We just received Decanter Magazine for March 2015 with a great article on Fronsac and Canon Fronsac, which Jane Anson calls “Unbeatable Right Bank Value”! And even better, Chateau Grand Renouil 2010 is her Top 2 pick of the two AOCs, with a 92/100. “Once softened it will be full of liquorice, bitter chocolate and blueberries. There is alcohol here, but the excellent balance of acidity and tannins gives it a round mouthfeel rather than heat.”
It’s early October in France and we just finished harvesting our 2014 vintage. Fortunately, the weather of September in Fronsac was warm and dry, and there was much sunshine to ensure the great vintage we hoped for following doubts after a cool and rainy summer.
Our team of 15 harvesters started hand picking the grapes on September 24th. They are usually students looking to experience the harvest before school starts, or locals who come to our winery year after year. This year we started the harvest with Clos Virolle, the vineyard close to the river with sandy soils leading to earlier maturation of the grapes, and finished with Chateau Grand Renouil where the cool soils and old vines require more time to reach the perfect maturity.
The best time to pick the grapes is in the morning, when the grapes are still cool from the night’s low temperatures. Our pickers work in teams of two for each row on the vineyard. Carriers (usually men) collect the baskets from 3-4 pickers and bring their bucket full of grapes back to the tractor. The goal is to bring the grapes back to the cellar while they are still fresh. Once there, we put the grapes through a machine called “erafleuse”, which separates the stems from the berries, and sends the berries to the vats where the fermentation process will start almost immediately.
Only 20% of French wineries still harvest by hand today, but we believe it is a necessary step to achieve great wines. Moving forward, we now need to carefully monitor the fermentation process in the cellar where the sugar turns into alcohol. The next few months until December will be crucial for us to make the best use of our grapes and put our family signature onto this vintage. The grapes are in the vats but the work is not over yet!
Wishing you a great month of October!
For the Ponty Family,
Two years ago, we released our first website to make our winery’s story and history accessible to anyone on the Internet. Today, we are happy to share with you a new 2.0 version of the Ponty Winery website: www.pontyvineyards.com .This new website allows you to easily find all the information about our wines including our brochure, photos, videos, press articles, and the numerous awards we’ve accepted.
Here is an example video we recently added to our website: http://youtu.be/VGUPhRj-EV8. In this video we show you how to prepare, taste, and enjoy a bottle of wine at our home, Chateau du Pavillon. We created this video after receiving many questions about wine tasting. Do feel free to share it with your friends or clients.
Finally, we are proud to announce that a few days ago, Enrico Bernardo, Best Sommelier of the World 2004, selected our Chateau Grand Renouil and Petit Renouil wines for his Michelin starred restaurant ‘Il Vino’ and his wine store ‘Champagne et Vins’ in Paris. We highly recommend you pay his restaurant a visit next time you are in Paris, to enjoy one of the best wine lists of the city.
On behalf of the Ponty Family,
April is always an important month in Bordeaux. Every year, the first week of April, wine professionals and journalists from all over the world gather in Bordeaux for the “en primeurs” week. They taste the wine harvested in the fall, and the wineries start to disclose their prices for this vintage.
For us, this special week is a good time to share with you our decisions for the 2013 vintage. You already know that 2013 was a difficult year. It rained a lot in Bordeaux, the quantities harvested were very small, and after keeping only the best grapes, we produced very little. With such tiny quantities, and a quality that we believe didn’t meet our standards, we decided not to release any bottle of our Chateau Grand Renouil for 2013.
We made this decision because what matters most to us is the promise we made to all of you of a stable quality every year, and to maintain our reputation for producing high quality wines. For our other wines, we are confident that we can fulfill that promise, with quantities averaging 40% of previous vintages. They will be fruity, easy-to-appreciate wines with fine tannins, perfect to enjoy in the few years after their bottling, and we know you will find a lot of pleasure drinking them. Our Blanc de Grand Renouil is especially good and fragrant.
Please make sure to contact us directly if you have any question, and in the meantime, we want to leave you with a video we filmed last year explaining more what happens every year in Bordeaux in April.
Happy month of April!
For the Ponty Family,
In November, Michel and Helene Ponty traveled many regions to represent the Ponty wines, while our 2013 vintage is slowly transforming into another great wine.
What happened in Canon Fronsac?
In our cellar, our 2013 red wines are undergoing the last fermentations in the vats, transforming the malic acids, before we start the ageing process. They will be ready around mid-2015, the 2013 white wine mid-2014. Don’t forget that the 2013 quantities will be around half of other vintages.
Because of high demand, we are soon running out of our Chateau Grand Renouil 2010 and Blanc de Grand Renouil 2012. Please reach out to us soon if you wish to grab some of our last bottles. Chateau Grand Renouil 2010 is especially exceptional.
Ponty on the road
Michel Ponty traveled to Chateauroux for the wine fair organized by Caves Raffault, and present the 2010 vintage and our 2012 white wine. Once again people were surprised by the great consistency of our white over the years and its extreme fragrance. Michel Ponty then visited our long-term clients in Belgium. Some of them are now the grandchildren of Victor Ponty’s clients more than 60 years ago! During this trip he finalized our upcoming event Ponty wine tasting, concert and lunch, featuring Dominique and Pascale Ponty playing piano and violin respectively, on December 8th at Lochristi (Belgium). We still have a few seats available for this event, email us at [email protected] for more details.
On the other side of the globe, Helene Ponty has been traveling from Beijing, to Shanghai and Xiamen to attend the Saint Emilion Pomerol Fronsac wine fairs organized there and represent Canon Fronsac wines. Many attendees told her how they felt that Canon Fronsac’s terroirs allowed for the best expression of the Merlot grapes.
Ponty Wines in the world
We are happy to announce that our Ponty wines are now available in Switzerland, and in Fujian province in China. Please contact us if you would like the contact information of our distributors there.
Finally, we want to leave you with our latest creation, a video introducing our winery! Enjoy!