Letters

AUTUMN 2021 – SPECIAL HARVEST 2021 EDITION

Number : 66

This is a year that will stay in our memories. The 2021 vintage began with devastating frost on 7 April, followed by a very rainy summer and hailstorms over Gevrey-Chambertin. It was a meteorological disaster. With so little sun, the harvest was late and the weather that provided ideal conditions for powdery and downy mildew to attack meant we had to do some drastic sorting of the grapes, making small yields even smaller. This is your summary of the first few moments in the life of the vintage that was saved by the bell!

DOMAINE DE LA VOUGERAIE - LETTER 66 - EN

DAY 15 – A FINAL FLOURISH!

Number : 15 - Friday 1st October

One needs to go back to 2016 for a harvest that ended in October. It has become rare over the past 30 years because the start date has gradually come forward, with August now standard for the first snip of the secateurs. The vines’ growth cycle has shortened by a month in the space of a generation.

DLV - Harvest Bulletins 2021 - D15 - ENG

DAY 14 – HIGH ON THE HAUTES-CÔTES

Number : 14 - Thursday 30 September

The cold was striking this morning with the mercury barely reaching 4°C at dawn when Camille left her home in Nantoux on the Hautes Côtes. And it was only a couple of degrees more when the pickers set to work on this, the penultimate and most intense day so far. The fall is coming.

DLV - Harvest Bulletins 2021 - D14 - ENG

DAY 13 – A FLOWER DAY AND A WANING MOON

Number : 13 - Wednesday 29 September

It was another long day in the Clos de la Chapelle, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Morgeot, to finish the white. The vines in the southern part produced the biggest bunches while those in the more northerly section were much smaller. In the end, it took three days to pick them all and the yield was good for 2021.

DLV - Harvest Bulletins 2021 - D13 - ENG

Day 12 – A GREAT WHITE ON THE RED CARPET

Number : 12 - Tuesday 28 September

After a very chilly night (7°C) the sun had barely risen over the huge plot of Clos de la Chapelle when 50 pickers began work on the second day of harvesting this Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Morgeot Monopole.

DLV - Harvest Bulletins 2021 - D12 - ENG

DAY 11 – AFTER A SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY

Number : 11 - Monday 27 September

What should have been a quiet Sunday morning in the winery ended up being quite a lot more! Camille decided it was time to carry out the first pigeages.

DLV - Harvest Bulletins 2021 - D11 - ENG

DAY 9 – WELCOME TO THE CLOS DE LA CHAPELLE

Number : 9 - Saturday 25 September

The day started early at the winery, with the press already in operation at 6:45am. We were pressing the cool grapes for our Puligny-Montrachet Champ Gain and Charlemagne, which produced lovely dark juice and we were eager to get it into the vat.

DLV - Harvest Bulletins 2021 - D9 - ENG

DAY 8 – FERMENTATION BEGINS

Number : 8 - Friday 24 September

We could feel it was on its way, and last night the first wines started to ferment. After three days of cold pre-fermentation maceration, when the vats are kept at 14-15°C, the Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de Thorey, Volnay, and Les Marconnets began to bubble.

DLV - Harvest Bulletins 2021 - D8 - ENG

DAY 7 – THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM

Number : 7 - Thursday 23 September

A hot-air balloon in the sky above Beaune and the Saône plain drifts slowly west towards the Côte where the full moon is sinking behind the mountain. Our pickers are already hard at work on this beautiful yet chilly morning.

DLV - Harvest Bulletins 2021 D7 - ENG

DAY 6 – THE FALL EQUINOX

Number : 6 - Wednesday 22 September

It’s now officially the fall and we can see it all around. The leaves are turning red, the light is changing, the air is cool. It was a lovely day today, but the nights are chilly and at dawn, as the sun starts to rise, it’s just 7°C. One can feel the humidity and there’s no mistaking it – the season is changing.

