The Moment has arrived when the Merlot start turning from green to red. Local knowledge says it is six weeks until harvest from when they start to turn.
In August the vines have normally stopped growing. The grapes are busy fattening and ripening. But the wet weather means the vines are still growing so Humphrey is still cutting them. The machine is known as a rogneuse. It transforms the triffid like growth into neat hedges of vines by trimming each side and the top. This is important as the ripening bunches of grapes do not want too much leaf shade. A little protection is good though in case of a hail storm.
A view from above shows the new growth on the Sauvignon Blanc,new leaves look lime green. The black clouds beyond are typical of this week. We were lucky last night though as the rain stayed away while we watched the re-enactment of the Battle of Castillon. The English were defeated in 1453 and left Aquitaine. The one air pageant has everything from blazing canons to geese. The horses stole the show though.
Sue Temperley writes the Wine and Wildlife blog.