A year on the Hill of Corton

From Charlemagne to Romanée-Conti via the old N6

THURSDAY started with a visit to Claude Chevalier in Buisson, a little hamlet at the northern end of Ladoix and we were quickly off to see his pickers in Aloxe-Corton as the cloud gave way to the morning light that makes the east side of Corton Hill such a beautiful place.

Unstoppable Claude Chevalier at Aloxe

Unstoppable Claude Chevalier at Aloxe

The Chevalier triage team awaiting that Aloxe -Corton delivery

The Chevalier triage team awaiting that Aloxe -Corton delivery


I had a rendezvous with my friend Marie-Luce who was supervising the picking of her Charlemagne by the negoce who is purchasing. But en route I was brought to a halt just before the Latour cuverie by David Croix’s team enjoying their cassecroute and I felt obliged to join them!

Two pickers from Touraine extolled the virtues of the Loire and I was offered a tasting of delicious,aromatic Sancerre to accompany my bulging baguette.
I met up with Jean-Paul who I last saw swinging his pioche last December in thick fog and hoare frost not 100 metres away from where I was now enjoying the other end of the thermometer’s scale.

Jean-Paul enjoying the sun.

Jean-Paul enjoying the sun.

A Sancerre enjoyed in Corton!

A Sancerre enjoyed in Corton!

I don't know where the bottles came from but it was all good

I don’t know where the bottles came from but it was all good


Over the road the guys from Latour were taking their break too.

Over the road the guys from Latour were taking their break too.


Onwards and upwards to Charlemagne. Just near Les Chaumes, on the road to Pernand-Vergelesses from Aloxe-Corton, there is a pleasant picnic spot with drinking water, shade and a little parking. The pickers had already arrived but I managed to get a space and hiked up past the parcels of Bonneau du Martray and Jean-Francois Coche-Dury with a feeling I must be near to the original Charlemagne plot and found the work well underway. Memories of my last visit in July came back as I remembered Marie-Luce teaching my wife the work of that season.
sunshine in Charlemagne

sunshine in Charlemagne


Charlemagne'sChardonnay

Charlemagne’sChardonnay

When you get to the end of a row on a hot day...

When you get to the end of a row on a hot day…


But there's no rest for some.

But there’s no rest for some.

Keeping track of the crop

Keeping track of the crop


Next stop lunch and Marie-Luce is promising great value/quality. She was n’t wrong!
Welcome to the Pont Du Paris, another "bonne adresse" in Chagny

Welcome to the Pont Du Paris, another “bonne adresse” in Chagny

Find it on the N6 or whatever its called now

Find it on the N6 or whatever its called now

Not easy to miss!

Not easy to miss!


What are you doing on the 4th October ?

What are you doing on the 4th October ?

Madame takes care of dessert

Madame takes care of dessert

While Chef stays happily  in the kitchen

While Chef stays happily in the kitchen

Returning to the Hill I found a scene reminiscent of Charles O’Rear’s shot “Bliss” that used to be used as Microsoft’s screen saver.
"Bliss" Burgundy style

“Bliss” Burgundy style


Highlight of the afternoon, what was left of it, was a return to Meursault to visit Alix and Etienne de Montille
Alix and Etienne in the white wine cellar@ Meursault

Alix and Etienne in the white wine cellar@ Meursault


Alix discusses the dinner for her team

Alix discusses the dinner for her team

FRIDAY
Actually, for once the week’s work was done without a Friday morning sprint so all I had to do was organise a sensible schedule (one that allowed time for the unexpected!) and get to Dijon station in time for the 14.41 TGV to Paris.
It was a grey day and I called first at the Latour cuverie for a quick chat with Boris Champy and to see what was going on.

sampling at Latour 180 year old cuverie in Aloxe

sampling at Latour 180 year old cuverie in Aloxe


Then over to Cornu in Ladoix – triage again…
Triage and a dose of vertigo.

Triage and a dose of vertigo.


Time allowed a call at Gouges in Nuits and I tried without success to remember the route through the premier crus to their back door, but I’m not as clever as I think and I ended up paying my last 50c for half an hour’s parking and walking through the streets looking for a grassy side alley. During harvest, the front door often does not get paid much attention in most wineries.
Gregory and his father Pierre pleased with enough grapes for a barrel of Côte de Nuits white.

Gregory and his father Pierre pleased with enough grapes for a barrel of Côte de Nuits white.

As good luck would have it I saw some action in Romanée Conti as I entered Vosne so it had to be worth a quick visit.

The visitors are more visible than the pickers at Romanée Conti but none dare cross the wall !

The visitors are more visible than the pickers at Romanée Conti but none dare cross the wall !


Didier from Corton helps out in Vosne

Didier from Corton helps out in Vosne

The small baskets are important at Domaine de la Romanée Conti

The small baskets are important at Domaine de la Romanée Conti


So is careful handling of the grapes

So is careful handling of the grapes

Time to move on and as I got near Dijon I just had time for a quick visit to Eric Rousseau at Gevrey_Chambertin.

Rousseau had finished but there no time to share the celebrations unfortunately.

Rousseau had finished but there is no time to share the celebrations unfortunately.


Then it was a dash under a darkening sky to the TGV…
Looking forward to being back in October.

A little later when I got home…
I received the design for the cover of THE BOOK !

Seems OK, the only question is, is my name big enough :-)….?
Corton_CV1-150
Anyway there is now a publication date of 5 November so we’re nearly there !

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2 responses

  1. Thierry

    Jon,
    It you go from Charlemagne to Romanée-Conti don’t drive the old N6. Prefer the old N74. Pffffffou So much to learn about Burgundy
    Thierry

    Like

    September 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    • Hi Thierry,
      Not if you go via Chagny… and take two days !
      Did I beat you to RC on Friday?
      Jon

      Like

      September 25, 2014 at 3:33 pm

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