Wine Talk

Snooth User: Erica Landin

Rhone 2012 vintage reports and harvest experience

Posted by Erica Landin, Sep 11, 2012.

Not sure what is the right forum for this, but I'd like to share the experiences harvesting in the Rhone right now. It seems to be a fairly good vintage, but yesterday we harvested what must be the most damaged vineyard I have ever seen. It's what happens after too excessive conventional farming and poor soil management. Read about this and about the first news on the 2012 vintage in the southern Rhone here:

Will continue posting pictures and reports for different grapes and appellations including Chateauneuf du Pape and Languedoc during the coming week, follow this thread or look at

Next year, why don't you guys take some "holiday" (eh...) and come join me! It's definitely a worthwhile workout ;)


Reply by EMark, Sep 11, 2012.

Thank you very much for this report, Erica.  The effort to reclaim the abused land is very interesting.  I hope can keep us posted on that effort.

Regarding your invitation to come and help you during harvest, I think I am going to pass.  I pretty much gave up work about a year and a half ago, and, you can't fool me, harvest is work.  ;-)

Reply by Erica Landin, Sep 12, 2012.

Thanks EMARK (Mark?) :) I'll keep you posted.

And yes, you are right, it IS hard work but oh so satisfying. Right now I'm terribly disappointed because yesterday's tasting activities showed that none of the biodynamic parcels are really ready to harvest and we are taking a five day break!!!

Reply by EMark, Sep 12, 2012.

Yes, Mark is correct (my middle name).  When I first logged on to Snooth the name "Mark" was already taken.  So, I appended my first initial. 

Reply by JonDerry, Sep 12, 2012.


So you're helping with harvest at just one vineyard/producer? How did that come about?

Have fun driving around and seeing the sights over the next 5 days, looking forward to hearing how it all goes.

Reply by Erica Landin, Sep 12, 2012.

I met this producer a few years back, filming with my sister. You can see him at about 3 minutes (and his brother at about 7.45) in this video:
We get along really well, Bernard Duseigneur is a thoroughly good person and he is trying to find the right path forward with his domaine. I knew I wanted to do my first harvest here, where I know I am always welcome regardless of if I'm a journalist or not and where I know that any answers to my (many!!) questions are honest ones. My learning curve this week is so far fantastic! It's a good place and I'm happy that he is allowing me to come along to so many things - even the ones which would be considered "business secrets".

I'm not harvesting at any other vineyards but I'm going to try to visit as many as I can. Actually, Bernard got me in to the mythical Chateau Rayas for tomorrow - it's a hard nut to crack and I'm really looking forward to tasting those wines and meeting the winemaker. Will report!

Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 12, 2012.

Okay, Rayas makes the work pay off!

Reply by Erica Landin, Sep 13, 2012.

Yea totally ;)

Reply by Erica Landin, Sep 17, 2012.

SO, this is what happened day 2. Very educative but not such a work-out. A few tastes and discussions later, the harvest had to be halted:

Picture of the discussion with the famous oenology consultant Pierre Cambie who told Bernard Duseigneur and his assistant winemaker that the grapes were not ready.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 17, 2012.

That's Cambie on the left? He's considered the wizard of the S. Rhone by Parker, I'm told.  Bernard et cie are calling in the big names! 

Reply by Wai Xin Chan, Sep 17, 2012.

Hope the weather holds up for the additional waiting time required.

Reply by Erica Landin, Sep 19, 2012.

Foxall - it is indeed Cambie, you have a good eye! Yes, seeing him taste was pretty incredible. The palate on that guy... made me think of RainMan. A good thing about him though is that he doesn't want the wines to be "his" style, he wants them to reflect the location and the style preferences of the winemaker.

Wai - so far so good. Though now I am back in Sweden. And here it's raining ;)


Reply by burgundywinecompany, Sep 20, 2012.

Where's my invitation?  I haven't helped with the Rhone harvest in years.  Maybe we'll get out there next year.

Reply by Erica Landin, Sep 20, 2012.

Oh, come join! I've invited myself for next year already (and surprisingly, they seem happy to have me). I had an American wine friend come join for a day, and we had a few Parisian sommeliers for a week. Good fun. I'm serious, I'm sure you'd be welcome too. N'est ce pas, Bernard Duseigneur?

Reply by Terence Pang, Sep 21, 2012.

Thanks for sharing your harvest experience Erica! I'm extremely jealous you have such a great opportunity. Great pictures (Monsieur Cambie!!!!) and love your writing.

Reply by Erica Landin, Sep 21, 2012.

Merci Terence! :)

Reply by bduseigneur, Sep 22, 2012.

An Official Invitation it is ! The Snooth members are most welcome to participate to my 2013 harvest. A group of 12-15 can easily be managed. Erica, you're in charge !

Over here the picking is not over yet : white today and tomorrow, Grenache day on Monday (couldn't make it on the 21st ;)

Reply by JonDerry, Sep 22, 2012.

Thanks for sharing this experience Erica, and congrats on making through your 1st harvest! I'm still a virgin myself, though that 2013 offer is awful tempting. If I get wind it's a good vintage in the Rhone, there may be no bars that'll hold me ; )

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