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Archive from July 2012

Wine Discovery Experience Day in Burgundy

The vines are growing and the grapes are forming, which also means that the winemaker's work in the vineyard hasn't finished yet! We spent last weekend at Domaine Chapelle in Burgundy with some of the Gourmet Odyssey Wine Discovery Experience Day clients. The aim of the days were to better understand the effort and time spent in the vineyard to assure the best quality grapes come harvest time.

Discovery Experience Day at Domaine Chapelle, Burgundy, Wine Experience Gift

In the garden overlooking the vines, Jean-François Chapelle briefly told us the history of the four generations of winemakers in his family, and explained to us the different appellations to be found in Burgundy.

When we start to talk about vines and terroir, it's always easier to understand when you can look around and see with your own eyes. We therefore headed to the Clos des Cornières vineyard where we could see the different terroir that make up and surround the estate, and are used for the regional, village and premier cru wine appellations.

Adopt-a-vine in Burgundy, Terroir, Wine, Vines

From pruning to de-budding, Yannick and Jean-François showed us all of the key work that has already happened in the vineyard. We learnt and could see that it is proving to be a difficult year so far. The winter frosts, the wet and cold weather during the flowering season, and the hail storms more recently have each reduced the quantity of grapes that will eventually be harvested. But all is not lost, as the next few weeks will help determine the quality.

Grapes Vines Vineyard

At the moment, the main work in the vineyard is to train the growth between the wires. As the vines grow, we need to raise the wires to better support all of the foliage, place the vine shoots between the wires, and ensure that they are well spaced by using clips and ties where necessary.

Wine Gift Burgundy Adopt-a-vine

We took a few minutes to become acquainted with our adopted vines. A small sign designated each micro-plot of vines, and as always the cameras started clicking away!

Wine experience gift adopt-a-vine

The vines at Domaine Chapelle are organically certified, and so we also learnt how the work and treatments differ compared to traditional farming methods.

The couple of hours spent in the vineyard had made us thirsty, so we returned to the manor house to start the wine tasting. Talking about the work needed to produce the best wine is all well and good, but you have to taste the end product too! We started with two white wines produced at the winery, a Santenay St Jean and a Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Morgeot.

Wine tasting, vines, Burgundy, vineyard, winemaker

The wine tasting continued over lunch which was served in the harvester's refectory. We compared three red wines, a Santenay "Clos des Cornières", which is the wine chosen for the Wine Experience, a Santenay Premier Cru Beaurepaire, and an Aloxe Corton.
In the afternoon, we were happy to find some cool in the fermentation hall and the cellar. Here we were introduced to the wine making side of things and saw where the wines are fermented, then aged in oak barrels in the cellar. We will be spending more time here during the Vinification Experience Days.

Fermentation hall, cellar, wine, wine tasting, vines, Gourmet Odyssey

Many thanks to Jean-François and Yannick for having shared their passion for their profession with us. The next day at the winery will be for the harvest.

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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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