Domaine des Homs – 2024 Spring renewal and a new white wine to come ?

May, 2024

Rain has finally arrived in the Languedoc.

After a winter with virtually no rainfall, we had to wait until the end of April for 3 days of 60mm rain to nourish the surrounding nature and fill the groundwater tables, which were still at rock bottom: some villages are still being supplied with drinking water by tanker.

Pruning season ended on  March 28th, then budburst arrived quickly due to very hot weather at the beginning of April (12-13-14), with temperatures of up to 33°C, followed by a cold snap that wiped out some regions with hailstorms and frost.

Once again, we’ve managed to get through it without damage.

The cold period slowed, and even paused vegetation, but with the temperature rises in mid-May and the water that fell at the end of April, vine growth should pick up quickly.

Spring Vineyard Work

Anne & Jean Marc de Crozals are actively in the vines on all fronts with Spring vineyard tasks :

  • manual bud removal and disbudding, which are vital in these dry periods, in order to eliminate any shoots that might gain strength and water.
  • setting up the new plantations.

Training pruning of a Grenache gris vine stock in the two photos above

Water Management Solutions in Minervois

After 3 years of working on this project, the estate has finally finished installing drip irrigation on all the plots, which reassures us for the future. In recent years, for example, they have only used 15 mm of water twice per plot. However, this minimal amount of water is essential to ensure a harvest when it doesn’t rain at all during the summer.  And this is especially more important as we see more dry Winters without much rainfall.

While the North of France receives copious amounts of water, or even flooding, the Minervois are breaking records for low rainfall, with the situation getting worse every year.

For example, over the last 5 years, at the Domaine des Homs weather station, from 1 November to 31 March :

  • 2019-2020 = 280 mm
    2020-2021 = 320 mm
    2021-2022 = 242 mm
    2022-2023 = 169 mm
    2023-2024 = 131 mm

Responsible incremental irrigation is the solution to ensure the vineyards can survive these hot summers and produce balanced wines.

AOC Minervois white on the horizon 🙂

While harvest 2023 didn’t produce sufficient quality to make a white Minervois, that Jean Marc de Crozals is now preparing the cellar so that he can produce one this year in 2024.

The estate has invested in sandstone barrels and jars to age the harvest. The grape varieties that will be destined for this blend are Vermentino – Grenache Gris – Grenache Blanc.

To be continued after the harvest…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.