A year on the Hill of Corton

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A great harvest comes early. Part 2

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

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

Exchanging books with Louis-Michel Liger-Belair in Vosne-Romanée

La Romanée waiting for triage  @ Liger-Belair

La Romanée waiting for triage @ Liger-Belair

Preparation at Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur in Vosne

Preparation at Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur in Vosne


Tasting room at Gros F+S. Bernard and son Vincent do  an entertaining duet

Tasting room at Gros F+S. Bernard and son Vincent do an entertaining duet


Up on the oof the view is well worth the climb.

Up on the roof the view is well worth the climb.


This front door about sums up the 2015 vintage...

This front door about sums up the 2015 vintage…


Down in Richebourg things are under way.

Down in Richebourg things are under way.


What a beauty !

What a beauty !

Meanwhile the team are hard at work in La Tâche 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!

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.

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

No action yet in Clos St Jacques


But Ruchottes awaits the boys from Rousseau any minute.

But Ruchottes awaits the boys from Rousseau any minute.


Not sure if Arnaud Mortet is helping Eric Rousseau or just learning from a master!

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.

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

Rossignol-Trapet are busy in their Gevrey-Chambertin overlooked by the, now Chinese owned, Château


Jean-Louis Trapet et Fils  at their Gevrey cuverie

Jean-Louis Trapet et Fils at their Gevrey cuverie

In Gevrey, Domaine Magnien do a very public triage.

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...

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.

The first grapes from Romanée Conti are on their way.

While the triage team await expectantly....

While the triage team await expectantly….

Then its all systems go !

Then its all systems go !


What price a vatful of Romanée Conti pinot noir?

What price a vatful of Romanée Conti pinot noir?


At Liger-Belair. La Romanée 2015 is being born !

At Liger-Belair. La Romanée 2015 is being born !


In Morey-St Denis, Cécile Tremblay is busy too.

In Morey-St Denis, Cécile Tremblay is busy too.


At Gros Frère + Soeur they are cleaning up.

At Gros Frère + Soeur they are cleaning up.


And, back in Vosne, Lalou Bize Leroy checks the triage.

And, back in Vosne, Lalou Bize Leroy checks the triage.

A great harvest comes early. Part 1

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

Chartron’s famous Chevalier Montrachet gate


Michel Niellon was picking his Chevalier too

Michel Niellon was picking his Chevalier too

Cleaning up at Chartron

Cleaning up at Chartron

Getting the barrels ready at Chartron

Getting the barrels ready at Chartron

Marine Roussel@ Domaine Joncier in Tavel

Marine Roussel@ Domaine Joncier in Tavel


Her husband watches from behind a reflector !

Her husband watches from behind a reflector !
Nicolas Haeni at Malmont provides coffee after an early start Nicolas Haeni at Malmont provides coffee after an early start

Nicolas's Malmont vineyard,near Seguret, all his own work - watch this space !

Nicolas’s Malmont vineyard, near Seguret, all his own work – watch this space !

Jean-Louis Chave relaxeswith a glass of  his favourite - St Joseph !

Jean-Louis Chave relaxes with a glass of his favourite – St Joseph !

Jean-Louis Chave's project in St Joseph. Formidable !

Jean-Louis Chave’s project in St Joseph. Formidable !


Jacques Grange and Claire Darnaud at Delas Frères

Jacques Grange and Claire Darnaud at Delas Frères


Isabelle and brother Christophe Sabon in Couthézon bear Châteauneuf du Pape

Isabelle and brother Christophe Sabon in Courthézon near Châteauneuf du Pape


Vincent Avril in Clos des Papes Châteauneuf du Pape

Vincent Avril in Clos des Papes Châteauneuf du Pape


Julien Pilion loads his Viognier in Condrieu

Julien Pilion loads his Viognier in Condrieu


Philippe Guigal and his Dad think is their best ever vintage. The grapes from La Turque looked amazing.

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

Start of harvest in Guigal’s La Turque in Côte Rôtie


Dawn at Corton

Dawn at Corton


Chardonnay in Charlemagne, quite a sight.

Chardonnay in Charlemagne, quite a sight.


