Romania continues to intrigue and delight me. The guys I am working with are fantastic. I head back this coming week and can’t wait to see what’s happening.
The vineyards are now all planted and they have taken really well, we will have wine from them in a few years.
I have for a long time hoped that with this vineyard we will be able to work the land very differently from modern practices. With the help of a new team member we will look at how we can avoid the use of all chemicals on our vines and land.
This is a massive opportunity and it takes us a hundred miles from normal viticulture. To understand how the vine grows in a more natural way has long been a dream of mine. To accept the vines are getting diseased because of how we grow them, we need to change the whole way we plan to take care of them. We are looking to rebalance the whole system to allow the vine to be stronger and more able to resist the diseases we so commonly see in modern viticulture. This is risky but the opportunities are massive. If we succeed we will have done something that I am not aware is being done on a commercial scale anywhere else.
We may not get the commercial volumes deemed normal but will have achieved something far more important and we will hopefully have the results for you in the bottle soon.
The biggest change will be biodeversity and the vineyard naturally lends itself to this exercise. Terraces are normally considered a waste of space, land that could be used to plant grapes, but for us it offers up the potential for a huge bank of other plant species and in turn an environment where much insect and animal life can live.
We will also start using horse power to cultivate our vines, avoiding tractors and the effects they have. We will look at only cultivating where needed, every time we do cultivate we are killing the microbial activity of the soil and that is something we will try to avoid.
Basically monoculture inhibits the vines to grow in a more natural state, they then become dependant on our input, quickly leading to a cycle of human intervention and protection.
This is a long term project, we will have to cross many hurdles and I’m sure we will stumble at times.
In the meantime, we have started making wines from wonderful vineyards that are still grown in more traditional ways.
They are what we are calling our negociant label, Dagon Clan, fruit bought from vines grown by other growers. We are working close with the grower to get what we want and we make the wines ourselves.
Now after a little time in bottle they are really starting to shine.
I have stock here in the UK for those who haven’t tried, I recommend you grab a few bottles.
They are all packed in cases of six.
Dagon Clan Har 2015 (Rose)
@ £66- per 6bts
A blend of mostly Syrah and about 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dagon Clan Clar 2014 (White)
@ £75- per 6bts
Feteasca Alba with a splash of Sauvignon Blanc. Alba is one of the native varieties of Romania, aromatic on the nose and rich, with herbal characteristics and the palate is clean and lean; lots of brightness.
Dagon Clan Jar 2014 (Red)
@ £75- per 6bts
Feteasca Negra with 20% odd of Pinot Noir. The Negra is the brother of Alba and to me they both need to be recognized as proper international varieties. This is a serious wine, amazing perfume and elegance with some great length and persistence. Drink on its own, drink with food, either works.
Delivery is not included.
Drop me a line if you would like to try.