Why Big Red Diary?

16 september – 2015 harvest day 13

For those who were asking, here’s the difference between (very ripe) pinot noir and pinot gris – locally called pinot beurot – from Charmes-Chambertin today.
[2x life-size]

We wake to rain – not particularly heavy, but unyielding. It’s still raining when our first truck of grapes arrives from Gevrey-Chambertin – avec nos Charmes-Chambertin – I bet the cases will be rather muddy (again) too! As it turns out the cases are in good shape – this grower fills them differently to the one in Marsannay.

DSC07888Our grower’s Charmes is always something of a challenge to triage as it’s normally full of rot. This year, hardly a sight of rot – maybe a dozen bunches from many pallets of fruit – and they have also managed the oïdium better than most too, I found only 2 or 3 bunches in the 2 hour session of triage – chapeau! The grapes are dark and ripe, and it seems to me that they were needing to be picked – any hard handling and the berries begin to part with their stems – but yet again, what stems! Like the yesterday’s Marsannay, approaching brown/red colour for many – really lignified. I’ve never seen that before, but it’s really just these last two appellations that have presented themselves in such a way. These are our only grapes of the day – half the cleaning is done before lunch, the rest after. Fortunately today we triaged just a little longer than we cleaned!

Halfway through our triage there was sunshine but also an ever-growing force of wind. After lunch the floors of Beaune are littered with discarded branches and hundreds of horse chestnuts – the temperature was impressive too, whilst this wind alone could easily dry the vines, the temperature was well over 20°C – warmer outdoors than in. In Switzerland we would call this a Föhn wind, the Swiss also took this word for a hairdryer! Our forecasters suggested thunder and lightning would return by 19h00, so I went jogging at 16h30 – the thunder and first drops of rain started before I was back – and I was only out for 30 minutes. Rain returned with a vengence about 18h30.

Will our last appellation arrive tomorrow? It seems not, the talk is now of Friday or even Saturday – hmm – our Paulée is planned for Friday, and I’m not sure it’s allowed to bring in grapes after the Paulée. Tough decisions await 😉

(Part of!) Lunch:


I said it was windy! :

3 responses to “16 september – 2015 harvest day 13”

  1. Adam Peña

    Hi Bill,

    Regarding the top picture, is the presence of pinot gris in the vinyard due to deliberate planting or spontanious mutation?



  2. Adam Peña

    Hi Bill, thanks for your reply in this and the other thread! Its been great following your harvest report – especially since it seems 2015 will be better equiped to quench the thirst of the worlds burgundy lovers in terms of volume! I do hope however that the acidity can balance the ripe fruit!


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