The pickers are summoned to the Paulée at Bonneau du Martray in Pernand -Vergellesses

The pickers are summoned to their Paulée at Bonneau du Martray in Pernand -Vergelesses


Next morning Pierre-Yves is busy lining up his barrels in his new cellar in Chassagne-Montrachet

Next morning Pierre-Yves Colin is busy lining up his barrels in his new cellar in Chassagne-Montrachet

while cassecroute awaits

while cassecroute awaits

Over the road Laurent Pillot is watching his Aligoté come in

Over the road Laurent Pillot is watching his Aligoté come in


Its Aligoté- o-clock at Pillot's

Its Aligoté- o-clock at Pillot’s


Quality control at work

Quality control at work


I hope he has n't lost his watch....

I hope he has n’t lost his watch….

Paul Zinetti at Comte Armand knows there is still plenty of work to do...

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

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

Ludivine Grivault is pretty pleased with her first vintage at Les Hospices


Nioc Potel is always smiling anyway !

Nioc Potel is always smiling anyway!


Nico's winemaker Xavier is more serious and likes to work in the dark.

Nico’s winemaker Xavier is more serious and likes to work in the dark.


Meanwhile Germain relaxes in between presses

Meanwhile Germain relaxes in between presses


Caroline Frey keeping an eye on her bit of Burgundy

Caroline Frey keeping an eye on her bit of Burgundy

Summer

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

Ronan Laborde, owner of Chåteau Clinet since 2003, in his cellar


Early Merlot veraision in Pomerol 19/7/2015

Early Merlot veraision in Pomerol 19/7/2015


Clinet vineyards next to the church that guides a lot of people to Pomerol

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 !

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 !

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.

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.

Jayer’s name still shines out.


The former Jayer cuverie seems anonymous from the N974

The former Jayer cuverie seems anonymous from the N974


A fortunate encounter with the man himself ove ten years ago, courtesy of Véronique Drouhin

A fortunate encounter with the man himself over ten years ago, courtesy of Véronique Drouhin

A busy but sad spring

The photographer/subject relationship builds over time. Sometimes you taste together, sometimes (very occasionally) eat together. The basis of the relationship for me is trust. Winning trust is important and very satisfying.

I am very sad that I will never again meet up with Anne-Claude Leflaive or Joseph Henriot. The suddenness of their passing holds a lesson for us all. It also reminds me of a sign I saw in a photographer’s shop window in the north of England a very long time ago:  “Secure the shadow, ere the substance fade…”

Their substance may have faded but their achievements were so important to Burgundy.

Joseph Henriot in a pose few would dare

Joseph Henriot in a pose few would dare

 

Anne-Claude Leflaive, at her happiest in the vineyards.

Anne-Claude Leflaive, at her happiest in the vineyards.

Before this sad news unfolded I had good week in Burgundy shooting a couple of days for the UK Burgundy specialist Flint Wines with Jason Haynes. I am so happy that someone is making a serious attempt to introduce their clients to the sources of the wine they are drinking. The growers all like him and appreciate his knowledge and his many visits. He has even managed to win the hand of a wine makers’ daughter Aurelia Gouges.

So rather than illustrating the usual faces for books and magazines I was being introduced to the less celebrated, often younger, but always excellent winemakers that abound in Burgundy if you are prepared to go looking.

Here are a few:

Amelie Berthaut in Fixin

Amelie Berthaut in Fixin

Jean Guiton in Bligny-Les-Beaune

Jean Guiton in Bligny-Les-Beaune

Agnes Paquet in Meloisy

Agnes Paquet in Meloisy.

Olivier Lamy in St Aubin

Olivier Lamy in St Aubin.

Arnaud Tessier ploughing in Meursault

Arnaud Tessier ploughing in Meursault, at the end of a long day.

Jean-Baptiste Ponsot in Rully

Jean-Baptiste Ponsot in Rully

Jean Grivot and daughter Mathilde in Vosne-Romanée Aux Brûlées

Jean Grivot and daughter Mathilde in Vosne-Romanée Aux Brûlées

Another part of a busy week was to visit Mme Lalou Bize Leroy

in both Vosne and her home near St Romain. We both staggered to find it was 35 years since I had first photographed her !

 

Lalou Bize Leroy smells her 60th vintage !