DLV - Harvest Bulletins 2021 D6 - ENG

DAY 5 – A HARVEST MOON

Number : 5 - Tuesday 21 September

After rain comes the sun! Rubber boots were de rigeur this morning for the pickers because an estimated 40mm of rain fell yesterday on the Côte and the mud was very sticky this morning.

DLV - Harvest Bulletins 2021 D5 - ENG

DAY 2 to DAY 4 – SUNSHINE OVER LES THOREY AND LE CLOS BLANC

Number : 2 to 4 - Saturday 18 to Monday 20 September

A beautiful sun in a dappled sky welcomed us on this second day of harvesting. The lovely weather warmed the heart and eased the disappointment regarding this poor harvest.

DLV - Harvest Bulletins 2021 D2 to D4 - ENG

DAY 1 – THE CHALLENGE!

Number : 1 - Friday 17 September

What does this harvest have in store for us? All the questions we have about this chaotic year will finally be answered as the vines’ growth cycle comes to an end. On this calm and sunny late summer Friday, with temperatures of 13°C in the morning and 21°C in the afternoon, exactly 11 days since we harvested our Crémant de Bourgogne grapes, it’s finally time for the main harvest to start.

DLV - Harvest Bulletins 2021 D1 - ENG

PRELUDE – FÊTE DE FAMILLE

Number : Prelude - Monday 6 September

The first snips of the secateurs rang out on a bright and sunny day. Vapor trails crisscrossed the sky and the temperature was 17°C at 8am, with a high of 28°C forecast for the afternoon. The sun was high in the bright blue sky with not a breath of wind. The full team from the Domaine came together today to pick the first grapes, and this will be the only time they’ll be all out together during this harvest.

DLV - HARVEST BULLETIN 2021 prelude - ENG

SUMMER 2021

Number : 65

We are now heading down this season's straight, with two months to go before the harvest. They say that in July and August, one must repair and prepare.

Domaine de la Vougeraie - letter 65 - EN

WINTER 2020-2021

Number : 64

Nature is sensitive, alive, and intelligent. It deserves our respect. At the Domaine de la Vougeraie, we make sure everything we do is in harmony with its rhythm and life force. During the winter season, we prepared the ground beneath our resting vines to welcome the rising sap which will soon follow, and to get ready for the new vintage.

DOMAINE DE LA VOUGERAIE - LETTER 64 - EN

AUTUMN 2020

Number : 63

Harvests starting on the 19th August - who’d have thought it?! Lots of heat, very dry conditions and sunshine galore; this year was kind neither to people, with the advent of covid-19, nor to our vines, with the unrelenting weather...

DOMAINE DE LA VOUGERAIE - LETTER 63 - EN

DAYS 18 & 19 : SATURDAY 5 & SUNDAY 6 SEPTEMBER

Number : 18 - Final bouquet!

It’s the last day of the harvest, and as tradition dictates, we finish the very last rows of our Bourgogne Terres de Famille, begun two days ago, where our Romans are working hard for these ultimate reds, Aux Herbues.

LDV 2020 - J18 - GB

DAY 17 : FRIDAY 4 SEPTEMBER

Number : 17 - The last whites

The weather is very good today. The sky is blue without a single cloud on the horizon or even a breath of wind on the upper slopes and the sun is radiant. It’s the second day for our Bourgogne Terres de Famille, and we’re still on the Chaux plateau with the whites that we want to finish so that we’ll have time to press them tomorrow, because on Sunday, with just a small team in the winery, we will be focusing on pumping over and will not have time to press.

LDV 2020 - J17 - GB

DAY 16 – THURSDAY 3 SEPTEMBER

Number : 16 - Burgundy... from up high!

On this beautiful day in early September, we have already forgotten the grey skies, it’s getting warmer and it seems that good weather is on its way back! This is the home stretch for our harvest with the last, but not the least, vines in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuits, four large plots overlooking Nuits-Saint-Georges, high up on the Chaux plateau which will be harvested in record time by the team of twenty valiant Romans.

