It is flowering time here in Bordeaux.

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Here is a photograph of a bunch in flower,

A bunch in flower at Pichon Baron

together with another from further away showing Pichon in the background.

Flowering Time at Pichon

As you can see, we are having wonderful weather, perfect for flowering. This is a crucial time in the vineyard. Cold or wet weather during flowering can lead either to “Coulure” or “Millerandage”, which can seriously damage the potential of a crop. In either case yields would be lowered, sometimes significantly, but also the irregularity of ripening that can result from millerandage can affect the quality, unless great care is subsequently taken with the trie in the vineyard and at the winery.

I find this a magical time in the vineyard. Winter is now far behind us, and the summer is beginning to assert itself with the vigour of youth. Above all, the extreme fragility of the tiny flowers forming on the individual bunches reminds one of the miraculous precariousness of life, and of how entirely dependent we are on its natural processes for what we eat and drink. Without these little flowers, with their fine and delicate scent, there would be no grapes, without the grapes, no bottles of Pichon Baron! Remember the flowers when you next open a bottle.

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