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Vinification Experience Day in Burgundy at Domaine Chapelle

The start of the winter holiday season in France was the occasion to immerse ourselves in the world of oenology and winemaking at Domaine Chapelle in Santenay.  During this Vinification Experience day spent at the winery, we learnt about all the stages in making wine from the harvest up to bottling.

Wine Experience Gift in France. Learn how wine in made at the winery.

The day started with a workshop to put our sense of smell to the test, by trying to identify some of the aromas to be found in Burgundy wines.  Primary and secondary aromas, floral, fruity...  There are many aromas to be found in wine.  If only it wasn't so hard to put a name to them!  By using small flasks containing different aromas, the aim of the exercise was to help us express in words what we experience when tasting wine.

Wine gift idea. Smelling the aromas found in wine

After a brief stop in the labelling room, we learnt how to recognise the sensations that wine can have on our taste buds.  Acid, salty, sweet, bitter...  How do you identify these different tastes on your tongue?

The morning continued with Jean-François in the fermentation hall, then in the cellar to follow the wine's evolution since the harvest.  We learnt about the richness that the different terroir brings to the wine and how the age of the vines impacts its quality.

We learnt more about the oak barrels and how they impact the taste of the wine.  He gave us an insight into the difficult task of trying to predict how a particular year will turn out, and how to marry the right type of barrel with the wine 

Through a series of wine tastings directly from the barrel we experienced firsthand the differences in terroir and barrels used to age the wines.

Wine tasting direct from the barrel

The morning ended in the fermentation hall with a tasting of the Santenay and Meursault white wines.  Jean-François and Yvette explained how the estate had converted to become organic.

Wine Tasting

After lunch, the weather finally warmed up a little, and so we headed out into the vineyard.  The vines are in the process of being pruned at the moment, and so we learnt how this is done and how the winery is trying to encourage the vines to develop their root structure.

Before visiting our adopted vines, Jean-François showed us the different terroir of the surrounding vineyards. 

Understanding the different Burgundy terroir

Back at the winery, a few people had not just stocked up on some wine, but also filled their cars with some of the used barrels!

An early taste of the 2012 that is still ageing

The day ended back in the fermentation hall for a tasting of the Clos de Cornières wine, harvested in 2012, and which is still going through the ageing process.  Another occasion to put our new found tasting skills to test!  We were able to taste the differences that the differing ages of vines from the same vineyard have on the wine, and to get a first glimpse of how the 2012 vintage might turn out!


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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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