harvesting 2021 – and now the start…


Morey pinot 2021

The crémant producers of ‘central Burgundy’ are now picking grapes and despite the rain of yesterday, today and tomorrow, the domaines are about to start too.

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey will begin his harvest on Friday. I will be starting mine, in Beaune, on Saturday – and our domaine will not be alone. Because of the French administration, it’s unlikely that anyone will actually start their harvest on Sunday because it’s classed as the last day of a working week – so picking on Sunday and Monday will require double the amount of paperwork – as the accounting is required for two separate working weeks!

A few isolated domaines in the Beaujolais, mainly further south of the crus, have started their harvesting, whilst in the crus they are making their ‘pied de cuves‘ – their home-made yeast/grape concoctions to have more control over their fermentations – but some of them will probably be underway next week too.

As for Chablis – the frost knocked things back so they will be waiting a few days longer…

Whilst I’ll be keeping my running commentary on the vintage in these diary pages, we will, unfortunately, be missing the words of Marko de Morey (sometimes of Vosne). He’s recovering well from a surgery – or seemed to be when I met him 3 weeks ago! – but hasn’t got the green light to harvest this year. I’m sure we all wish him a speedy and full recovery…

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There is one response to “harvesting 2021 – and now the start…”

  1. Marko de Morey de la Vosne19th September 2021 at 11:49 amPermalinkReply

    Thank you for the kind words mention Bill, appreciated. An enjoyable get together indeed 3 weeks ago 🙂 if a shame that could not be in Beaune.

    For those wondering about surgery & future contributions I’ll expand a little if allowed but suffice to say, for now, I’m gutted/disappointed (and some)/upset to be unable to participate in my 14th Vendange. So many constant wondering personal thoughts about how ‘my’ domaine might fare this year and those other domaines and fantastic folk I’ve been lucky enough to work for/with since 2006.

    Those avid, regular, readers of Burgundy Report, the harvest pieces particularly, may recall I referred to mobility trials & tribulations for my 2020 vendange. Sure enough, my self diagnosed arthritic left hip issues were confirmed post vendange return to the UK, firstly by X Ray, and then 1st Dec by specialist consultation. My left hip joint was more or less destroyed by osteo-arthritis (the right seems untouched fine for now). Although initially a 12 month waiting list for the necessary procedure on the UK’s NHS was suggested I was very relieved to get an out of the blue call in April offering me an end May operation date. Turned out I was moved up the waiting list by my surgical team as my arthritis had been assessed in Dec 2020 as at the most serious level (no one had told me that !). By April/May I was in a mess, really struggling & needing a walking stick to aid increasingly limited mobility. Procedure went well with short hospital stay & as now the ‘owner’ of a long life ceramic replacement hip joint the transformation has been fantastic. To all intents and purposes I’m back to ‘normal’ with odd issues e.g fastening left shoe laces, doing left toe nails but have been told full recovery is c12 months. I specifically asked my surgeon in the post op 6 weeks clinic if grape picking could be allowed going fwd. He asked me to demonstrate vine height etc (!) in his consulting room then told me I was banned :(.

    I am not ‘that’ stupid (well…….) that I ever seriously contemplated working this year but I am suitably ‘interested’ in a return to the fray for 2021 and beyond. I’m due to see my surgeon again after 10 months when working the 2021 vendange will be top of the agenda but should my recovery be as it has been to date then I’m very optimistic. I’m quite sure now I could triage and/or pick at high trained vines without issue but haven’t had time etc to explore such. For now, my recent vineyard experience has (last week) been confined to an English staycation vineyard visit & self guided tour (all high trained Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier – largely for English Sparkling wine production). I was offered a working opportunity there (Langham Wine Estate, Dorset, UK) for this year’s harvest, due Oct, but reluctantly declined as not practical as the other end of the country almost from home & no accommodation.

    So, thanks to all those who’ve appreciated & followed my vendange ramblings. Here’s hoping a 2021 return to ‘action’. Meanwhile, wishing you, Bill, all the best for a super vendange – looking forward keenly to your updates (once the tummy issues are, ahem, under ‘control’ 😉


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