Adopt a Vine and Make Your Own Wine

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Grape harvester for a day in Alsace

We spent a great day at Domaine Stentz-Buecher in Alsace to get involved in the grape harvest and follow their journey into the vats.  We were there with the apprentice winemakers of the Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience, a gift for wine lovers that Gourmet Odyssey developed to enable them to discover all the work that goes into making a bottle of wine.

Wine lover gift to participate in the grape harvest in Alsace, France

After the introductions, we made our way into the vineyard to harvest a plot of pinot noir located on the hillside above the Alsace village of Wettolsheim.

Céline, the winemaker, showed us how to harvest the grapes, which bunches to cut, and which to leave behind.

Harvest Experience gift in an organic French vineyardn

Equipped with a bucket and pair of secateurs, we spread out amongst the vine rows to start the harvest.  The grapes were generally in good condition, but some of the bunches had been touched by mildew, so we had to sort the grapes to ensure that only the good ones made it into our buckets.

Once our buckets were full, we cried out “Seau”, and passed our buckets under the rows until they reached one of the porters, where they were emptied into the basket on their back.

Organic wine experience gift in Alsace, France

The porters then carried the grapes and emptied them over their shoulder into a trailer.  It’s a fairly physical job, especially with the slope of the hill that had to be negotiated!

Grape harvest gift experience

With the need to sort the grapes, we discovered that picking grapes isn’t as simple as you would think, but we worked well, and succeeded in picking the whole plot.

Before returning to the winery, we stopped off to visit our plot of adopted vines to see them and take a few souvenir photos.

Organic adopy-a-vine gift experience in Alsace, France

Harvest time isn’t just about picking grapes.  Once you’ve harvested them, you need to do something with them!  Back at the winery, we tipped the grapes into the de-stemming machine to separate the grapes form the stalks.  The grapes then fell into a vat below in the cellar.

Grape harvest gift for organic wine lovers

We had earned our aperitif and the glass of chilled rosé Crémant d’Alsace sparkling wine was very welcome!  Céline then led us through a wine tasting session of a selection of the organic wines, starting with the 2021 Pinot Gris Rosenberg, the wine chosen for the Gourmet Odyssey clients, followed by the 2017 Sylvaner Vielles Vignes, and the 2018 Gewurztraminer Hengst Grand Cru.

Make your own organic wine gift in Alsace, France

We spent the afternoon in the cellar where Stéphane, the winemaker, explained how the white grapes are pressed, and the differences between making red and white wines.

Stéphane told us how the sugar from the grape juice is transformed into alcohol, and the analysis that is done to follow the evolution of the fermentation in the vats.

Gift Experience in an Alsace wine cellar

We finished the day by breaking the cap of the pinot noir vats to extract the colour and tannins from the grape skins.  A job that is much more difficult that it looks!

We’re looking forward to returning in the spring to discover more about the work in the cellar after the harvest through to the bottling of the wines during the Vinification Experience Day.


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The Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience

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

From € 169


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