Lalou Bize Leroy smells her 60th vintage !

Aubert de Villaine got a visit too, another long time subject.

Aubert de Villaine at Domaine de la Romanée Conti looks happy with life.

Aubert de Villaine at Domaine de la Romanée Conti looks happy with life.

The new offices overlook Romanée St Vivant

The new offices overlook Romanée St Vivant

Romanée Conti’s reception

is not the only place I came across my book !

Apparently you can find the book in the ladies' hairdressers in Savigny !

Apparently you can find the book in the ladies’ hairdressers in Savigny !

Which reminds me that over a quarter of the print run was sold in November and December last year and it has reached the Amazon.fr top ten wine books 8 times in 2015 !

No 3 in the charts !

No 3 in the charts !

While in Vosne-Romanée I got a call asking me if I was free to go to Argentina after Easter for “a couple of days…”.
I was due to do a similar trip to Switzerland first but I was surprised to anyone would bring me to Argentina just for two days !

My Swiss trip was the idea of Charles Rolaz of Hammel Wines and although it was not the perfect time in the vineyards, there was plenty of activity there and in their cellars. The vineyard settings are both dramatic and majestic with their backdrop of snow covered mountains and shining lakes. Quite different from Burgundy on those days when you can’t see Mont Blanc !

Charles Rolaz of Hammel, Terres de Vins

Charles Rolaz of Hammel, Terres de Vins

Foudres at Chatelard

Foudres at Chatelard

Hammel's Clos de la George, Grand Cru Syrah in the Vaud

Hammel’s Clos de la George, Grand Cru Syrah in the Vaud

Terracing at Clos de la George

Terracing at Clos de la George

I have not seen Argentina since 1988 and I imagine much has changed but the journey has got no shorter!  10.30 pm on Easter Monday and I’m off to Mendoza via Sao Paolo and Santiago and happily with an entire row of four seats to myself. I am due in Mendoza around 5pm on Tuesday and will go straight to work. Sadly I’ve just missed harvest but there still plenty of activity in winery. Once more I’m looking at mountains with snow on but this time with warm sun on my back. By midday on Thursday the job is done and I’m off to Mendoza airport.

From Santiago to Mendoza

From Santiago to Mendoza

Jorge and press

Jorge and press

 

Jorge - a great face!

Jorge – a great face!

Among the Malbec

Among the Malbec

How do you illustrate non-intervention..?

How do you illustrate non-intervention..?

Carlos enjoys his “maté” while studying the vines.

Vines and mountains, Argentinian style.

Vines and mountains, Argentinian style.

On the Camino de Santiago

No, no, its not me!

My son Joe has decided, on a brief trip to Spain, that he wants to walk the Camino de Santiago. But in order to fit it in before he set off for Oz as part a six month sabbatical, he went straight to St Jean Pied de Port in the Pyrenees and started from there. On hearing that good friends of his had gone to Sierra Leone to help the fight against ebola, he has decided to try to use his effort to raise money for one particular organisation. He is about halfway and enjoying it, mostly,

Is that a skier or a pilgrim..?

and suffering a bit as well no doubt.

I’m glad he was able to pass through Rioja and take the day off to sightsee. His next wine stop will be Bierzo and I’m hoping he can link up with at least one winemaker I know in Villafranca. In 2010 while shooting for “the Finest Wines of Rioja and NW Spain” I often thought of trying the Camino and now my wife has caught the idea so it looks like it’ll be on the agenda soon! But 780km is a loooong way…

Having got up this morning to one too many emails suggesting I spend too much money on expensive presents for people who don’t need them, just because “its Christmas”, I thought I might suggest people spend that money in a different way. Does your dog really need a new collar for £33/40euros/$50, or should we be looking to spend it in other ways…? I love dogs, but none of mine ever worried about the caché of their collar…

 

So if you don’t need a new collar for your dog, you may choose to use the money here:

http://kslp.org.uk/fightebola

Here is the link to Joe’s Facebook page:

Fight Ebola in Sierra Leone: 400km of Camino Joe

Just don’t expect too many posts after tiring days!

 

I’m amazed how many views this blog gets from different countries around the world that are interested in Corton and Burgundy. No doubt everyone’s country is trying to help, but if you want to do something personally, here is your chance.

