Letter of the vigneron

  

  « My first words are to Denise to thank her for creating this Website.

Denise has been working for the Domaine since March 2009 and last Winter

 she undertook some training courses, the last of which was ‘how to set up a Website’

Thanks to her, the Domaine du Barry can now come closer to you.

I have the feeling that I am writing my memories. It is good to be able to write them while one still has them.

For me, the vineyards and the wines form my pictures from childhood.

With my sisters, our faces and legs smeared with grape juice, hiding behind the wine press,

stealing he grape juice to go with the bread and the walnuts which we cracked on the spot.

Again, one Easter morning when an icy wind froze all the vines.

That morning, the silence of my parents dissuaded me from going out to play in the snow.

  When I was thirteen years old, I began to drive the tractor and one year later, I started to prune the vines with my parents.

These moments have left me with lasting memories and I was proud to be working as a man and  helping my parents.

When I was fifteen, I registered  for the wine school in Gaillac and two years later,

I passed my BEPA VITI OENO (wine-growing / oenology qualification).

At that time, my parents cultivated eight hectares of vines, some of which were some 60 years old.

In 1982, the poorer quality vines were replaced with local grape varieties such as Braucol, Duras, Len de L’El…

This period of conversion lasted some fifteen years and allowed the Gaillac wines

to regain thir former glory with their own typical characteristics. »

1982 was also the beginning of selling directly at the markets in Saint Antonin Noble Val.

This was a solution to very bad finances at the time.

With sales expanding rapidly, our small stocks were quickly depleted.

1982 was a good year : our 7.5 hectares of vines had producted 50000 liters of table wine,

but it was evident we would not be able to meet these new demands with our current production.

We would need to rent somes vines to improve the situation.

We borrowed 2 hectares of vines from the commune in Alos, 3 km from our farm

and found others to rent.

These fields were a long way from the farm and we worked them by means of

what we had, an old tractor an a sprayer that strapped on the back.

Wholesale prices in the markets were high and the vines planted earlier came into

full production. New vines were planted and finances improved. With our neighbour we bought

a second hand machine to harvest the grapes. This was used for half the harvest,

 and the remainder was picked by hand.

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