LDV 2020 - J16 - GB

DAY 15 – WEDNESDAY 2 SEPTEMBER

Number : 15 - Both Côtes are almost finished!

The end of the harvest is in sight! The Bâtard-Montrachet, the first to be barrelled, finished its alcoholic fermentation yesterday and Le Clos Blanc ‘La Plante’ has already transformed its sugars. Everything is moving quickly in the cellar - these wines are in a hurry!

LDV 2020 - J15 - GB

DAY 14 – TUESDAY 1st SEPTEMBER

Number : 14 - Full moon

This morning it's back to school. It’s unlike a usual beginning of term because it has been six months since the students have been to school due to the lockdown, apart from a few days at the end of June. Here also masks and barrier gestures are required.

LDV 2020 - J14 - GB

DAY 13 – MONDAY 31st AUGUST

Number : 13 - The whites of Beaune, the reds of Nuits

It’s a cool morning at 12 °and the sky is very overcast with large white and gray cumulus clouds, an impressive cloudy mass which will release only a few showers before noon, barely enough to water the landscape.

LDV 2020 - J13 - GB

DAYS 11 & 12 – SATURDAY 29 & SUNDAY 30 AUGUST

Number : 11-12 : Fruit Day

Temperatures have dropped considerably and are now around 20 °on the Côte. The harvesters, with their stiff fingers, are almost missing the rain of yesterday. There’s a feeling that nature, exhausted from the heat of the summer, yearns for autumn and so do we!

LDV 2020 - J11-12 - GB

DAY 10 – FRIDAY 28 AUGUST

Number : 10 - Beginning of barrel filling!

Incredible but true, it's raining! There’s a radical change in the weather, temperatures are plummeting and it’s only 17 ° today! The humidity fell overnight and this morning the cote is under an opaque white veil, the rain is falling hard and it seems to have set in for the day.

LDV 2020 - J10 - GB

DAY 9 – THURSDAY 27 AUGUST

Number : 9 - Swimming in chardonnay!

It is 20 ° this morning and the weather is overcast. The Beaune team migrated north into the vineyard of Vougeot ‘Clos du Prieuré’ white, which must be cut immediately, a full six days after the red.

LDV 2020 - J09 - GB

DAY 8 – WEDNESDAY 26 AUGUST

Number : 8 - Dappled skies

It's crazy that certain estates of the Côte de Beaune have already finished their harvest at the end of August! Incredibly, we are only halfway. On this beautiful sunny day we begin in Puligny-Montrachet ‘Aux Paupillots’ and continue on to Chassagne-Montrachet, the village next door, in the ‘En Lormeau’ plot.

LDV 2020 - J08 - GB

DAY 7 – TUESDAY 25 AUGUST

Number : 7 - St Louis Day

We began this Royal day in cooler temperatures and in the winery everyone was wearing their polo necks but the 15 ° climbed slowly but surely to 30 °, stifling hot and no breeze at all and by 6pm it was at its hottest with a still intense sun.

LDV 2020 - J07 - GB

DAY 6 – MONDAY 24 AUGUST

Number : 6 - Nature's generosity

On this cool early morning it is 12 °C, the sun is rising, it is 7 am on the Cote and the sound of secateurs can already being heard in our vines. The vines remain defiantly dark green and if you haven’t set foot in the rows, you won’t realise that the summer has been scorching and dry as evidenced by the dry, prematurely fallen or yellowing leaves.

LDV 2020 - J06 - GB

DAY 4 & 5 – SATURDAY 22, SUNDAY 23 AUGUST

Number : 4 & 5 - A symphony of colours

The overnight rain finally brought a little coolness to the grape pickers and the vines. The sun is still shining but the temperatures are a little more bearable at 26°C (78,8 F)on Saturday and 24°C (75,2 F) on Sunday. The weekend promises to be intense and sweet at the same time.

LDV 2020 - J04-05- GB

DAY 3 – FRIDAY 21 AUGUST

Number : 3 - Le Clos Blanc makes an entrance!

