It’s July and the ‚Ebourgeonnage‘ (de-budding) is in full swing here at the domaine! Throughout this process the viticulturist and team select the branches that will help to produce the best quality grapes and cut off the others. This helps control the grape yield, enables the canopy to develop uniformly, and it also prevents overcrowding which can lead to the spread of harmful fungal diseases. The cut branches are dropped to the ground and provide a natural form of fertilizer. For more information, you can read more about Ebourgeonnage in last year’s journal article.
Alongside de-budding the team have also fixed the growing branches to the newly built trellis to help spread the canopy. After being hit by a bad frost in April we are happy to see that the damage is less than anticipated. We can already see the grape berries appearing and ripening. They are still small and green but will soon grow bigger and slowly change colour into a dark purple for Grenache and Syrah varieties and into a yellow-brown for the Rolle variety.
Berry growth occurs in three general stages: rapid initial growth, followed by a shorter period of slow growth, and finishing with another period of rapid growth. The first stage of berry development starts soon after fertilization of the flower and is characterized by strong growth of the seed and berry. During this stage, the berries are firm, dark green in color, and rapidly accumulate acid. In this period, the diameter of the grape berry may double in size.
Even our newly planted Grenache, Syrah and Rolle vines are thriving. Due to the heat and almost no rainfall they need some additional water to survive. Once they grow deeper roots they will be able to source their own water from the ground.
Not only are our grape fruits growing, but the many vegetables in our Potager are also ready to be harvested such as courgette, onion, garlic and cucumbers! We have also recently harvested the potatoes and sweet potatoes that were planted between the vines in the vineyard.
Picnics with our guests and a little help from our cicadas
Whilst letting nature do its thing we also welcomed rental guests, German journalists and influencers to the domaine and to La Bastide. The early evening hours, when the heat of the day slowly fades, are perfect for a picnic with stunning view onto the vines. You can listen to the cicada insects sing their evening song, whilst sipping on a glass of our delicious Mirabeau Rosé wine. It’s a beautiful, peaceful way to end the day with friends here at Domaine Mirabeau.
Cicada fun fact: male cicadas sing to attract the female and only when it’s sunny and hot. As sun-worshippers you’ll never hear them on windy or overcast days. This is because at temperatures below 22 degree Celcius, their cymbals (which are kind of open flaps at the stem of the wing) lose their flexibility and make it difficult for the cicada to chirp!