Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jamie Oliver in Slovenia

Ok, not quite the man himself, but one of his books made it here in the back of the car and I thought I’d amuse myself by building what looked like a very simple bread oven. Many concrete blocks, bags of sand, bags of cement, blistered hands, rejected roof tiles re-mixed with water and re-constituted as clay, a few sheets of rockwool insulation, 6 sets of gloves and a sunburnt back later – it’s finished…… and it looks nothing like the nice picture in the book! But it does cook bread, pizza and will also hopefully do the same for slow-roasted joints of meat – and possibly the odd naughty child if they’re really bold! It did teach me one key lesson which I really ought to have been old enough to realise: things in books and on TV always look much easier than they are!

It’s been a quiet 10 days or so. The kids finished school at the end of June and the local municipal swimming pools have all opened so they have been enjoying early mornings at the pool. The vines all got a haircut at the end of June and are once again looking tidy and like ones from a glossy tourist brochure. A few weeks more and they’ll get messy again. In the meantime, work continues on an ad-hoc basis to strip away some of the leaves from the northerly side of the rows so that the grapes get a bit of extra exposure to the sun in the mornings.

We have also been participating in some fascinating blending sessions prior to bottling – more to follow.

There was also a whirlwind trip back to Ireland to catch up on business there. Thankfully, all very positive!

Lastly, one of the most drawn out Bordeaux en-Primeur campaigns has drawn – finally – to a close. Long, frustrating and expensive – but ultimately very successful. Thoughts to follow..

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