Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Peak At Anne Gros' 2011 Harvest

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Anne Gros started her 2011 harvest on 30th August, a Tuesday, same day as Domaine Leroy picked all their Richebourg. This was one of the earliest harvests on record in the Cote d'Or. Months earlier the harvest was expected to be even more advanced, until rain and cooler temperatures changed the direction of the season.



At the winery, Anne first brought in her Clos de Vougeot, then her Richebourg the following day. The bunches looked healthy, with hardly any sign of rot. I suspect a sorting was already done in the vineyard. But rot is like a Burgundian's worse nightmare. If the threat is there, once a minimum ripeness is reached, the fruit is brought in. Better to be safe than sorry, especially if one's vineyard holdings are quite small--like Anne Gros'--allowing for no margin of error.



Anne glanced at me while I stood a good distance away watching her and an assistant in the cuverie quietly working with the destemmer. She nodded at me, inviting me to step up on the platform next to her to see what's going on. She was doing a final sort just as the bunches were hurtling towards the destemmer. As I mentioned, the bunches looked really healthy. I chewed on a few berries and they were fleshy and sweet. I said to Anne that the fruit looked good. But she was unimpressed.

Later I found out that out of five tons harvested in the last few days, about 60 kilograms had rot, which was nothing. Maybe another degree or two of potential alcohol would have made her happier. But I doubt it. Burgundians, especially a perfectionist like Anne, are never really satisfied.

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