A year on the Hill of Corton

Returning to the Hill

Theoretically the job is done and my deadline was the end of June…
So, when I had a Burgundy assignment to complete by the end July, I went back to inspect the hail damage but try to keep out of the way of those busy vignerons who I knew had suffered yet again. Their trials are really beyond the understanding of anyone who does not tend vines and there was nothing I could say to them. We must not forget how much other regions of France have suffered or that the damage often lasts for more than one vintage. Let’s hope the French government shows the necessary support.

In Burgundy its the next few weeks that will dictate the size of what can be harvested and as usual the weather in July and August is paramount. However while new leaves have time to grow and ripen what is left, they can only work on those berries that survived.

The remains of a bunch of pinot noir on Corton Hill

The remains of a bunch of pinot noir on Corton Hill

The assignment gave me the time to shoot some needed stock at the Burgundia testing lab in Beaune, to visit winemakers I had not seen for a while and even photograph one or two.

The modern side of winemaking seen at Burgundia in Beaune

The modern side of winemaking seen at Burgundia in Beaune


Wine under the microscope ! (I'm waiting for a slightly more technical caption from Burgundia)

Wine under the microscope ! (I’m waiting for a slightly more technical caption from Burgundia)


Pierre-Yves Colin makes his point during a tasting

Pierre-Yves Colin makes his point during a tasting


Jean-Marc Roulot provides you with somewhere to write your tasting notes

Jean-Marc Roulot provides you with somewhere to write your tasting notes

He seems to find them comfortable too

He seems to find them comfortable too

At Domaine Roulot they're into eau-de-vie and liqueurs too

At Domaine Roulot they’re also getting into eau-de-vie and liqueurs


But they're making big bottles of wine- Jeraboams here.

But they’re still making big bottles of wine-Jeraboams here.

While the shooting is finished and captions are being checked its difficult to put this book down and stop looking for ways to improve it. We’re all doing it, the editor and I listen to any comments from our growers’ committee whose job it was to make sure I got things right.
I am well aware this book is my interpretation of the Hill and what contributes to it, but I’m also aware my talents for book design are untested and the locals have much to teach me about the Hill. Most interesting of all is the “tweaking” of an Englishman’s view for the French language
market.
Hopefully we will be able to publish in the US and Asia and no doubt what does not work for the French market will interest other parts of the world who know France less well.
So after a little email conversation with the editor during the week I managed to set up one last photo courtesy of Louis Latour’s tractor drivers. You have to marvel at the skill required to drive a tractor through those rows without damaging valuable vines. Just another job for the vigneron whose work already demands so many talents.
I just hope the book will interest people enough to encourage them to visit vineyards and take the time to understand some of what goes on.

A bunch of Louis Latour's finest !

A bunch of Louis Latour’s finest !

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