Adopt a Vine and Make Your Own Wine

with the Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience

Visit www.gourmetodyssey.com for more information

Raising the training wires in Chablis


The vines have also been enjoying the glorious weather that we have been having for the past few weeks and have been growing rapidly.  There’s much work to be done to keep on top as we were to discover during the Gourmet Odyssey Discovery Experience Day at Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard in Chablis last Saturday.

Original wine gift for wine lovers.  Adopt a vine in Chablis, France

After the introductions we set out into the vineyard.  Here we learnt about all of the work that has been carried out in the vineyard since the last harvest.  Arnaud showed us how the vines had been pruned and de-budded, and also explained how the soil has been worked.  The winery is the largest organic and biodynamic winery in Chablis, so we also spent quite a lot of time discussing the differences between organic, biodynamic and conventional wine-growing.

Learning about winemaking and the work in the vineyard

With the recent growth spurt of the vines, there are currently two main tasks to do.  One is to trim the branches on the sides and tops of the vines.  This is done using a special cutter that is attached to the front of the tractor .  We watched a tractor in action on the adjacent vine plot, and the driver then stopped to give us a demonstration of the versatility of this tractor, which can be fitted with different tools to plough, treat the vines, or even harvest the grapes.

Vineyard Experience gift to participate in making your own personalised organic wine

The other task of the moment is more manual, and involves raising the training wires to support the weight of the foliage and future grapes, and to better space out the vines.  Arnaud had left us a plot to work on, and after receiving our instructions, we rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in!  In twos, one either side of the vine row, we unclipped the two top training wires, raised them up to the final level, and then re-clipped them together.

Rent-a-vine gift in an organic vineyard

On our way back, we made sure that each of the branches were in between the training wires.  This will prevent them from being damaged by the passing tractors and becoming entangled with the opposite vines.

We then returned to the winery for a well-earned wine tasting.  Anne-Laure served us a Petit Chablis 2015, Chablis Sainte-Claire 2015, and a Chablis Premier Cru Butteaux 2014.  Over lunch, prepared on-site by Julie, a great local caterer, we enjoyed a Chablis Vielles Vignes 2015 and a Chablis Saint-Anne 2004 from a magnum to see how the Sainte Claire wine that is chosen for the Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience can age over time.

In the afternoon we visited the Sainte-Claire vineyard to meet our adopted vines, and take a few pictures with them!  They too were in fine fettle, and looking great.  They have just finished flowering, and are said to be at the peppercorn stage  where the grapes are starting to take shape, and we can see the bunches forming.  The grapes will increase in size over the next few weeks, before the vines will concentrate their energy on ripening them and producing the sugar needed to ferment and create the wine.

Adopt-a-vine in France in an organic vineyard and make your personalised bottles of wine

The day ended with a visit of the fermentation hall where the wines from last year are ageing.  They have finished their fermentation and are now resting on their fine lees, until they will be ready for bottling.

Original personalised organic wine gift

And so we leave the vines to bring the grapes to maturity over the coming weeks.  We’ll next be back for the harvest, which although still too early to say when, looks like to be slightly earlier than usual.  But that depends on the weather to come.  We hope for dry, sunny weather, interspersed with a few rain showers that are followed by sun and wind.  That would be perfect! 

Comments

  • Hi Mark and the Team,

    I had a wonderful time!
    It was extremely informative, set in great surroundings with weather to match.
    I look forward to coming back next year to collect my rewards!

    Regards
    DJ

  • The organisation was perfect and the day was very interesting. We were enthralled by the explanations of the work in the vineyard.
    In the fermentation hall, it was a little difficult to hear the explanations because there was another group with a guide who spoke very loudly. But overall we really enjoyed the day. We won't hesitate to recommend you to our friends.

    Thank you and see you soon.
    Philippe and Dominique

  • Hi Gourmet Odyssey!

    We had a superb day with you last Saturday at Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard. We simply loved it and we have great memories of the day!
    The organisation and programme were impeccable. We really appreciated the warmth of the welcome and the good atmosphere. The wine tasting and lunch were also very good. And thanks for the adapted meat-free meal!
    And to finish, a special mention for Mark who knows how to put everyone at ease and who is very welcoming.
    No faults for us!
    We wish Gourmet Odyssey a long life! Bravo for this great concept!
    Alexandra and Kien

  • Everything went well and we had an excellent day. We were well looked after by the team at the winery and of course Mark.

  • The discovery day last Saturday was a great moment. The sun was out and the participants from far and wide were very nice.
    A very warm welcome from Mark in a magnificent setting, the winery being located in the middle of the vines.
    We learnt much from Anne-Laure and Arnaud, but for us, there is still lots to learn.
    We were pleased to meet "our" vines. The adventure continues.
    Chantal and Remy

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What to get the person that has everything ?

Adopt a Vine in France and Let Them Follow the Making of Their Own Wine !

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