Nikki at RedHeads – bathing in it is good for you

Bathing in it is good for you, and Le Chai’s Mark lends a hand

As I bucketed out my third coffin container (I found out they hold about 2.5 tonnes of fruit – sounds a lot to me!) this morning – smelt nice, so I wasn’t complaining – Mark H, winemaker from Bordeaux, came up and said “in Bordeaux, in Smith Haut Lafite to be precise, they pay a lot of money to bathe in this stuff” … that is the grape juice and skins etc. And I was getting it for free! And I wasn’t bathing in it either, by the way!

Having enjoyed such a warm, sunny weekend, today’s very cold (about 9°) temperatures were a bit of a shock. Much more like home. Oh : (

mark h press

Good to have another professional in the building – Mark H from Le Chai, Bordeaux

However, it’s been great today to have Mark Hoddy from our Bordeaux winemaking headquarters, Le Chai au Quai, assisting at RedHeads. It really helped us get through the pressing.

mark h dan chat

Mark H and Dan talking shop

And that was lucky as the afternoon involved a bomb over in the Ute to the McLaren Vale, to do a quick tasting. I was keen to take another look at the McLaren – I haven’t been there for 20 years. Prettier, more hilly than the Barossa, with the vines on slopes. Altogether it has smaller feel.

cab vyd

The boys checking out the Cabernet grapes at Jeff Erkhart’s vineyard

On the way we stopped at the Erkhart vineyard from which Dan is hoping to pick up some Cabernet. And the berries were still tiny and nowhere near ripe. It’s flipping cold too, until the weekend they say, so not much prospect of that this side of Easter.

cab grapes

The Cabernet berries were very small and only 12° baume

mark H dan tasting

Dan and Mark tasting some McLaren wines

No chance of scenic shots …. Dan was driving fast. I could have got a shot of Hahnsdorf town as we stopped there – silly me. It’s extremely Germanic in every way. No surprise as the first settlers were from there. Of course, we had to sample a stein of beer.

Only one day to go : (


About Laithwaites Wine

Laithwaite's began in 1969, when Tony Laithwaite took a job washing bottles in Bordeaux... and fell in love with real wine and the people who make it. When he borrowed a van to share these delicious wines with friends and neighbours at home, things went so well that boutique wineries were soon queuing to take part. Today we're the UK's No.1 home-delivery wine merchant, with over 1,500 wines to choose from... including red, white and rosé, plus Champagne and sparkling, beer and cider.

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