Why Big Red Diary?

2017 harvest – 01 september

A tour in the Côte de Beaune this afternoon. There’s not much red being picked yet – Lafarge was at it, and I saw red grapes being triaged at de Montille – but Pommard and Volnay seemed very sleepy – maybe it’s the weight of all those grapes on the vines! Meursault and Puligny were busier though. I bumped into Francois Bitouzet who was harvesting I assumed Meursault Santenots – but no, it was Les Corbins! He’s very happy with what he’s taken in so far – last year the frost left him only 12 barrels from the combination of two vineyards – this year it’s over 50. Tomorrow he’ll be picking his Meursaults Charmes and Perrières. Talking of Meursault (pictured) I watched a picking machine work in this 1er Cru – in such ideal conditions I feel very unhappy at such an approach – a wine that will retail for at least €40, often double, deserves to be better treated, indeed probably needs to be better wine too!

Then on through Puligny. A brooding sky this afternoon – threatening heavy rain – but apart from a short shower early in the afternoon, just a very fine day for harvesting.

8 responses to “2017 harvest – 01 september”

  1. jonwyand

    Bill, agree with your m/c harvesting comment but I see on FB that a number of growers are short of pickers. Is this a downturn in interest in the job or just caused by the timing ?
    Are you going up to Corton to see how the new Bonneau regime is going. Their paulee is usually great fun, I wonder how things will be this year…… Perhaps JC is still “handing over”

  2. Mike de Lange

    Thanks for the updates, Bill. They make me wish I were there even more than usual. Will Mark de Morey be posting his annual reports as well?

  3. Mark in Pernand

    Thank you Mike and Bill. Nice to be appreciated. Mike, I’m acutely conscious I didn’t really deliver in full last year hence am focussed on trying to do more this time i.e cover the full harvest as best I can. Maybe I should shorten efforts to get each day covered than longer ramblings over just a few (first) days. We’ll see – I’ll seek to cover the most important elements for us all, not leaving out what humour I can muster/exprience. Mike, if there are any specific areas you or those stateside would like me to cover/address jusy shout up ? Needless to say, much like Bill I guess, am hugely looking forward to my 10th vendange, as much as my first, if not more ! I’m intending to take some Northern English produce for my fellow residents & so far have in mind Black Puddings, Lancashire Tasty Cheese and Lancashire or Cumbria Beer (Bitter) – should be a laugh to see how they are received – payback from the escargots inflicted on me a few years ago ! Filled my car (fuel) yesterday as we have notable UK fuel price rises due any day, blamed on the US hurricane closing refineries – is that the case in France or Suisse Bill ? Looking fwd also to what downtime can manage with Bill & will be selecting some ‘interesting’ bottles today. I’m also due to visit Dujac for a fellow British Burgophile by appointment to collect 4 cases of (not Dujac) wines for UK repatriation – am promised a tasting from Jeremy S but we’ll see. I’ll be mindful how busy everyone is. Also so looking forward to seeing M Raphet again next door when he visits to tend his vegetable garden, hope he’s ok given his age, and have a gift of a little something liquid from Ecosse for him to tickle his taste buds.

    Jon/Bill, don’t do FB but I can ‘support’ the harvester comments as I was quite taken aback (first time ever) to be asked by my domaine if I knew of/could recruit any potential harvesters. I don’t know of anyone as everyone who knows me thinks I’m bonkers to do what I do. That includes my 23 yr old daughter, currently between studies once her Masters dissertation goes in tomorrow who, when I gently floated the idea of earning badly needed cash & not needing her make up, gave me a look of the most withering disdain which needed no words. I retreated quickly. The youth of today eh ? Bill is too modest to advise I offered him the opportunity to have the Morey experience maybe after his Beaune exertions but he’s just too much of a home guy 🙂 . Doubt he’d get the Scooby nicked in Morey but who knows ? Parting observation:- I cant ever recall Bill and my respective harvests i.e Cdb & CdN starting so close together – only two days apart this year. Good luck to us all, here’s to a great vendange. Marko

    1. Michael Warner

      Certainly interested to hear both of your reports from the coalface.

      I’m in two minds as to whether I’m hoping for a bit of rain over the next couple of weeks. I’m not sure whether a large mediocre vintage wouldn’t be better for prices than a large good vintage. But for your sake I’ll go with the latter….

  4. Mark in Pernand

    Looking good Bill & good effort (4 wheel drive ?) to get up there 🙂 . Can we do Scooby & the new H8 MGT in Chambertin or Le Montrachet 😉 ? Perhaps outside the Hotel Montrachet though is more realistic rather than the terroir me thinks 🙂

  5. Mark in Pernand

    Ooops, meant to add hope you are having an early night now to be ready for your harvest start with a hearty breakfast tomorrow 😉

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