Because my profession as a vigneron is incredibly beautiful and terribly broad, and because I feel a need to show it to you and thank all those people who support me every day, I am delighted to share a part of it with you in this sequence which I’ve entitled “these clusters, my babies”.
I would like to draw a parallel between the life of my wines and that of the men and women that we are. In both cases, everything begins with a small seed. A seed or a spermatozoid. The pip is the sum and the essence of its parents, the Grape. Planted, it will have the sole purpose of perpetuating the life of its species. To do this, the seed must grow in a terroir of character which is both protective and emancipatory. The soft warmth of the hillsides and the deep richness of the soil are some of the many characteristics of this unique and special terroir that nature has bequeathed us. Once the tiny seed is planted, the beauty of life can then begin, the life that allows the seed to grow and turn into vines and grapes. Just like in the womb of our mothers, there is a complex environment and a fabulous alchemy that, at the end of a season, will give birth to a myriad of wonderful little clusters of grapes. I’m comparing the harvest to childbirth? Yes, indeed I am! All these clusters that we are going to treasure and nurture are the fruit of several months’ hard toil and tender loving care in our plots of vines. Sylvain and Kevin, who are in charge of the vineyards, are their fathers too. The clusters are our babies, which we call Marsanne, Syrah and Roussanne. Once they are adult, we will call them Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage or perhaps even Saint-Joseph. But before then, I know that they contain the entire DNA of my next wines. Everything is there – all the glory and majesty of my future wines. From now on, all I need to do is to take good care of them and to raise them like a good father should. With love, passion and discipline, I need to bring out the fabulous potential to come. But we are not yet there. It is still harvest time and I hear my clusters calling me. They need me. And there are rather a lot of them: around 650,000 clusters of grapes in Domaine Laurent Habrard’s 15 hectares!