The day before I left Maury to come back to London, I went to visit our Carignan vineyard at La Roque, with some kind of idea in my head of saying thank you to the vines.
They had produced so much fruit this year, and they are over 80 years old, yet they produced almost as many grapes as a 20 year old vine. And such delicious grapes!
In the car, I had a box of sample bottles with the dregs of the previous year’s wine that I had been tasting to decide on the 2016 Domaine of the Bee blend. I had planned to put what remained back in the barrels I had taken them from, but I decided, on the spur of the moment, to offer a libation to our vines. To return to their soil a small amount of the wine that these old fellows had produced.
As I stood there at the top of the vineyard surveying this hectare of maybe 4,000 wonderful old Carignan vines, it occurred to me that we have many more vines than customers. In any one year, we might sell 5,000 bottles of wine to around 500 people, but we have around 15,000 vines – that’s about 30 vines for each of you.
So, as I poured a few dribbles from each bottle, each on a different vine, I said ‘Thank You’ from you, as well as from me.
I felt that you and our vines are connected somehow. And that you might think of your 30 vines, the next time you drink a mouthful of Bee.