With an overcast sky, continuing high temperatures (33 °C-91,4 F, at the highest) and a hot wind, conditions are difficult for the pickers, but it takes more than that to demotivate them! Many are helped along by the 10 am snack, the lunch break and the great ambiance reigning in the vines.

LDV 2020 - J03- GB

DAY 2 – THURSDAY 20 AUGUST

Number : 2- Contrasts

It was a day marked by contrasts between the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits and the heat in the vineyards at 36 C (96.8 F) at the hottest part of the day, compared with the cool of the winery. The only thing in common was continuing to harvest the red grapes.

LDV 2020 - J02- GB

DAY 1 – WEDNESDAY 19 AUGUST

Number : 1- Vines with a view

A new moon, fruit day, radiant sunshine and harvesters in great shape for this first day of harvest which started in the Côte de Beaune in our Pommard Les Petits Noizons vineyard in the morning and continues in the afternoon with our Grand Cru Corton Le Clos du Roi.

LDV 2020 - J01- GB

SUMMER 2020

Number : 62

Summer is in full swing! It’s like nature took it easy during lockdown and is now giving it everything and growing like crazy. As we reach the end of July, we are preparing for harvesting the grapes. The cellar is ready and has been cleaned and scrubbed. The new barrels are ready and waiting, and we have set our sights on the early date of 17 August for the first snip of the secateurs to bring in the 2020 harvest.

Domaine de la Vougeraie - Letter 62 - EN

SPRING 2020

Number : 61

Who would have believed it? But for us winemakers, “the vines grow on” because Mother Nature will not be stopping for this human pandemic. We have, of course, taken exceptional measures in order to be able to work in complete safety in the vines.

Domaine de la Vougeraie - Letter 61 - EN

WINTER 2019-2020

Number : 60

We’d barely blown out the candles on our 20th birthday cake when 2020 was already upon us! The wines of 2019 are now just embarking on the ageing process in the beneficial chill of the cellar...

Domaine de la Vougeraie - Letter 60 - EN

DAY 15 – MONDAY 23 SEPTEMBER

Number : 15 - Autumn equinox

On this cosmic date, when day and night are the same length, we finish our 2019 harvest as we step into fall. This is symbolic of a new season for this new vintage.

HARVEST BULLETINS 2019 - DAY 15

AUTUMN 2019

Number : 59

Small but perfectly formed, the 2019 harvest! The excessive heat and dryness have unfortunately hit yield hard! We look forward to ageing to confirm the enthusiastic first impressions on this 2019 vintage. Meanwhile, let’s take a look behind the scenes of what is already a promising vintage.

DOMAINE DE LA VOUGERAIE - LETTRE 59 - EN

DAYS 13 & 14 – SATURDAY 21 AND SUNDAY 22 SEPTEMBER

Number : 13-14 - The climats march - An ode to rain!

While young people around the world came out to defend the climate, the people of Burgundy were also focused on their climats. One of the estate’s most emblematic climats is the Clos Blanc de Vougeot that we finished off this morning, making it an historic day.

HARVEST BULLETINS 2019 - DAYS 13 & 14

DAY 12 – FRIDAY 20 SEPTEMBER

Number : 12 - Newborn!

The summer has had a stay of execution and its beautiful light continues to flood the Côte as we gather as many grapes as possible before the rain forecast for Sunday. Today, the wind had dropped but the temperatures were still chilly with a maximum of 20°C, with the heatwave is now a distant memory.

HARVEST BULLETINS 2019 - DAY 12

DAY 11 – TUESDAY 19 SEPTEMBER

Number : 11 - A cool wind!

This morning, the cool temperatures confirmed that fall is approaching fast, as the vines begin to turn gold. The brisk wind sent a chill through the pickers, who gathered while it was still dark at 6.45am to be in the vineyards by 7. These are the final days of toil; we will have finished early into next week.

