Sep 4, 2011

Burgundy 2011 harvest blog

This year, it is Burgundy.
Participating in the grape harvest in is always a fun experience. In 2011 I had the chance to do harvest work in the other favorite wine production area of mine, Burgundy (France), after participating in the 2010 harvest in Barolo (Piemonte, Italy). I hopped on a plane from Lisbon, Portugal where I had been in a corporate event needing my presence and arrived at Lyon-St. Exupery on Sunday 4th. After taking a train to mid-town, then to Beaune and another to arrive at Gevrey-Chambertin, I was ready to go work in grand cru vineyards among the best pinot noirs in the world.

The estate is one of the largest and well-known producers of the area, Domaine Drouhin-Laroze. And it will be very interesting to work at grand cru vineyards. Drouhin-Laroze owns 11.5 ha of vineyards while also purchasing a small amount of grapes from other producers for the Laroze de Drouhin line of wines which are made by their daughter Caroline. An impressive 5.2 ha of them are Grand Cru vineyards. The Grand Cru vineyards include the prestigious Le Musigny Grand Cru (0.12 ha, only two barrels made each year), while Drouhin-Laroze is the second largest owner in Bonnes Mares (1.5 ha). Grand crus located in Gevrey are Chambertin-Clos de Beze (1.5 ha), Latricieres-Chambertin (0.67 ha) and Chapelle-Chambertin (0.52 ha). Finally, the domaine owns vines in the upper part,of the large Grand Cru of Clos de Vougeot, also know as "Des Papes" (1.0 ha). Click to see a map of the vineyards:

The team had already done two full days of grape picking before I arrived, so I joined in on the third day (Monday). The team includes 40 persons this year in addition to the 7 normally working at the domaine.

The pinot noir grapes ripened were significantly earlier in 2011 than in 2010 when the harvest was conducted as late as early October. More posts from harvest work to come soon...

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