Travels in Burgundy 2023

Cité des Climats & Vin Bourgogne – Chablis

By billn on May 24, 2023 #degustation#picture gallery#travel pics#travels in burgundy 2023

In the presence of three presidents (no-less!) two from Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne – the BIVB’s François Labet and Laurent Delaunay – plus the president of the Association Cité des Climats et Vins de Bourgogne, Benoît de Charette – last week, I had a tour of the soon to open facility in Chablis – one of three such places opening to the public in the next month.

Whilst I’ll reserve judgement on the soon-to-open equivalent building in Mâcon – I’ve yet to see it with my own eyes – this place in the heart of old Chablis seems to be on a very personal scale, fitting well in its surroundings. I’m not the biggest fan of the architecture and scale of what has been built in Beaune but I will reserve my full judgement on that until I’ve seen what’s on the inside – like a bottle of wine – the truth will be on the inside!

This venue in Chablis is (by comparison) compact but full of an almost open-ended opportunity to tour the history – geological and social – of this centre of winemaking – burgundy winemaking. With a small wearable you can choose your language and subject matter as you head down the rabbit-holes of information from the next earpiece – though if your a covid (or germ) -phobic, you may want to take some sanitiser for the earphones that may have cupped a hundred other ears! Released yesterday, there will be ‘programme of cultural events‘ (in all locations) too – so enjoy!

The work on the building’s façade was not quite complete when I visited Chablis but it will be finished before the mid-June official opening!

A few images:

Update on Gevrey’s prime Vin de France…

By billn on May 18, 2023 #travels in burgundy 2023

Hmm - what are those new vines?

It’s a few months ago that the work establishing some new vines became evident – it’s not a big plot, not 500 vines – but the placement is very interesting!

What was once nothing more than parking has now been planted to vine – but it was previously grand cru parking!

From all the vineyard maps that I’ve checked, the plot seems to be within the AOC for Mazoyères-Chambertin and sits just across the road from Latricières-Chambertin. When I last checked and despite a nice new wall, the identity of the proprietor was not obvious but in the last couple of weeks a stone sign has been placed and proclaims the ownership of Domaine JM Guillon.

The problem for this domaine seems to be achieving the necessary authorisation to make burgundy wine – we (they) can forget grand cru for a while – the locals tell me that it’s currently classed as Vin de France – but there won’t be any grapes to harvest until 2026 – so there’s time for it to, maybe, become a Bourgogne – maybe even Bourgogne Côte d’Or!

I assume it’s not just the issue that the land – even if part of the AOC – was never planted, it’s possibly the issue that the land was used, not just, as parking but also as a bit of a(n agricultural) tip…

Monday’s pics…

By billn on May 03, 2023 #travels in burgundy 2023#vintage 2023

Most have the vines in the Côte de Nuits now have some leaves and all of those in the Côte de Beaune do.

Looking at the weather forecast, it’s warmer in the coming nights – it looks like we can forget about frost (thumbs up!)

The Côte de Nuits in the sunshine

By billn on April 28, 2023 #travels in burgundy 2023

Also some pics from last week – before a little rain came this week!

Côte de Beaune in the sun…

By billn on April 24, 2023 #travels in burgundy 2023

Mainly Côte de Beaune pics from the start of last week:

some pics from the côtes this week…

By billn on April 15, 2023 #travels in burgundy 2023

Charles Lachaux's Romanée St.Vivant...
Charles Lachaux's Romanée St.Vivant…

Today, it’s raining in the Côte d’Or – we were luckier earlier in the week:

Beans – with Domaine Bruno Clair

By billn on April 13, 2023 #a bit of science#travels in burgundy 2023

This week (Tuesday) we took a nice walk around Gevrey-Chambertin and Morey St.Denis – 10km – only at the very end did I see some vines with the tell-tale signs of herbicide – a shame – but certainly a better result than in Puligny-Montrachet!

Fava beans in Chambertin Clos de Bèze - Bruno Clair - 2023Much more interesting were a bunch of areas we saw that looked like giant vegetable patches – the vines almost completely obscured by bean plants (right). I ‘guessed’ (actually with the help of Google Lens!) broad beans – and yes it turns out that they are better known in some other places as fava beans – and very aromatic they were too!

In this case, it was a large parcel of vines in Chambertin Clos de Bèze – and the vines belong to Domaine Bruno Clair* – so I asked what they were up to. It was Edouard Clair (brother of Arthur – and son of Bruno & Isabelle) who kindly sent me this answer:

“In the majority, yes, these are fava beans. We also sowed annual clover and rye – rye only in vines that support it.

We are going to roll flat these plant covers over the next weeks – 100% for the legumes and mid-May for the mixtures with rye.

Our objectives are multiple:

– to add organic matter to the soil
– to provide nitrogen thanks to the legumes
– to cover the ground over the winter & spring which makes it possible to minimize and/or delay the growth of weeds
– after rolling, we will try to keep the straw on the ground, which allows it to be “refreshed” in the summer
– to create porosity in the soil thanks to the ‘galleries’ made by the roots – which will remain after the death of these cover-crops (obviously you must not plough the inter-row in the summer)
– from this we hope for some soil decompaction thanks to those roots
– and to stimulate the diversity of aerial fauna – ‘the rhizosphere…’

That’s it for the summary!”

Thank-you Edouard!

*I note that, amongst others, Pierre Vincent of Domaine Leflaive in Puligny is also a big fan of planting beans in the vines!

A little Chablis colour this week…

By billn on March 11, 2023 #travels in burgundy 2023

I have a ton of merchant offers for the 2021 vintage for you – I’ll trickle them out a couple ata a time over the next week – but first a little ‘colour’ from Chablis this week.

Less sun than in Beaujolais but but always with a warmer (than the weather!) welcome 😉

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