Maison Mirabeau WinesTasteWines and Spirits of Provence

De-budding Grapevines and Fruit of Our Labour

It’s July and the ‘Ebourgeonnage’ (de-budding) is in full swing here at the domaine! Throughout this process, the viticulturist and team select the branches that will help to produce the best quality grapes and cut off the others. This helps control the grape yield, enables the canopy to develop uniformly, and also prevents overcrowding which can lead to the spread of harmful fungal diseases. The cut branches are dropped to the ground and provide a natural form of fertilizer. Continue reading here for the original contributor blog post by: Maison Mirabeau Wine.

Pruning: Out with the Old

In wintertime, the grapevines in Provence’s vineyards look a little sad.

Winter Provence Pruning Grapevines

The pruning looks severe, but we know that grapes grow on one-year-old wood. Buds on older branches just yield leaves or shoots. So, we get rid of the old branches so we can get fruit on every branch in the next growing season.

Another pruning takes place during veraison (fruit ripening period) in the summer. This is where the grape bunches are thinned out so that all of the bunches will be well-nourished (and not exhaust the vine), and so they won’t be too crowded together, allowing air to move freely around them and keep them healthy. Read more about the importance of pruning grapevines here and here.

The ABC’s of wine! Want to sound like an expert? Read this post to find out about ageing, barrels, corks, decanting, grapes, fun facts and much, much more. For example, Oenology is the science of winemaking and a Refractometer is a tool used by experts to determine the amount of sugar in the grapes.

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Maison Mirabeau Wine

Maison Mirabeau Wine

Stephen had been in the corporate world for 15 years and in August 2008 turned down a promotion that would have meant more money but also more stress, longer hours and less time with his young family. For many years the Cronks had been dreaming and talking about moving to France to make their own wine, but the moment never seemed quite right to make the big leap.

Soon after, a good redundancy offer seemed the perfect opportunity to turn the dream into reality and after selling their beloved house, they left the leafy suburbs of south-west London in August 2009. Their worldly possessions were packed up on the back of a truck and with barely a word of French between them, the family headed south to a small village called Cotignac, in the heart of Provence.

The Cronks spent a year getting their bearings, learning to live the provençal way, as Stephen was criss-crossing the country researching and finding the best vineyards to work with. The next step was setting up a small wine business with the principle objective of making a Provence rosé that would be regarded as one of the very best from the region, while building a brand that people would grow to love. In order to achieve this aim, they put together a highly experienced winemaking team and threw their heart and soul into the brand and innovative communications with their customers. Mirabeau is now being sold in more than 30 markets, has won medals and earned acclaim from some of the world’s toughest wine critics, but what really makes Stephen happiest is that their wines are an integral part of people having a great time together.

Read more about the Mirabeau Wine story here.

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