2018 will before all else, be remembered as the year our eldest son got married at Carbonneau. More than 25 nationalities attended the event and helped Hugo and Selen celebrate the beginning of a new page in their life.
This year might also go down as one of the busiest seasons we have had so far. Juggling the bed and breakfast, the Glass House, wine tastings, our son’s wedding and a music festival almost got the better of us. However, we were incredibly lucky to have Susan back again for another season and her good humour, boundless energy and smiling face got us all through. Not to mention young Jennifer from Gensac who worked very hard and managed to cope with our New Zealand sense of humor and often working in English! To complete the team, Lolli and Mila once again took their greeting duties very seriously and were never far away.
After 15 years of cooking evening meals Jacquie decided to take a break this year and our house guests could either choose to enjoy one of our platters or go to a local restaurant. They were joined by locals and of course tourists and we were delighted to notice that more and more French people enjoyed our concept not to mention our wine! Tiring at times especially as we were open 6 days a week, it was mostly lots of fun and we were delighted to finish our season by winning a Best Of Wine awarded by the Great Wine Capitals Network.
We continue to work with our friends from ‘Bienvenue à la Ferme’ in the Pyrenees and producers closer to home. Next year Jacquie hopes to develop cakes made to order and host events with local artists and creators.
As usual, every year we spend time renovating things from the past or building new ones. This summer we discovered and cleaned out the ancient water cress bed which probably hasn’t been used for over a century. A breath taking discovery!
The 2018 vintage will be remembered by a very wet spring followed by a hot and dry summer. Although volumes were low, it allowed for very concentrated berries which in turn produced great quality wine. Our second son Pierre donned the vintner’s uniform this year, starting with pruning in the winter, a trip to the USA to learn about selling wine, and ending in the winery to make his first vintage from start to finish. This has brought a breath of fresh air to the farm and Pierre is taking into account environmental issues which are important for his generation. This means that our farming practices are changing. We have now replaced chemical herbicide with mechanical weeding and also insecticides by pheromones.
The selection of wines is growing. Last year we introduced our popular cremant ‘Life of Carbonneau’ which comes across as fresh and well balanced. This year Pierre has bottled his cuvee ‘LA FRANC TOUCH’ made from Cabernet Franc only, with indigenous yeast, and very little sulfites. 2000 bottles of this cuvee have been released, spicy and fruity, expressing what a nice Cabernet Franc from Bordeaux has to offer. In 2018 Pierre has also picked some grapes from our old Semillon vines and fermented them without sulfites in a 500 litre barrel. Discover the result next year!
A highlight for Wilfrid this year was the first trip abroad for the Confrèrie des Vins de Sainte Foy Côtes de Bordeaux to Rotenburg in the north of Germany. This was an opportunity to induct important personalities into the brotherhood and build ties for the wine growers.
As for the traditional selection, we have available for the end of the year, the Classique 2016 red selected in the Hachette 2019, Margot 2017 Sauvignon Blanc with a silver medal at the Bordeaux show, and Lulu 2017 rosé. In the middle range is the excellent Sequoia 2016 red which stands out by a subtle balance between fruit and oak. Last but not least, at the top we still have left a few cases of Verrière 2015 red and we have just started releasing the Verrière 2016 which has 1 star in the Hachette.
To place your orders in France, you can fill out an order form and send your payment to the chateau or you can order on line on our web site. Shipping costs are free for any order above 350€! For orders out of France, contact us for more information.
Season Greetings !
Wilfrid & Jacquie
Franc de Ferrière