While you’re thinking about it, here are a few pictures from my 2010 visits that introduced me to the region.

Incidentally for people who like points, I see a Godelia Mencia Bierzo from 2010 scored 92/100 with WS and made 68 in their top 100 most exciting wines of 2014, only 8 places behind Nik Weis’s 2012 Reisling QbA Mosel Old Vines, 90 points.

No more advertising now, I promise, just pictures.

Spring ploughing in Bierzo !

Spring ploughing in Bierzo !

Early morning ploughing in Ricardo Perez Palacios's Corullon vineyard in Bierzo

Early morning ploughing in Ricardo Perez Palacios’s Corullon vineyard in Bierzo

Following the Camino in towns is not always easy I would imagine, but in Villafranca del Bierzo there was no problem

Following the Camino in towns is not always easy I would imagine, but in Villafranca del Bierzo there seems to be no problem.

Pilgriming through the vineyards of Bierzo

Pilgriming through the vineyards of Bierzo, just follow the one in front…

The badges of a pilgrim, his shell and his stick.

The badges of a pilgrim, his shell and his stick.

These two belonged to  Japanese doctor working in Brazil, I wonder if he held a surgery every evening... Please note, some days it rains !

These two belonged to Japanese doctor working in Brazil, I wonder if he held a surgery every evening… Please note, some days it rains !

And sometimes the sun shines

And sometimes the sun shines

The church of Santiago in Villafranca. Invalids who got this far were to expected to cros the mountains that lay ahead and were deemed to have completed their pilgrimage

The church of Santiago in Villafranca. Invalids who got this far were not expected to cross the mountains that lay ahead and were deemed to have completed their pilgrimage

The Puerta del Perdón (door of Mercy) at the church reflects the local preoccupation with grapes. grapes...

The Puerta del Perdón (door of Mercy) at the church reflects the local preoccupation with grapes….

But down the hill in Villafranca it seems  50% of the winemakers (Ricardo Perez Palacios, a.k.a."Titìn" and Raul Perez anyway ) finish work with a beer !

But down the hill in Villafranca it seems 50% of the winemakers (or at least  Ricardo Perez Palacios, a.k.a.”Titìn” and Raul Perez  ) finish work with a beer !

Well Raul has a hard day with his team harvesting in the Bierzo hills

Well Raul has a hard day with his team harvesting in the Bierzo hills

A nice handful of Mencia

A nice handful of Mencia

While Ricardo takes it easy in the cellar

While Ricardo takes it easy in the cellar

Ricardo knows his stuff as you can see !

Ricardo knows his stuff as you can see !

Out in the vines the team of another Perez is hard at it.

Out in the vines the team of another Perez is hard at it.

Another Perez, Gregory, is actually a Frenchman from Bordeaux. But he knows how to make a paella! Here preparing a celebration lunch for his pickers on the last day of harvest.

This other Perez, Gregory, is actually a Frenchman from Bordeaux. But he knows how to make a paella! Here preparing a celebration lunch for his pickers on the last day of harvest.

Not a bad spot for lunch, high in the hills of Bierzo. The track up to that vineyard was probably the roughest my Ford Fiesta rental had ever been on !

Not a bad spot for lunch, high in the hills of Bierzo. The track up to that vineyard was probably the roughest my Ford Fiesta rental had ever been on !

 

Job done!

Job done!

Now its time for lunch.

Now its time for lunch.

Get ready for the long drive to Rioja!

I get ready for the long drive to Rioja!

The big Beaune weekend

For me the weekend started on Wednesday evening! I arrived at Pernand and was off straight away to dinner with Marie-Luce chez elle. Delicious Jura Morteau sausage with potatoes, salad and camoillotte cheese and a Jura white.

Jura'sMorteau and Camoillotte.

Jura’sMorteau and Camoillotte.

Thursday was an early start for a French magazine shoot followed by a quick signing session at Domaine Claude Chevalier and Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine in Pernand, a major subscriber to the book and a great support of my work on the Hill.

Julie Chevalier shows how to roll barrels.

Julie Chevalier shows how to roll barrels.

