest at night (to preserve acidity and freshness), usually towards the end of August and because our winery is onsite, we don't need to add any sulphur or anti-oxidants to the grapes. We press immediately and very gently, only using the juice of the very first pressing in order to preserve the unique aromatics and fruitiness of Viognier. The berries when ripe are small, giving a high skin-to-juice ratio, so gentle extraction is key when it comes to getting the very best quality wine from Viognier. We age Côte 128 Pech Sevignac in 2nd use, French oak barrels for a few months, which adds texture and complexity, producing a wine of depth and interest. We love to pair Viognier with spicy Asian-inspired dishes or simply pair this wine with hard cheeses.