Now We Start


meursault vendangesThe sun is shining and yesterday’s breeze is today’s wind – the flags stand proud. Despite the sun, I didn’t see anybody in the (outdoor) hotel pool this morning – at 10:00am it was still 7°C! At the cuverie everything is ready; the table de trie is waiting, the plastic cases for the grapes stand in line and triage team try to agree on the choice of music – Placebo or Romanian folk music – it could be a tougher day than anticipated!

Here we go – close to three tonnes of grapes from Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Les Peiullets. This vineyard had real heat stress in August and was desperate for the early September rain. Despite the cool weather, the grapes were harvested in the sun and are warm to the touch. They are very ripe and, compared to last year they are easy to sort; everything is ripe, some dried grapes need to be removed and there is a tiny amount of rot in the centre of some bunches – done.

It’s only small team today as a) it’s Sunday and b) we’re only expecting about 5-6 tonnes of grapes. Lunch is washed down with a surprisingly good 2002 Dugat-Py Gevrey – where’s the wood? – it needed testing, and what more appreciative audience 🙂 Later in the afternoon we start getting the grapes for the Bourgogne Rouge; the fruit hails from Meursault. Compared to the Savigny, the grapes have less dried berries but do require the removal of the occasional unripe or rotten bunch. We decide on ‘Europe 2’ for the radio and a quick rythmn is established

As the last grapes go through the triage, the wind has gone and the temperature is a balmy(!) 14°C at 8:30pm. Unfortunately duty calls (plus a tasting of multiple vintages of La Tâche!) and I must head for home, however, the local team will be our eyes and ears as the grapes come in over the next 5 or so days. If we avoid rain on Monday and Tuesday any future rain will be inconsequential for the wine quality – just the colour of the picker’s boots and legs!

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