The Art of Wild Basketry

With the summer season quickly approaching and now that covid restrictions have been loosened, we are welcoming clients to the domaine. We had the staff of l’Amendier de Mougin over for a lovely lunch on the terrace of ‘La Bastide’. L’Amendier is now serving our Mirabeau Pure and Etoile out of our range in their restaurant.

Our founders, Jeany and Stephen, met with Bunte Magazine at the domaine for an interview and photo-shoot.
Bunte is a prestigious German magazine which covers the latest information on celebrities, trends, news and lifestyle.

Developing the Potager (our domaine kitchen)

The mild May and the frequent rain gave a perfect base for our new plants. Pascal has added a vast variety of vegetables to our potager, which when ripe will be used by our chef Ben to prepare beautiful and delicious dishes in our domaine kitchen. We have tomato, cherry tomato, courgette, paprika, eggplants, cucumber, melon, radish, beetroot, green beans, lettuce, butternut and red kuri squash.

Trellising & Rabbit Fence

In May we installed a classic trellising system for our newly planted Syrah vines and some of the grafted Rolle vines to maintain the branches between the 2 wires and help the plant grow vertically. There are important reasons for trellising. First and foremost is the nature of the vine. Unlike a tree, vines can’t support themselves, so a trellis provides this support. Also, trellises keep vines off the ground and therefore help to minimise disease. They help spread out the canopy for better sun exposure and balance the canopy growth.

Besides the Trellis we have also installed a small electric fence around the freshly planted Syrah/Cinsault vines. Rabbits, hares and wild boars are roaming the vineyard and if they eat the leaves of the young plant there is a risk that no new leaves can form and the plant will die. These fences run completely off our solar energy system.

Our Alpacas get a hair cut

At the domaine farm our Alpacas Vince and Pablo received their summer haircuts. Alpacas do not shed their fur like a dog or cat. They must be sheared annually for their own health and welfare. They can’t manage the summer heat and the hair becomes matted and unmanageable. Alpacas are sheared similar to sheep: Once laid on their side, front and hind legs are tethered. Then the handler holds the head as the shearer shears the fleece off one side. The alpaca is then rolled and turned and the shearer shears the other side. The whole process takes about six minutes, causing little distress to the animal. Alpacas are part of the camelid family and have been domesticated for several thousand years. The Incas of Peru raised alpacas for fiber. The fiber produced by camelids is technically hair, although the softer fibers are sometimes referred to as wool. Alpaca hair is said to be three times warmer than wool. It is also a good alternative fiber for people who are allergic to wool. Vince and Pablo are rocking their new haircut.

Making Wild Baskets at the Domaine

To mark the soon to be announced launch of our first Domaine Mirabeau wine, we invited Cyril, a local wild basket weaver to the domaine. He studied Les Beaux Arts, his passion for nature and the environment led him to use natural materials to produce works of art. ‘Wild Basketry’ requires using seasonal plants found in the local surrounding nature to make simple and decorative objects using traditional methods. It differs from traditional basketry because of the materials used as well as having a less uniform and structured finish.

Nature is like a big store offering us a huge range of free materials that we must look after.

Cyril

Cyril and our Co-Founder Jeany collected materials on the domain grounds to weave natural baskets in which to present the bottle of La Réserve. The wild plants and shrubs they gathered were bramble, clematis and bulrush. Cyril also foraged branches of hazel trees and bay trees for the basket structure. When he collected the branches he cut about 1/3 off the tree and left 2/3 for the tree and the animals. He removed the bark to process, by boiling and leaving it to rest for a couple of weeks. He then showed Jeany how to use their collected materials to create these beautiful, unique baskets. An artfully-made piece that truly fits with Mirabeau’s values and the aspirations of our Domaine as it goes hand in hand with nature.

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