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Wine Discovery Experience Day at Domaine Chapelle

Last Saturday, we spent the day with Yvette, Jean-François and Yannick at Domaine Chapelle in Santenay.  Under a shy sun, but nevertheless present, we had come to learn more about the work in the vineyard and how wine is made during the Wine Discovery Experience Day.

Over a cup of coffee and a few croissants, Jean-François enlightened us about the notion of Appellations and the importance that the different terroirs in Burgundy play, the roots from which date back to the monks in the nearby village of Citeaux! After an introduction to the winery, and the evolution of the wine making over the past few generations, we made the most of the sun to learn more about the geology and its impact on the wine.

Gift adopt your own vines in Burbungy

From the garden in front of the chateau, you have a splendid view of the surrounding hills, and Jean-François pointed out the vineyards that are classified as Premier Cru, Village or for general Burgundy wine. The differences can seem rather theoretical and abstract, but when you can see the different plots in front of you, all is much clearer! After some additional explanations on the principal grape varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, that are grown in Burgundy, we headed to the winery building, accompanied by Yannick, the winery's Technical Director.

Gift adopt your own vines in Burgundy with Gourmet Odyssey

We followed the route that the grapes and then the wine take from the time of harvest, through the fermentation and ageing stages in making wine. A little teaser for those who are coming back for the Harvest and Vinification Experience Days!

Gift make your own wine in France with Gourmet Odyssey

Following the explanations of how the reception hall functions, we turned our attention to the barrels. Where do they come from? What wood is used to make them? What work is done before the bottling takes place? ...

We then ventured outside for the aperitif, and started to taste some of the white wines produced by Domaine Chapelle, the Santenay Saint-Jean and the Meursault. During the meal, we continued the tasting with some of the reds, including the Santenay Clos des Cornières and an Aloxe Corton. Some fine wines to accompany the Burgundy specialities that we savoured during the meal.

Gift tasting wines from Burbungy France and adopt your own vines

We spent the afternoon in the vineyard, first to visit our plot of adopted vines. Pruned and the soil recently tilled, the Clos des Cornières vineyard saw some of us take up some unusual positions and grimaces for those who were tempted to try and win a magnum of wine in the photo competition!

Gift visit a vineyard in France and make your own wine

The neighbouring vineyard is planted with Chardonnay, and we crossed the road to take a look. Surprise! The vines were not pruned in the same way. Each grape varietal has its own specificities, and as the ethos at Domaine Chapelle is to concentrate on the work in the vineyard and then to let the wine express itself as naturally as possibly in the cellar, each vineyard plot is worked individually to maximise the potential of the coming harvest.

Yannick showed us how to tidy up the branches and attach them to the training wires. Even at this stage, we are working to control the number of grapes that each vine will produce, and to try and help the future grapes to reach maturity at the same time. We were then each given the chance to have a go ourselves!

Adopt your own vines and make your own wine with Gourmet Odyssey in Burbungy

Domaine Chapelle is organically certified, so we also took the time to discover what exactly that entails. What products are used? In what doses? What is the difference from conventional farming methods? Yannick answered our questions, and told us about some of the difficulties that they have had to overcome.

Back at the winery, the day finally drew to a close. We loaded the cars up with wine, and said our goodbyes, at least, until the next time!


  • Hi,

    I really appreciated this very informative and fun day. And the weather was on our side too! Thanks.

  • Fantastic day!

    Everything was really well organised, the information given by Jean-François was very interesting, and not forgetting the wine which was divine :)

    Many thanks!
    Christelle & Rohan

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

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