Drink Magazine

Picking Grapes 2012 at Domaine Julien Cécillon

By Nancykerschen

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You know the old saying ‘it’s officially fall we are still not finished harvesting in the Northern Rhône Valley?’ Well, isn’t that the truth! Because we had such cool temperatures during the Spring and early Summer, the grapes took their sweet time to ripen. In other words, they took their sweet time to sweeten. I was a bit hateful towards Mother Earth in June, I remember. It was chilly and raining and perfect for those who like to sit indoors listening to whiny singers reminisce about road trips with their ex-lovers. For the anti-suicidal types, June just was another vote for August as the best month of summer.

Today, October 5th, it’s 28 degrees (82.4°F) in the Northern Rhône, and people are out dancing in the streets under the sun like they were auditioning for a relentlessly upbeat orange juice commercial. So, given the forecast, we can suppose it’s sufficient cause to renounce any bitter grudges against the weather. I call a truce.

In wine, climate and geography play a vital role in grape maturity. Our La Rivoire vineyard in Tournon was harvested 12 days ago, but only 3.7km further north, in the La Roue vineyard, the red grapes are not expected to be fully ripe until this Sunday. It’s such a short distance, but the difference is enormous. The kind of enormous like 2 weeks before your 21st birthday, you are still 20 and not 21.

Here are some pictures from our La Rivoire Harvest, which was a momentous occasion at Domaine Julien Cécillon. Not just because we had a lot of free labor, but because it was the first day of grape-picking for the first ever vintage at DJC. It was fun; we laughed, we worked, we were allowed to handle sharp cutting tools.

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