Happy (late) New Year!

Are we already almost through January already? Well it may be a little late for wishing all a happy new year.......the holidays seam like ancient history........Emmanuel has already started his Christmas wish list for next year! But we are only just in the beginning of 2011 and so I thought it would be nice to start out this year with a little look back on 2010.

2010 was a big year for La Combe du Jardinier. Lots of firsts and lots of great memories. Thanks to everyone who came by to share a little of it with us.

         We started out 2010 with a bang.
         The Turners, the Van Fraassens,
         Collioure and a little pruning!

In FEBRUARY we went to the vines to prune but
mostly got preoccupied with hunting wild leeks. 
We also finished our website thanks to tom and the 
team over at They were 
awesome to work with,I highly recommend them to 
anyone looking for a web designer.


In MARCH we woke up to a winter wonderland. Three
days of snow adventures, candle lit dinners and 
sleeping in front of the fire! 
(our power got cut off)

In APRIL we finished pruning AND 
finished the labels. 
April was a very satisfying month!

In MAY we started blending....and tasting,
we did a lot of tasting. I guess all that
hard work of tasting was worth it. Our 2009
blend will be bottled and for sale this spring.

We bottled or first batch of La Benita in JUNE. 
We also had Emmanuel's fairy god mother (Kate) 
come over for a visit. We put her to work, opened 
our first bottle of La Benita and picnicked under 
the summer sun. 
Renaud turned 4 at the end of the month!

In JULY Grandma came to France. I met up
with her and a good friend for a few WONDERFUL
days backpacking in the Pyrenees. Then mom 
came back to ours to spoil the kids and help
me get ready for my exhibition. Oh ya...
I turned 30 in JULY!

At the end of AUGUST we started out first day 
of picking. We harvested our syrah under 
perfect conditions; sunny skies,a cool breeze 
and loads of little helping hands. 
Kids in the vines is perfection. 
Emmanuel had his 6 th birthday!

 SEPTEMBER fills the house with a yeasty smell
of wine fermenting and a permanent trail of 
dirty work boots, coolers, picnic baskets and 
juicy sticky laundry. In other words the 
Harvest is in full swing! Christophe starts 
the vintage with our first harvest at the end 
of August and can be found at almost any hour 
either in the vineyard or in the cellar until 
the beginning of November. Its a busy, exciting,
magical time of the year for us...
when everything begins.  

We managed to find time in SEPTEMBER to 
invite Emmanuel and Renaud's school over
to pick some grapes and make their own bottle's 
of juice. 47 little barefoot sticky kids
running around was a sight to see!

In OCTOBER we were busy pressing the grapes. 
The press is a very important part of making
our wine. When the grapes are harvested they
are put directly into our cement cuves where 
the fermentation takes place. They are then 
transferred into our two hundred year old press 
where we lightly press the last of the juices. 
It's a big job leaving Christophe and the guys
hungry and blue by the end of the day.

Uncle Brian came for a visit at the beginning
of NOVEMBER. He spent most of his holiday showing 
us his talents and keeping me pleased by building 
me a new kitchen cabinet. Nothing better than a 
carpenter for brother! 
We also picked olives and drank wine.

Jamie came at the end of NOVEMBER and we took
to the sky's. I got a great shot of the vines 
from above and yes that's Jamie co-piloting the plane!

DECEMBER finds us back in the vines pruning.
The cycle begins, although this year I have
my brand new 'bruloir' which has made my work
so much easier. 
(Merci mon amour)
to 2011, 
may it be just as wonderful as the last year!
xx Amanda



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