Why Big Red Diary?

Vintage 2004

Friday…Do You Know The Way to Montrachet?

Action packed day… a little work at Domaine pumping down wine and then off to visit some marquis sites in the Cote de Beanue. It was the prettiest day yet, so photo opps at the vineyards such as Montrachet and Genevrieres were perfect. While taking a few photos of the Montrachet vineyards, we exchanged pleasantries with a woman harvesting grapes with her crew in “Caillerets,” a Monopole vineyard of Domaiine Chartron. Turns out she is the sister of Chartron and she insisted that we meet her brother to taste some their wines…OK twist my tongue. That is one thing that continues to impress me about the people of Burgundy….their hospitality and kindness even when they are busy. We tasted a few their Premier Crus and [….]

Thursday: I’d Walk a Mile For a Camus.

Thursday was jammed packed with good stuff. We harvested grapes in Pommard just above “Les Charmots” and then in the afternoon just over line in Beaune. This was another picture perfect day with cool, dry weather and sunshine and clouds. The weather for harvest is perfect. Like I’ve said before, this is hard work. I worked tractor detail today… dropping the empty cartons along the rows and then coming back to put them on the tractor after they are filled. It is trully amazing how quickly a vineyard can be harvested with a good group of people. In addition to having fun, these folks know the meaning of teamwork. We knocked out an entire vineyard before lunch. And we had the red wine stained hands [….]

If at first … etc. trie, trie & trie again

Just back from 3 days at the triage table, and it was great, good and oh my god in terms of the grapes. Where there was hail and rot we were discarding as much as 25% of what was brought in – and remember that there was already a rough and ready trie at the vines! Finished the day with Corton Rognets and these were beautiful grapes, very ripe, very clean but interestingly with the greenest stems I’ve seen all week. I think we did a pretty good job and look forward to tasting the wines as they develop. The majority of the grapes are now in, Domaine d’Ardhuy still have their Corton-Charlemagne to harvest, but their reds were done a day or two ago. [….]

It’s all in the grapes…

Seems like September has potentially saved the vintage, yet again! Many were the trials and tribulations of this year’s growing season, the harvest looked a bleak prospect only 4 or 5 weeks ago but a month with virtually no rain seems to have saved the day. The grapes are of course very heterogenous, no surprise given the hail and rot which dogged the vintage, but in the end it comes down to the trie. Today I joined in the triage of a Latricières, Charmes and some villages wines – some were much better than other as could be judged by the speed of the table and the amount of fruit being discarded. Rubish in, rubbish out is the old saying, I think we did a [….]

Wednesday…Gevrey Body Wants Some…

Sorry for the corny title, but that’s what happens after picking a few grapes and tasting some wine, especially Gevrey-Chambertin. Today started with a little work in the vineyards of Beaune followed by a day being a tourist. We checked out the Hospice de Beaune, Clos Vougeot, & the Market in Beaune. A little shopping in Beaune followed by a visit to a few Domaines. It was a fun day of good tasting and learning. After I visit to Clos Vougeot, we stopped by to say hello to Francois LeClerc, son of Rene Leclerc in Gevrey-Chambertin. Of course, what I thought would be a five minute hello turned out to be a 1 hour tasting seminar of their fantastic wines. Francois took us down in [….]

Loud Music

Please know that the harvest is going well here, maturity and acidity are good, sorting table and loud happy music, wines, work and fun Xavier@NicolasPotel

Tuesday – No Romance here…this is work!

It’s just after Lunch and we have already had a full day. And Lunch is no fast food dive here…They go all out. More food than you can possibly eat and just when you can’t eat another bite, out comes Le Fromage. And of course what’s a meal without wine. Today’s lunch included a great Chardonnay from Jura. It’s early afternoon and boy do I want a nap. No time for that though, it’s back to the vineyards. Picking grapes is much of what you expect or hope, but much much more. And lots of singing too. I don’t know the words, but who cares, I sing along anyways. Every evening meal begins ends that way. And I am catching on… especially to the harvest [….]

Pommard & Gevrey

It was a long, fun day today in Pommard; The weather is right for picking as it is overcast, cool, and no rain. This is good news for some folks as August weather was not too kind to those in some villages as they were hammered by periods of hail. Villages of Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey St. Denis, Pommard, and Volnay experienced some severe hail that damaged a few of the vineyards causing rot in on some of the vines. Interesting though, was the randomness of the hail. Not only did some villages experience littlle or no hail, some vineyards had experienced hail only in small portions. this was the case for example in Clos Vougeot. I spoke with Chantal Tortochot yesterday as we helped her sort [….]

The harvest report for 2004

Hopefully this will be fun and at the same time informative. Roving reporters from domaines and harvest teams giving you the realtime news. Cheers, Bill