With Saturday’s festive Paulée now behind us, it was time to bid farewell to the Beaune team of pickers. Despite consuming copious quantities of wine from the estate, the pickers in Nuits-Saint-Georges would yet have to put in another day’s work. As for Pierre, he had the two young female interns with him on Sunday, which might explain why he did not hop in to tread the caps down. Nonetheless, they had to be on duty at 7.30am with clear heads to monitor the 30 vats.
Day 13 – Saturday 12 October 2013
Let’s be honest, when the sun came out this morning and put the smile back on the face of the pickers until mid-afternoon, everyone worshipped the sun god. But once again, around the afternoon break, he was brutally floored by what at first seemed like a shower, but which continued to rain down on the poor harvesters. They persevered because everyone wanted to get the job done. It was too cold, too damp, too gray, and had gone on too long! We have lost nine pickers along the way so the pace has dropped, and in the end, we won’t finish tonight as we’d forecast at the start of the week.
This evening, the Paulée was held in Vougeot...
Day 12 Friday – 11 October 2013
Today was the chilliest day we’ve had so far with the mercury only nudging 4°C this morning. We spent the day finishing off the large, new plot of Hautes-Côtes de Beaune, and it will be sorted as soon as it is delivered to the winery.
Day 11 – Thursday 10 October 2013
Another wet and cold day in the drabness of a Burgundy autumn. It was a fresh 9°C this morning and it had rained for much of the night. The radio forecast the first snow of the year above a height of 1000 meters (fortunately the highest summit in the Burgundy wine region is just 771 meters). On the plus side, the grapes came in nice and chilled, and the naturally cool and long prefermentation maceration allowed for good extraction of color and aromas. That is one of the characteristics of these cold vintages, typically resulting in wines with a very fruity expression due to this initial phase of vinification.
Day ten – Wednesday 9 October 2013
The day started overcast with rain threatening – whatever happened to the change in the weather brought about by the changing moon? The morning was spent finishing the Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de Thorey by the Beaune team.
Day nine – Tuesday 8 October 2013
Another gray day, with threatening skies overhead but mild temperatures. Picking on the Côte de Beaune was finished this morning in Volnay, where the fruit was surprisingly beautiful. The crew then joined those on the Côte de Nuits, where two-thirds of our vines are located.
Days seven and eight – Sunday 6 and Monday 7 October 2013
Sunday was a day of rest for the pickers, but not in the winery. As such, the enthusiastic Sidonie, Blandine, Olivier and Pierre were on deck at 7am for a half-day’s work. On the schedule: pumping over, checking the density and temperature of the 12 vats that are now being held between 12 et 14°C, and the never-ending task of cleaning.
Day Six – Saturday 5 October 2013
With the rain coming down like a biblical deluge, Pierre no doubt wondered how he was going to cope with all the water and turn anything into wine! Given the apocalyptic conditions, we decided to harvest the most straightforward vines.
Day five – Friday 4 October 2013
The overcast weather is back with the accompanying damp, but it remains mild. It was not yet raining on the Côte de Nuits, but the mass of clouds looked threatening. On the Côte de Beaune, fine rain settled in at midday and didn’t stop for the rest of the day. Boots and waterproofs became caked with mud, and the gloves went back on. The pickers may well have kept their smiles, but the harvest this year is no picnic!