at the drop of a Cat

I dropped my computer. Not on purpose, albeit suspiciously soon after an audit meeting, thereby preventing me from doing any follow-up work. (C’est dommage!)

Speaking of our audit , a return to our studied domaine reveals a few surprises. These snails though small amd picturesque are responsible for devastating some plots of land. The picture below shows one parcel where the snails have eaten most of the new shoots and leaves. The top picture on the right shows the difference between vineyards using herbicides and those without - what a difference! Fortunately , the top quality parcel is in great shape, as demonstrated by the presence of these poppies. Apparently poppies are very sensitive to the presence of herbicodes, so this shows that our vigneron is putting few chemicals onto his vines.

Speaking of our audit , a return to our studied domaine reveals a few surprises. These snails, though small and picturesque, are responsible for devastating some plots of vines. The picture below shows one parcel where the snails have eaten most of the new shoots and leaves. The top picture on the right shows the difference between vineyards using herbicides and those without – what a difference! Fortunately, the top quality parcel is in great shape, as demonstrated by the presence of these poppies. Poppies are very sensitive to the presence of herbicides, so this shows that our vigneron is putting few chemicals onto his vines.

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a furlong of fire and ice

Despite the return of Game of Thrones (thank you internet!), the big topic of conversation on this side of the ocean is whether or not the grapevines are going to make it to summer. Ok, ok it’s early days, and I have no intention of being overly sensationalist, but the weather has been quite challenging already for a few key regions. With a really warm first quarter, most wine regions were starting to see buds in March. Unfortunately, this was followed by a frost this past month, so vineyards all over Europe (notably, the Loire Valley, Champagne, Chablis, even Switzerland and England) were either surprised or had to take extreme measures to protect the vines. Fortunately neither Bordeaux nor Alsace have been affected by the frost (so far).

This scene from Graubünden, Switzerland could be either beautiful or terrifying (the latter especially if you are anywhere near Fort Mac...hang in there guys!). Frost candle up close and far away on the hills of the Rhine Valley in Switzerland. Frost damaged vines - more buds will grow but all buds must die eventually, I suppose.

This scene from Graubünden, Switzerland could be either beautiful or terrifying (the latter especially if you are anywhere near Fort McMurray in Alberta, where wildfires are burning out of control). Frost candle up close and far away on the hills of the Rhine Valley in Switzerland. Frost damaged vines – more buds will grow later but all buds must die. …eventually, I suppose. I can hear this thought bubbling up, so I’ll head it off at the pass: this isn’t going to be ice wine… that is made when the grapes freeze after ripening, not before.

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