The home domaine was on a fruitless day – still no decision on when the Chambertin would be picked – so I accepted an invitation to help at Chandon de Briailles. The domaine has, so-far, brought in about half their fruit – all the whites are done – today we were going to do a bit of work on their Ile de Vergelesses. Chandon prefer to do their triage at the vine, so picking is a longer process than at most domaines, of-course on the other-hand, things are quicker once the fruit reaches the domaine as there is no rolling triage table, just the decision whether to put the fruit through the destemmer or directly into the tank!
The Ile de Vergelesses was very good looking fruit, clean, consistent looking and with decent if not super-small berry-size. The skins were reasonably thick and certainly provided plenty of flavour. The decision was to destem about 50%, add those to the fermentation tank, and finally to add the whole clusters on top. There’s no long, cold soak here, just cooling if the grapes come in too warm – i.e. not this year!
We lunched with the pickers in a large tent as a cloudburst punctuated the otherwise sunny blue-sky day. This is when we got a message from a winemaker who’s van was bogged down in a vineyard. We came out with a 4×4 but quickly realised it wouldn’t work, and probably the tractor wouldn’t work either while it was pouring with rain. He got a lift back to the winery though – no names or pictures to protect the innocent (or embarrassed!)
Images from a day at Chandon de Briailles