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Wine course in Chablis

Last weekend we finished the series of Wine Experience Days for the 2011 vintage at Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard in Chablis.   The weekend was dedicated to the Vinification Experience Day, where we learn about wine making by following the wine's progress since the harvest back in September.

Wine Experience Gift and wine course in Chablis at Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard

The day started in the fermentation hall, where Pierre explained how the grape juice is transformed into wine.  We saw the two vats that are currently ageing our vintage of the Boissonneuse!

Fermentation vats in the fermetation hall
We then headed into the hall where the wine is bottled, labelled and put into the crates.  As you would imagine with a winery the size of Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard, all is exceptionally well organised and laid out to work as efficiently as possible.
Wine bottling machine

Back in the main building, we participated in a couple of workshops to hone our tasting skills.  One of the most difficult things when tasting wines is often to find the words to describe them.  Why do we like or not like them?

The first workshop was dedicated to the nose.  With the help of some small jars, we had to find the aromas most often found in white wines.  Not so easy, especially to correctly identify aromas from the same family of smells apart.  We learnt how to differentiate aromas that come from the fruit from those that are a result of the way in which the wine has been aged.

Identifying the main aromas found in white wine

The next exercise had us working our mouths with a blind tasting of 4 different solutions; bitter, sweet, salty and acidic.  Each taste plays on a different area of the tongue, which helped us to identify each solution.

Tasting sugar, acid, bitter and salt solutions

But enough of the exercises, the time had come to talk about real wines!  We tasted a number of different series of wines to differentiate between grape varietals, terroir, vintages and the methods used to make each wine.

Tasting the Chablis Wines

After the meal, we headed out amongst the vines to get some fresh air and to enjoy the warm sunshine.  We stopped in the vineyard where the adopted vines are located so that we could each take a photo in front of our vines!

Photo call in front of the adopted vines!

A final tasting session awaited us at the end of the day, that of our special vintage of Chablis 2011.

Tasting the unfinished 2011 vintage

We tasted the two vats of the Boissonneuse separately, and then we made a blend to give us a better idea of how the 2011 will eventually reveal itself.  It still needs more time to round out, but we could already see that it has good potential!


  • Hi Mark, and thanks for these great pictures.

    We will cherish the memory of this great experience, and also your enthusiastic and friendly involvement.

    Thanks also to the Brocard winery for thier welcome.

    All the best for the future...

    Eric & Nadine.

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The Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience

Adopt a Vine in France and Follow the Making of Your Own Wine !

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