HARVEST BULLETINS 2019 - DAY 11

DAY TEN – WEDNESDAY 18 SEPTEMBER

Number : 10 - A crazy "fruit" day

On this very favorable fruit day in the lunar calendar, the sun may have been flooding the Côte, but the northeast wind was blowing quite hard, with gusts up to 40kph, and the temperature suddenly dropped. We could really feel the difference and the pickers arrived with hoods up and long sleeves covering their arms. Perhaps this is finally the end of the heatwave temperatures we’ve been seeing.

HARVEST BULLETINS 2019 - DAY 10

DAY NINE – TUESDAY 17 SEPTEMBER

Number : 9 - Picking up the pace

The vines are showing the first signs of the end of the growth cycle, the leaves slowly turning yellow or brown, even though green is still dominant. These subtle changes signal that the vine has now put all its strength into the fruit, and is now preparing for a period of dormancy.

HARVEST BULLETINS 2019 - DAY 9

DAY EIGHT – MONDAY 16 SEPTEMBER

Number : 8 - Grand crus and fermentation underway

As we head into the second week, the harvests are in full swing, and after a well-earned Sunday rest, our valiant pickers are now hardened against sunstroke, the odd cut finger, the long days and aching backs. The pace is good, and we are right on track, with no hitches.

HARVEST BULLETINS 2019 -DAY 8

DAY SEVEN – SUNDAY 15 SEPTEMBER

Number : 7 - The day of the Lord

It was action stations on the Côte! It seemed as if everyone had come together on this, another bright and warm day. Groups of pickers dot the vineyards, busily toiling up and down the slopes. The trucks made their way along Route 74, lines of cars building up behind the ponderous high-clearance tractors as they transport the harvesting crates back to the winery.

HARVEST BULLETINS 2019 - DAY 7

DAY SIX – SATURDAY 14 SEPTEMBER

Number : 6 - Full moon!

The sky was cloudy this morning and one might have thought there was a whiff of fall in the air, accentuated by the leaves which have prematurely dried on the trees. No chance! The temperature carried on climbing throughout the day before exceeding 30°C in the late afternoon. So we decided to work through lunch and stop early to avoid this peak.

HARVEST BULLETINS 2019 - DAY 6

DAY FIVE – FRIDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2019

Number : 5 - Three teams

No Friday 13 horrors for us today! The bright sunny weather made ideal conditions for the pickers. It was already 22°C at 9.30am. On the Côte de Beaune, we started on the large vineyard of Savigny-lès-Beaune Premier Cru Les Marconnets. This actually comprises four plots covering a total of two hectares, which will probably take two days to gather. The bunches were very big and quite healthy, with a little rot that was soon eliminated on the winery sorting table.

HARVEST BULLETIN 2019 - DAY 5

DAY FOUR – THURSDAY 12 SEPTEMBER

Number : 4 - Feminine vines

It was a bright and hot day for picking simultaneously on both the Côte de Beaune and the Côte de Nuits, with 34 feisty snippers per crew. Thomas is running the Beaune gang while Henri is in charge of the Nuits team.

HARVEST BULLETIN 2019 - DAY 4

DAY THREE – WEDNESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER

Number : 3 - The calm before the storm

The weather forecast promises steadily rising temperatures through to the weekend, and Wednesday’s sunshine seems to confirm this prediction. The harvests are still in the early stages, and today is the last day with a single crew in the vines. In other words, the winery had better make the most of this relaxed pace, before things really start to ramp up with the arrival of a second crew on the Côte de Nuits tomorrow.

HARVEST BULLETIN 2019 - DAY THREE

DAY TWO – TUESDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2019

Number : 2 - Pressing tasks

As a reward for completing our first day, the weather was a gift today with warming temperatures. In the vines, the sunshine also welcomed Julien, our latest arrival from Quebec, with his delightfully lilting accent. In the winery, the warmer weather was also welcome because the pace of work, despite not yet being at full tilt, requires we leave all the doors open, and we’d forgotten how chilly the drafts can be!

HARVEST BULLETIN 2019 - DAY TWO