Claude Chevalier enoying a Havana

Claude Chevalier enoying a Havana

The afternoon was a  visit to Domaine Jean-Marc and Anne-Marie Vincent in Santenay, good pictures and a lot of chat.  J-M claims to talk a lot, but I think he has met his match ! A very enjoyable visit and another lesson in how Burgundians think.

Then followed a race around to deliver promised books for several boys and girls who appear in the book.

Finally dinner and some French tuition with friends we’ve made in Magny-Villers, Christian and Anne-Marie. Magny is very close to Corton and some say I should have visited more, but its not on the Terroirs de Corton map…

Ouefs en Meurette and an 83 Côte de Nuits village that was still going well.

Ouefs en Meurette and an 83 Côte de Nuits village that was still going well.

A very nice dinner “en famille” is always a great pleasure and it was a change not to be talking about wine. Except that we did enjoy a 1983 Côte de Nuits Villages from a domaine sadly since disappeared. Village wines continue to astonish me. Of course it will depend on the vintage as with the two 1976 villages I had in 2013 from Aloxe and Chorey. The dry year provided the tannin needed for such longevity.

Friday.

After a postponement in Vosne I was free for a couple of visits to thank subscribing vignerons and sign a few books. Dedicating in French is a new challenge, can’t say “large soif !” every time. I hope they will forgive my mistakes…

My visit to Clos de Tart was a mixture of sharing a tasting with a bunch of German professionals and half an hour with Sylvain Pitiot whose map of Corton adorns the endpapers of the book. Sylvain is always calm and very photogenic and has known me a while so it was a successful but fairly brief session.

Clos de Tart , unmissable in Morey-St-Denis

Clos de Tart , unmissable in Morey-St-Denis

I was then free until a session with Jean-Charles Boisset in Nuits at 5.30 so I went back to Auxey-Duresses to see how my good friend Tom ” The Hungry Cyclist” is getting with his business showing cyclists  a good time on the roads and at the tables of Burgundy. He has converted a ruined watermill into guest accommodation over the summer and begun receiving guests.

I found him clearing out the millpond, hoping for interesting finds !

Having cycled from NY across the US and all the way south through Mexico in search of the perfect meal, Tom is the epitome of good humour and indefatigability.

Tom Kevill Davies, hard at work as usual.

Tom Kevill Davies, hard at work as usual.

Serious amount of new wine to taste here, and winemakers to rub shoulders with, if you know who to look for. Entrance +glass is 25 euros during the Hospices weekend.

Serious amount of new wine to taste here, and winemakers to rub shoulders with, if you know who to look for. Entrance +glass is 25 euros during the Hospices weekend.

After a brief visit to the Palais de Congrés in Beaune, its off to catch JCB as he passes through Burgundy.

JCB fooling about with his new Cremant, "21"

JCB fooling about with his new Cremant, “21”

Then a dash back through the rain to Beaune to enjoy a tasting, concert and dinner with Neil Beckett and Philippe Marquezy from World of Fine Wine magazine, courtesy of an invitation from Olivier Halley, new owner of Château de Meursault and Bernard Hervet.
Quite a late night 🙂

Jean-Marie Raveneau, Bernard Hervet and sylvain pitiot

Jean-Marie Raveneau, Bernard Hervet and Sylvain Pitiot

Pianist Michel Dalberto and Bernard Hervet with his cellist son Charles

Pianist Michel Dalberto and Bernard Hervet with his cellist son Charles after the concert.

Saturday morning meant a more serious visit to Palais de Congrés before a lunch at La Dilettante in Beaune.

Alex Gambal - an American at the Palais

Alex Gambal – an American at the Palais

Pierre Cornu at work at the Palais

Pierre Cornu at work at the Palais

Gorgeous gougeres at 3 euros/15 help absorb all the liquid!

Gorgeous gougeres at 3 euros/15 help absorb all the liquid!

Walking through Beaune during Hospices weekend is always entertaining after the travails of finding somewhere to park!

Sushi anyone ?

Sushi anyone ?

Olivier Lamy and Nicolas Rossignol celebrate passing unnoticed among the crowds

Olivier Lamy and Nicolas Rossignol celebrate, passing unnoticed among the crowds

Beaune, colourful and noisy during this weekend.

Beaune, colourful and noisy during this weekend.

