Friday, October 06, 2006

Vendage day two

After getting up at 7:30 for breakfast we were at the cuverie for a little after eight am. As Louis was ventilating the cuverie to remove the CO2 that built up over night a wonderfully yeasty smell surrounded the building. The rain continued to fall, as it would all day and into the night. This time it was my turn to plonge the wines, I was given the Cotes de Nuits vat.

Bloody hell it's hard work. I lacked the upper body strength to lift myself out of it, as I was in the juice up to my upper thighs, and the top of the vat was level with my shoulders, and in the end Ed and Louis had to lift me out with just less than half of the Vat punched down. So Christophe had to finish it off, and I set about doing the density and temperature measurements. Then after all the vats had been tested and where necessary pigeaged, we started the triage for the grapes that had arrived late last night. These were bourgogne pinot grapes and there was a fair bit of rot and other nastyness in the bunches. Then as Christophe and Louis Jnr washed the kit down, Ed and I went down to the cellar to measure the density of the musts.

Then it was onto a fabulous little bar, epicerie, boulangerie in Morey-St-Denis for a fantastic lunch. Whilst at lunch we found out that Bernard had send the pickers out that morning in the peeing rain and had taken on extra people to hold umbrellas over them, to try and shield the fruit from too much water. Then the fruit had been taken to a drying room, to try and remove any excess water. So after lunch Guillaume brought us the Chambertin grapes and again the triage table was set-up and the grapes sorted to remove the dross. While we cleaned down, the third pigeage of the day was taking place. By now Ed was going to just above waist level.

After everything was washed down, we had finished by about 5pm, so as the sky was starting to clear a bit, and we had a while until we were having dinner at Bernards house that night, Ed and I decided to explore the vineyards of Vosne Romanee and Nuits St Georges, including a visit to La Romanee. Obviously they get many visitors there, as there were signs posted asking us politely to remain on the road and not to enter the vineyard.

We were delighted and priviledged to be invited to Bernards house for dinner that night, where Bernadette his lovely wife prepared a fantastic meal, and needless to say we enjoyed some superb wines. But by about 9pm, my shoulders and underarms were starting to ache. I so badly wanted to soak myself in a bath, but alas our rooms had only showers. So another late night and with a full stomach I went to bed.

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