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Our challenges in 2023.

This year, the weather has played havoc with our vineyard. Lots of lovely rain (good for growing) and lots of sunshine has led to an unusually humid atmosphere which has not been good for our grapes.


The first signs of mildew developing on the leaves of our vines was back in May. As part of the Organic certification, we are allowed to spray the vines for disease control, but we are controlled in the type of product we can use.  The products can only deter and try to inhibit the development of mildew not to kill it. Therefore, as the weather was so unkind to us, it meant repeated spraying throughout the growth season. However, the mildew still caused significant damage.

What does this mean for our harvest?

Well, the damage to the vines’ foliage does impact the growth of the grapes. Without a strong healthy foliage, the developing grapes are starved of the necessary nutrients they need, as the level of photosynthesis will have been impacted.

The result of this is less grapes, in some places no grapes are left.

We have also been able to learn that different varieties (cepages) of grape vine have a different tolerance to the disease. For example, Merlot which is at least 70% of our vineyard has suffered badly and we expect to be 60% down on yields, on the other hand our Malbec and Cabernet have suffered less and we are probably 20% down in yield.

But we still have 3- 4 weeks to go until maturity and we can harvest.

What does this mean for you?

One good thing to come out of this is that the wine we make here at Chateau Monichot has never been touched by chemicals found in herbicides or pesticides that the conventional winemakers use. This can only be good for the wine drinker.

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