Trying the jambon at La Dilettante

Trying the jambon at La Dilettante

joining up with Rosi hanson for a fun lunch. A real Burgundy moment - sharing a real and delicious croque monsieur with an American investment banker and hearing of his conversion from Bordeaux!

joining up with Rosi hanson for a fun lunch. A real Burgundy moment – sharing a real and delicious croque monsieur with an American investment banker and hearing of his conversion from Bordeaux!

Too good to miss!

Too good to miss!

Slaving over a hot pan in rue Lorraine

Slaving over a hot pan in rue Lorraine

All followed by a little shopping and people watching before I looked in at Roland Masse’s last tasting of Hospices wines before he retires and Ludavine Grivault takes over…

Roland Masse takes us through the 2014 wines

Roland Masse takes us through the 2014 wines

Lucie Cornu, as a student at the Beaune Lycée viticole gets pour the wines for the press and  share a picture with the star of the day

Lucie Cornu, as a student at the Beaune Lycée viticole
poured some of the wines for the press and shared a picture with the star of the day

Meanwhile the guys check out the order of serving

Meanwhile the guys checked out the order of serving

A lot of work ahead for everyone: 2014 barrel samples.

A lot of work ahead for everyone: 2014 barrel samples.

Sunday
Slightly nervous, I am anxious to keep busy before my signing début at 3pm in l’Athenaeum. So I gatecrash the Hospices Sunday morning press conference. Normally its pretty chilly but I find myself down to my shirtsleeves – nervous energy ?

The Sunday press conference, always held in the impressive Salle des Pauvres in the Hospices itself.

The Sunday press conference, always held in the impressive Salle des Pauvres in the Hospices itself.

Louis-Fabrice Latour and Claude Chevalier answer  to the press...

Louis-Fabrice Latour and Claude Chevalier answer to the press…

There follows un petit coup and gougères among other delights

There follows un petit coup and gougères among other delights

At the recommendation of Sylvain Pitiot (our third rencontre in 3 days!)I enjoyed a glass of Pouilly Fuissé from the winner of this year’s Jeune Talent, Romain Cornin of Chaintré. Then foregoing the press lunch I went back to my friend Thierry’s for a snack before my big moment…

Sunday afternoon always seems more crowded.

Sunday afternoon always seems more crowded.

Ah, chocolate, that's what I need to keep me going for 3 hours !

Ah, chocolate, that’s what I need to keep me going for 3 hours !

Ready to go at Athenaeum

Ready to go at Athenaeum

Dorva from Brazil, first in the queue. Dorva, please send that great photo

Dorva from Brazil, first in the queue. Dorva, please send that great photo!

Clementine and Christine Dubreuil along with Jean-Charles de la Morinière offer moral support.

Clementine and Christine Dubreuil along with Jean-Charles de la Morinière offer moral support.

Burghound and Robin Kick MW come to investigate...

Burghound and Robin Kick MW came to investigate the competition…

Two the boys from Quebec who took home the President's barrel still have enough euros for a couple of books !

Two ofthe boys from Quebec who took home the President’s barrel still had enough euros for a couple of books  !

Daniel Johnnes from Paulée NY brought his wallet !

Daniel Johnnes from Paulée NY brought his wallet !

Caroline Colin-Morey finds a present for P-Y.

Caroline Colin-Morey finds a present for P-Y.

Outside meanwhile, the auction continued but the crowd was a little smaller.

On my way home, the auction is still going on.

On my way home, the auction is still going on.

Monday and Tuesday: life returns to normal.
Except for my son Joe who today started the Camino de Santiago from St Jean-de Pied-Port. Bon courage et bonne route! On Corton Hill I am on the same road it seems, just a long way behind.

The Camino de Santiago passes Les Bressandes.

The Camino de Santiago passes Les Bressandes.

Corton from Buisson

Corton from Buisson

Louis Boillot and Ghislaine Barthod at Chambolle-Musigny

Louis Boillot and Ghislaine Barthod at Chambolle-Musigny

Time for new posts in Les Suchots

Time for new posts in Les Suchots

Low cloud over  Nuits St Georges

Low cloud over Nuits St Georges

Moving barrels at Domaine Grivot in Vosne-Romanée

Moving barrels at Domaine Grivot in Vosne-Romanée

Etienne Grivot in the lift!

