Grapevine Archive for Saumur-Champigny
Weather is always a challenge. In winter he puts out 1,860 paraffin heaters around his vineyard, all attached to a piping network to carry ‘le fuel’. This won’t prevent a really hard frost damaging the crop but will raise the temperature by a few degrees so is definitely worth the full week it takes to rebuild the heaters each year, and the week to disassemble them in Spring.At the moment though it’s the dryness and the heat that is causing worry – he reckons the crop is 3-4 weeks ahead of normal and he is praying for rain as they have not had any since May 2nd. Sébastien says that he’s expecting lower yields though high quality due to the concentration and deep vine roots.
If it does however rain a lot, as it started to the day after we were with him, the underground cellar he has will allow him to go from his house to the winery without getting wet!
Back in the tasting room, Sébastien offered us the wines we know and some we don’t (always an opportunity) and the 2005 and 2001 Clos des Cordeliers which showed how well the wine matures if you can resist temptation for a few years. Coincidentally, we found a magnum of the 2005 in a restaurant that same evening, which shows that the locals know a thing or two too.