2003 at Domaine de Marcoux

It was hard to get going again after the calamity of 2002. We thought that maybe all our work would be for next to nothing – but then we got back in the saddle!

Winter was cold, and it even snowed three times!
We began working on the estate – as yet nameless – that we purchased in Saint Laurent des Arbres (AOC Lirac) with the Canto family.
Romuald, our second permanent employee, joined the team.
After the rains of September 2002, mildew had become established on the leaves (downy mildew) and remained hidden in the ground all through winter before re-emerging in spring 2003, despite the good weather. Fortunately, and precisely because of the good weather, we overcame it without any problems.
June saw intense heat and no rain: the mercury soared to 40-41°C, and most June records were broken! The 35°C mark was reached earlier than ever (6-10 days before the previous record), and the number of very hot days had never been so high. Throughout the summer, record-breaking temperatures were recorded (up to 42.6°C on 15 August).
It didn’t rain in July, and there was tiny rainfall in August. The grapes well exposed to the sun roasted and their skin blackened, especially the Syrah. The Grenache were less troubled by this: being goblet trained, the bunches were protected from the sun’s rays.
We began to harvest the Roussanne on 28 August – another record!
On Sunday 7 September, it finally rained – a generous 80-90 mm. The vines and nature began to breathe again – and so did we!
The harvest went smoothly, with sunshine and a gentle Mistral. We wrapped up on 17 September. It was a vintage that required lots of precautions – and a good refrigeration unit – to keep the wines fruity and fresh.

We have been farming our vines organically since 1991