Etienne Grivot in the lift!

Early at Aloxe-Corton

Early at Aloxe-Corton

Mist at Morgeot

Mist at Morgeot

New gate at Beaune Les Avaux

New gate at Beaune Les Avaux

Time for a beer with Yves and Serge at the end of a busy day

Time for a beer with Yves and Serge at the end of a busy day.

A good way to end the day smiling !

Rememberance and art

Today I joined the hundreds of thousands (millions?) who have been to the Tower of London to enjoy and admire the display of ceramic poppies conceived by ceramic artist Paul Cummins and stage designer Tom Piper that has captured the imagination of the country. It comes from an idea that was so simple but so effective. I hear that over 4 million people will have visited it.

My wife and I decided to walk the Thames down to Millbank to see the Turner exhibition. It work was brilliant of course but I’m sure the audio guides are a success. They are not complete and seem to send the viewer the wrong way round the room.

Anyway a really memorable, thought provoking and enjoyable day. Which is why its here.

Finding our way there

Finding our way there


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Another type of ephemeral installation by artist Luc Valvona on the river’s beach.

There is a suggestion that the poppies be given an extended life at the Tower, then go on some fund raising tour. That it is a shame so many people who wanted to see it would otherwise miss it.
I feel that is disrespectful of the artists’ work. it will be a much less effective piece if broken up and sent to another location. What it is now is what it was supposed to be, and is a wonderful thing. The artist intended it to be temporary, these ceramic poppies cannot last forever. The sadness many people will feel because the opportunity to see it has been lost, is nothing compared to the feelings of those whose loved ones lost their future opportunities in dying during The Great War. All 888,246 of them.

A quick visit to the Mosel

My last trip to Burgundy was followed by a quick two day assignment in the Mosel for winemaker Nik Weis of Leiwen, not far from Trier, a comfortable hop from London via Luxembourg. I had photographed him for Stephan Reinhardt’s book the Finest Wines of Germany, part of the “Finest Wines of…” series for which I was fortunate enough to be the photographer. Nik then invited me back to shoot his harvest a year later and again the following spring. I have always enjoyed the wines of the Mosel and the landscape and winemakers interest me a lot. Perhaps it could make a book…. A 200km stretch of winding river would be quite a different challenge after the intimacy of the Hill of Corton where one is constantly seeing familiar faces and always familiar with the lie of the land. Anyway here are some images from a rapid visit in mixed weather.

A chapel overlooks the village of Leiwen from the steep west facing slopes above the Mosel

A chapel overlooks the village of Leiwen from the steep west facing slopes above the Mosel

A monaorail for transporting grapes down the Mosel's steep slopes. I used to be an ambition to ride on one of those. Not any more !

A monorail for transporting grapes down the Mosel’s steep slopes.
I used to be an ambition to ride on one of those. Not any more !

Scary it might be as it twists and turns up through the vines, but I guess its still better than walking up. I'd rather walk down than ride backwards though.

Scary it might be, as it twists and turns up through the vines, but I guess its still better than walking up.
I’d rather walk down than ride backwards though.

Mine host, chef Patrick Liehr at the St Laurentius Sektstuuf hotel and restaurant in Leiwen.Good food in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Overlooking the river, it must be even better in spring and summer.

Mine host, chef Patrick Liehr at the St Laurentius Sektstuuf hotel and restaurant in Leiwen.Good food in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Super rooms. Overlooking the river, it must be even better in spring and summer.

Klaus Herres next door has an impressive list of sekt customers al the way to Berlin and well connected football fan !

Klaus Herres next door has an impressive list of sekt customers all the way to Berlin and is a well connected football fan !

Rudi, Nik's jovial cellar master. If he looks this relaxed in late October it must be a good harvest !

Rudi, Nik’s jovial cellar master. If he looks this relaxed in late October it must be a good harvest !

There is certainly some auslese about.

There is certainly some auslese about.

Hermann the vineyard manager looking as if nothing gets in his way !

Hermann the vineyard manager looking as if nothing gets in his way !

