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Pruning the vines in Burgundy


What a beautiful sunny day we spent in the vineyard! Last Saturday, we were at Domaine Chapelle in Santenay, Burgundy for a Discovery Experience Day. During this hands-on wine course, we learn all about the work in the vineyard to produce the best possible grapes at harvest time.
The Domaine and vineyard at winter

 

Following an introduction to the winery and the region of Burgundy by Jean-François Chapelle, the winemaker and owner of the estate, we headed out into the Clos des Cornières, the vineyard plot where the adopted vines of the Gourmet Odyssey clients are to be found.

Vine adoption Burgundy Santenay


Jean-François gave us a short lesson in geology, showing us the surrounding landscape that helps explain the different terroir that is used for the vineyard plots of Santenay village, Premier Cru or Burgundy regional wines.

We took a few moments to visit our adopted vines and encourage them to produce a good harvest this year!

 

Vine pruning experience Burgundy


Then time for more serious matters. At the moment we are approaching the end of the pruning period, one of the most important steps in ensuring the quality of the grapes. You need to prune well to reduce the quantity of grapes produced by each vine, thereby improving the concentration of sugar in the fruit. Yannick, the Technical Director at Domaine Chapelle, showed us how to prune using the Cordon de Royat method.

Under the watchful eye of Yannick and Jean-François, we then had a go at pruning some vines for ourselves. It seems easy enough, but once in front of a vine, secateurs in hand, we soon realise that there are many exceptions to the rule, and therefore many questions!

 

Vine pruning workshop Burgundy

The vineyard on the other side of the road is planted with Chardonnay, and here another pruning method, Guyot Simple, is used. Yannick showed us the differences and how to remove the cut branches from the vines and training wires.

 

Pruning expereince Santenay Domaine Chapelle


Between now and the harvest, there is still much work to be done. Yannick explained the principal tasks remaining such as tilling the soil and de-budding the vines.

Back at the winery, we made the most of the sun, enjoying a glass of Santenay white wine in the courtyard. We continued the wine tasting during lunch.

 

wine tasting Santenay Burgundy

In the afternoon, we visited the fermentation hall for an introduction into the winemaking side of things. Those who'll return for the Harvest Experience Day will see this room in full swing during their next visit.

 

The cellar

The day ended in the cellar with a visit of the labyrinth where the barrels of wine are aged and the bottles stocked.

 

Many thanks to Jean-François and Yannick for thier passionate explanations, and to all the participants for sharing such a great day with us.

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