The morning was pretty Autumnal and cold, so it was a surprise when it became a little muggy and 24°C in the afternoon – rain was forecast but never really materialised.
I started my afternoon tour on the northern border of Chambolle-Musigny with Morey – where Marko de Morey was picking some Aligoté (his computer refused to play this year, but I’ll still be posting some of his harvest images). Then I took a walk through the village of Chambolle to see what everyone was up to – here, together with Marsannay was the was of the frost last year – it seems that things have recovered nicely this year.
The team at Domaine Hervé Sigaut were triaging some villages Chambolle ‘Babillières’ – and beautiful it looked. Over the road at Hudelot-Baillet they said that they’d already finished all of the important 1er and grand crus – they were triaging the last of their Passetoutgrains when I passed, the main thing still waiting for them is their Hautes Côtes.
Michel Digioia was bringing in a nice looking load of grapes – when I asked which cru it was, he smiled and said – ‘It’s actually Nuits St.Georges!’
De Vogüé were cleaning when I visited – their harvesting was 02-08 September – “We had the maturity” said Jean-Luc Pepin. Francois Millet was as inscrutable as ever – “Let’s see” was his response to my (all) my questions! But the domaine confirmed that yields had recovered since the terrible frost of 2016 – they have so little that Jean-Luc said “I don’t know how we can commercialize 2016 – but this year we had nothing more than 40 hl/ha and all the frosted vines recovered well” he said.
Looking down on the Clos des Perrières
Then onwards I drove through the vines of Chambolle – lots of parked cars but not many people – towards the Clos de Vougeot. Here in their Clos des Perrières, Bertagna were harvesting – Pascal Marchand had picked his neighbouring parcel of Musigny the same morning. Onward towards Vosne, some vines remain unpicked and the amount and size of the the grapes were certainly impressive – but how does one make great wine with 12-16 bunches of grapes – per vine! There was a little rot starting to appear too – with the forecast change in the weather, I think these need to be cut pretty quickly…
Vosne-Romanée looked like it was hosting a football-match or something – just so many cars. Here there were also some massive yields in the villages vines – I’ve heard of 80+ hl/ha – t will be interesting to see how much Bourgogne Rouge will be produced this year! One grower told me that they mad a hard ‘green harvest’ when they got back from their August holiday (the grapes were not so green!) just so that they would hit the allowed yields.
Nuits had a few pickers, and particularly southern Nuits – I saw Thibault Liger-Belair exiting Les St.Georges with a nice truck-full of grapes. The team of Arlot were also busy in the Clos des Forets. Further south, heading home, I noted a couple of groups in picking Ladoix and another that looked busy in what could have been the very top of Clos du Roi – next to Le Corton. A few more in the Chorey Les Beaumonts – this is on the Aloxe side of the road – but generally this far south, the vineyards are now quiet, spent…