Adopt a Vine and Make Your Own Wine

with the Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience

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A sunny 2014 harvest in Alsace


When it comes to harvest time, the weather counts more than ever, as the adopt-a-vine clients at Domaine Stentz-Buecher learnt last Saturday. We were reunited for the Harvest Experience Day of the 2014 vintage, and enjoyed a beautiful sunny day despite the more pessimistic forecasts of the preceding days.
Harvest wine course in Alsace

 

We started the day in the courtyard of the winery where Céline, the owner with her brother Stéphane, introduced us to the Alsace wine region and the 2014 harvest, as well as her journey in becoming a winemaker.

Chasselas grapes harvest in Alsace France

We then got booted up and headed off into the vineyard to join the team of harvesters that will work at the winery for the whole harvest period. Under the guidance of Stéphane and the more experienced harvesters, we set about picking, and filled a couple of trailers with nice ripe grapes. The harvest was helped this year by the good quality of the grapes, with very little unripe or damaged fruit. There was also a good yield on each vine.

Picking grapes during the harvest experience in Alsace

On the way back to the winery, we stopped at the vineyard plot where the Gourmet Odyssey vines are located. Here, we inspected the health and quality of our Pinot Gris vines, which are not yet quite ripe for harvesting. After a few photos and some words of encouragement for the vines, we returned to the winery to watch our harvest be put into the press.

Vines adoption in Alsace France

Stéphane explained why it was important to press the grapes quickly after been picked, and how to regulate the pressure to obtain the best possible press. He also answered numerous questions on how to measure the maturity of the grapes and how to decide when to harvest.

Wine course in Alsace explaining how to press the grapes

 

Whilst the grapes were slowly being pressed, we tasted some of the wines from the winery, accompanied by a savoury Kouglof, before sitting down to an alfresco lunch in the courtyard.

Wine tasting at Domaine Stentz-Buecher Alsace France

After lunch we went down into the cellar to see how our pressed juice was coming along. Stéphane explained the next steps to settle the wine and how the fermentation will transform the sugar into alcohol. He told us about all of the work to be done in the cellar during the harvest period, and showed us the barrel room, fermentation hall, and wine store.

Wine making courses about wine fermentation in Alsace France

Another rich and informative day, and as always in good cheer thanks to our involved and curious participants!

Comments

  • A few words to thank you and congratulate you on the excellent day that we spent with you - and with great weather - in Wettolsheim.

    It was a day of discovery in every sense of the word. Kind and passionate owners, the work in the vineyard and following the grapes into the cellar. All with a very friendly team and in a great spirit thanks to your good organisation of the day.

    Raymond & Arlette

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