My next post will be after a book signing at Athenaeum in Beaune on the afternoon of 16 November, Hospices Sunday, and a book launch on 18 November in Paris. Let’s see if its all as much glamourous fun as it sounds…. I have 3 days of photography as well so that should keep my feet on the ground I hope !

Hubert de Montille

I’m sad to report that I have just heard that Hubert de Montille of Volnay died today. Burgundy has lost a great son. If you have not already seen Mondovino, Hubert was the star!Hubert de Montille. VolnayBlog LoRes

Young vignerons, old friends and a new book

My October visit was split between shooting for a specialist Burgundy importer from London, Jason Haynes, and a French magazine. Jason wants his website to include to include more than bottle shots and I am pleased that someone is trying to give their customers more background to Burgundy and its producers. I also had a couple of shoots for The World of Fine Wine so its been a busy week up and down the Côte D’Or.
There was plenty of sunshine and warmth most days after a couple of misty starts and in places the autumn colour was very pleasant. but I was here for people and people I got.
Monday afternoon:

Marie-Christine and Maerie-Andrée with a photo of their father Georges

Marie-Christine and Maerie-Andrée with a photo of their father Georges


Mugneret-Gibourg's Clos de Vougeot label

Mugneret-Gibourg’s Clos de Vougeot label


Tuesday:
Barrels on the move in Vosne-Romanée

Barrels on the move in Vosne-Romanée


Shedding some light at Domaine Leroy

Shedding some light at Domaine Leroy


Greg Love walked from London to Burgundy and looks good on it ! I found him in Vosne Romanée

Greg Love walked from London to Burgundy and looks good on it ! I found him in Vosne Romanée


Wedneday:
Thierry Gaudillère from Bourgogne Aujourd'hui at work for Corton's review.

Thierry Gaudillère from Bourgogne Aujourd’hui at work for Corton’s review.


Mist at Aloxe-Corton

Mist at Aloxe-Corton


Bertrand Bachelet at Dezize-Les-Maranges

Bertrand Bachelet at Dezize-Les-Maranges


La Fussière, a big name in Maranges

La Fussière, a big name in Maranges

Looking forward to tasting this rarity.

Looking forward to tasting this rarity.


Antoine, son of Francois now runs Domaine Jobard in Meursault

Antoine, son of Francois now runs Domaine Jobard in Meursault


Quite a few lieux-dits here in one picture, that's Corton Hill.

Quite a few lieux-dits here in one picture, that’s Corton Hill.


Thursday:
Armand Heitz, a new name in Chassagne-Montrachet

Armand Heitz, a new name in Chassagne-Montrachet


Jean-Charles Le Bault de la Morinère of Bonneau du Martray in his tasting room

Jean-Charles Le Bault de la Morinère of Bonneau du Martray in his tasting room


Benôit Riffault checks fermentation at Etienne Sauzet

Benôit Riffault checks fermentation at Etienne Sauzet


Pierre Duroche in Gevrey-Chambertin, a serious rock climber too.

Pierre Duroche in Gevrey-Chambertin, a serious rock climber too.


Stephane Magnien and his father line up their barrels in Morey St Denis

Stephane Magnien and his father line up their barrels in Morey St Denis

The naming of barrels chez Stephane Magnien

The naming of barrels chez Stephane Magnien


Friday:
Guillaume Tardy cleans his barrels in Vosne-Romanée

Guillaume Tardy cleans his barrels in Vosne-Romanée


The shavings. Beauty in small things.

The shavings. Beauty in small things.

November 5 is definitely the big day of publication for Une Année en Corton from Editions Glénat. I’ll be in Beaune at the Athenaeum book and wine shop in Place Carnot during the afternoon of Sunday 16th for three hours of signing duties! Apparently its also available at both Amazon.fr and Amazon.uk. Don’t be concerned if the book appears to have another author. François Perroy provided most of the 30 pages of text and often, it appears, writers are automatically regarded as the author, no matter the size of their contribution.
It seems photographer authors are quite a rarity…
Happily its my name on the book !
The text is all in French of course, but perhaps it will one day be available in English (or Japanese, or Chinese) Corton and Burgundy are well known all over the world as visitors to this blog have proved. As the French say, “On verra”….
I’ll be sure to let you know !