Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Boulevard Napoléon – Hail in the Minervois

Boulevard Napoleon's parcel of Cinsault 
surrounded by forest and garrique

Last Sunday morning we visited the Boulevard Napoleon's vineyard high in the Minervois hills. Previously Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver had bought all their grapes from the Cave Co-operative in La Lavinière. Last year they decided to buy some vineyards. These are so remote – access by a steep, uneven and bumpy track that even Trevor initially had some trouble finding them! 

Unfortunately their newly acquired parcel of vines was recently hit by hail – a rude reminder of the risks involved in growing grapes! Damage in the parcel of Cinsault looks to be patchy with some vines stripped of their potential fruit, while others look not to have been affected at all and still have a potential normal crop. On a quick look the damage appeared to be worst at the western edge of the vineyard. Flowering was underway when we visited. Once this is finished it will be easier to see how the crop has been affected by the hail.

 Trevor explaining the vineyard to the group

Clear signs of hail damage with the shoot in 
centre of pic stripped of most of its fruit
(above and below)

As usual hail damage was very localised – 
here a potential bunch in full flower  

Vigneron's hut by the top of the parcel of Cinsault 
 The interior 
(above and below)

 The wall of the hut with frying pan

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