Back in the Côte d’Or the sun continued to shine while the harvest action had moved north. So must I, with work to do in Flagey-Echezeaux, Vosne-Romanée and Gevrey-Chambertin.
Harvest time is a difficult time to distract a winemaker for photographs. This is when being known and trusted can make the difference.
Heading north from Beaune I find Domaine Cornu’s team celebrating the end of their harvest in Ladoix-Serrigny
Exchanging books with Louis-Michel Liger-Belair in Vosne-Romanée
La Romanée waiting for triage @ Liger-Belair
Preparation at Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur in Vosne
Tasting room at Gros F+S. Bernard and son Vincent do an entertaining duet
Up on the roof the view is well worth the climb.
This front door about sums up the 2015 vintage…
Down in Richebourg things are under way.
What a beauty !
Meanwhile the team are hard at work in La Tâche
Meanwhile there is a friendly invasion of Romanée Conti by a bunch of New Zealand special forces masquerading as cyclists!
I manage to infiltrate and get invited to lunch !
A very hospitable bunch of Rugby loving New Zealanders.
On to Gevrey-Chambertin in an effort to gatecrash their harvest!
No action yet in Clos St Jacques
But Ruchottes awaits the boys from Rousseau any minute.
Not sure if Arnaud Mortet is helping Eric Rousseau or just learning from a master!
Another friendly reception at Drouhin Laroze in Gevrey-Chambertin, my first, but not last, visit.
Rossignol-Trapet are busy in their Gevrey-Chambertin overlooked by the, now Chinese owned, Château
Jean-Louis Trapet et Fils at their Gevrey cuverie
In Gevrey, Domaine Magnien do a very public triage.
And back at Romanée Conti you are sure of an audience of one form or another…
The first grapes from Romanée Conti are on their way.
While the triage team await expectantly….
Then its all systems go !
What price a vatful of Romanée Conti pinot noir?
At Liger-Belair. La Romanée 2015 is being born !
In Morey-St Denis, Cécile Tremblay is busy too.
At Gros Frère + Soeur they are cleaning up.
And, back in Vosne, Lalou Bize Leroy checks the triage.
Every so often my harvest visit to Burgundy merges with another assignment in the Rhône and this year there was a third client, Flint Wines in London. Consequently when I arrived back in Burgundy I had missed most of the Côte de Beaune. I still had a very interesting time in the Côte de Nuits enjoying great weather and meeting very happy winemakers.
I had planned to visit Chablis but the dreadful hailstorm meant that trip was best delayed.Can you imagine trying to photograph someone who had just lost 85% of his Grand Crus a week before harvest…?
I managed to catch Jean-Michel Chartron harvesting their Chevalier Montrachet before having to head south to Avignon before returning.
Chartron’s famous Chevalier Montrachet gate
Michel Niellon was picking his Chevalier too
Cleaning up at Chartron
Getting the barrels ready at Chartron
Marine Roussel@ Domaine Joncier in Tavel
Her husband watches from behind a reflector !
Nicolas Haeni at Malmont provides coffee after an early start
Nicolas’s Malmont vineyard, near Seguret, all his own work – watch this space !
Jean-Louis Chave relaxes with a glass of his favourite – St Joseph !
Jean-Louis Chave’s project in St Joseph. Formidable !
Jacques Grange and Claire Darnaud at Delas Frères
Isabelle and brother Christophe Sabon in Courthézon near Châteauneuf du Pape
Vincent Avril in Clos des Papes Châteauneuf du Pape
Julien Pilion loads his Viognier in Condrieu
Philippe Guigal and his Dad think 2015 is their best ever vintage. The grapes from La Turque looked amazing.
Start of harvest in Guigal’s La Turque in Côte Rôtie
Dawn at Corton
Chardonnay in Charlemagne, quite a sight.
The pickers are summoned to their Paulée at Bonneau du Martray in Pernand -Vergelesses
Next morning Pierre-Yves Colin is busy lining up his barrels in his new cellar in Chassagne-Montrachet
while cassecroute awaits
Over the road Laurent Pillot is watching his Aligoté come in
Its Aligoté- o-clock at Pillot’s
Quality control at work
I hope he has n’t lost his watch….
Paul Zinetti at Comte Armand knows there is still plenty of work to do…
Up at Louis Latour the reds are still coming in at their 19th century cuverie
At the Hospices de Beaune things are more modern. No “pigeage a pied ” here.
Ludivine Grivault is pretty pleased with her first vintage at Les Hospices
Nioc Potel is always smiling anyway!
Nico’s winemaker Xavier is more serious and likes to work in the dark.
Meanwhile Germain relaxes in between presses
Caroline Frey keeping an eye on her bit of Burgundy
Well it was not really a wine summer for me. A very brief trip to Château Clinet and the friendly folk there in Pomerol and another to Vosne Romanée to visit Cros Parentoux and the Henri Jayer connection in a shoot for Libers the auction house. The latter was interesting but I am staggered by the prices people will pay for wine when so many people are in need. But then the same goes for cars or any other luxury item. I guess high end craftsmanship should be supported, but selling a bottle of wine at auction prices is not really supporting the winemaker, just the ego of someone with a great deal of money. My apologies if I have missed something here but I am happy to listen to anyone with the opposite point of view… The same goes for all forms of art but here the artist’s reputation, if he is still alive, benefits and a queue forms for his work. I have seen it happen to a child prodigy and I wonder whether that is good for him as an artist, or as a person…
Ronan Laborde, owner of Chåteau Clinet since 2003, in his cellar
Early Merlot veraision in Pomerol 19/7/2015
Clinet vineyards next to the church that guides a lot of people to Pomerol
A July sunset in Pomerol comes right in the middle of dinner, but is difficult to resist !
An expensive bottle of wine looks like this, I did not touch any of them !
Cros Parantoux at Vosne-Romanée and a wall of rocks Henri Jayer cleared from the vineyard himself. On the left of the wall is Richebourg !
Jayer’s name still shines out.
The former Jayer cuverie seems anonymous from the N974
A fortunate encounter with the man himself over ten years ago, courtesy of Véronique Drouhin