14 september – 2015 harvest day 11



It’s a bit confusing I suppose, as it is the 11th day since we began harvesting, but it is only the 9th day of harvesting for our team as we did none on Saturday and Sunday.

The weekend had no grapes as the forecasts were for apocalyptic rain-storms and hail – some moderately heavy rain arrived on Saturday afternoon and lasted into the early evening, but a surprisingly lovely Sunday followed with ever-more blue sky, sunshine and 24°C in the afternoon. BANG – is that thunder? We had at least 2 hours of thunder and lightning in Beaune from about 5pm – for a minute or so, even 1cm sized hail after which the road outside my apartment resembled a river. Beaune received about 60mm of rain and apparently the fire-brigade were called out 50 times in 2 hours! Nobody has reported hail damage, or even hail in the Côte de Nuits, so those (including our) grapes that are still on the vine are probably okay.

The grapes might be okay, but those that were harvesting on both Saturday and Sunday had no fun at all – very muddy, wet conditions – some making references to Ypres or the Somme. I expect no better conditions today, even if it’s sunny. Yet the grapes will be perfectly fine – too soon picked after/during the rain to be affected by the extra water, or for the chance for rot to bloom in the warm and damp – but those that wait longer into the week? That will be trickier…

For our home team, we are planning to be finished on Wednesday. Today we have no morning grapes – though I’m unsure the wait will improve picking conditions, only the temperature. So an early lunch before ‘attack!’

A nice lunchtime selection – if hard to read, that black label is Dominique Laurent’s 1998 Gevrey Clos St.Jacques.

Lunch over and we start un-loading our Marsannay Longeroies from the truck and – BOOM! – the return of the thunder. Actually, not just thunder, heavy rain too. It lasts no more than 20 minutes and then slowly the sky becomes bluer and bluer – of-course the rain is back two hours later! The grapes are almost as good as my 2015 benchmark (the first parcel of bourgogne), but with stems that are a little yellower/browner. For the first time this year the call is heard – ‘whole clusters!’ We quickly remove the destemmer and then carry on. 60 case of fruit are quickly despatched. I saw little botrytis, little oïdium though also some unripe in a few cases of fruit. Overall, excellent! We have a second parcel of this same fruit, and I have to say it’s a little less good – more oïdium – yet the standard remains high. So less than a hundred case of fruit today and cleanup starts at 17h30 – despite only starting at 13h45!

Of-course, we have more tomorrow!

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