Caveau

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Burgundy & Champagne Harvest update 9-14-17

Most folks on the Côte de Beaune are now done, or will be finishing up in the next 24 hours. Pretty much the same story up in the Côte de Nuits as well - they started a bit later, but most are wrapping up shortly. The weather has been unseasonably cold the last 3 days, so the grapes aren't getting any riper at this point. The cool weather has helped keep good acidity levels, and everything was already quite ripe, so things have really worked out well. Chardonnay yields are down a bit, but still way up over the last several miserly years, and the Pinot yields are excellent across the board. The tanks and barrel cellars will finally be full. Whew...

Hasn't really changed much since the MIddle Ages (though no one dresses so nicely for pigeage these days...)

Hasn't really changed much since the MIddle Ages (though no one dresses so nicely for pigeage these days...)

After another rough year in Chablis, harvest started this week, and the grapes that they have seem to be in very good shape and have reached good maturity. Some sectors were nearly a 100% loss due the spring frost in April, while others escaped fairly unscathed. Down south, two hail events hit Fleurie very hard in the Beaujolais, for yet another year. Yikes. Most of the Crus lost a fair amount of crop this year again, which makes me very sad (and reminds me to stock up on whatever '16s and '15s I can find!)

Loading les caisses in Clos du Colombier for their quick trip to the winery

Loading les caisses in Clos du Colombier for their quick trip to the winery

Champagne, being such a far-flung region with dozens of micro-climates, has some folks already finished up, and some just getting into the thick of it now. Word from Aurélien Laherte  at Laherte Frères this morning is that they've finished up, with the Chardonnay being the star of the vintage for sure (have heard that from multiple sources), and that the Pinot and the Meunier needed pretty severe sorting to cull out the rot that had developed from all of the rain events prior to harvest. Those who sorted diligently will make excellent wines, as the ripeness levels were very good. Those who throw everything into the tank may not be so successful. It'll be a good year to separate the better growers from the rest.

Between vineyard visits and getting some nice runs in every morning in the vines, I've also been getting a good amount of time in on editing our documentary film "Three Days of Glory". It's getting very exciting - we've got a composer working on all the original music for the score as we speak, and we're getting the footage tighter and tighter as go. We're at a point where I can see the end in sight, and I really love how it's going. A special sneak-preview here in Beaune is a distinct possibility for this November. More as it happens...

Tonight is the end-of-harvest Paulée dinner at Huber-Verdereau in Volnay - Pirrie worked on the harvest crew this year, so she really deserves the celebration tonight. We're all looking forward to a fun night of Bacchanalia and Burgundian drinking songs, and god knows what else. The last time I was here for Thiébault's Paulée, in 2010, everybody got naked and went down the block to moon the village baker at about 3am. Never a dull moment here - more as it happens...

Perhaps he had a bit too much at the Paulée in 1865?

Perhaps he had a bit too much at the Paulée in 1865?