Category Archives: Barge and Wine

So the harvest came and went; and at last an easy vintage has been produced in Burgundy. We managed to completely avoid the dreaded hailstones this year, and the only part affected by hail was a fairly small portion of the Chablis vineyards.

The good weather conditions; sunshine and a nice breeze meant that the berries were disease free. The berries had nice thick skins, and the welcome couple of days of good rain in early September allowed the berries to swell to provide a good amount of juice.

The exceptionally hot conditions (and almost total lack of rainfall) in the Beaujolais means that yields will be very low this year in that area, but the sweet, concentrated juice in the gamay berries will produce probably the best Beaujolais Nouveau ever this year! However, there will be a lot less of it than usual, so be prepared to get in early on the 3rd Thursday in November to grab a bottle or two!

For those who have never been to Burgundy at this time of year; it’s time that you did! The vineyards have taken on the beautiful crimson and golden hues of autumn, and it’s a perfect time for walking or cycling in the warmth of these early autumn days. Both the wine country, and the tree lined canals are stunning, so book your vacations for 2017 and then you will be in time to start tasting, and buying some of this fabulous 2015 vintage….

Miss Pinot Noir

Posted on: 07 Oct 2015
Posted by: Rory & Caroline Mcrae

As the summer officially begins, France celebrates with musical concerts all over the country. Burgundy is no exception, hosting at the moment the festival of “Musique et vin” in the Chateau of Clos de Vougeot. Between the 20th and 28th of June, a series of musical concerts featuring internationally renowned classical musicians, is held in the Chateau of Clos de Vougeot or Chateau of Meursault. Preceding each of these concerts is a wine tasting, where the wines from different producers are put to the fore. Somehow, notes of elegance are to be found to please the ear, and the palate.

Summer is also the time for fans of vintage cars to take to the roads and grace the highways and vineyards of Burgundy with these beauties of a former age. Foregoing the comfort of modern day air conditioning, these intrepid aficionados are to be seen, often dressed in vintage clothes and motoring hats, winding their way through the beautiful Burgundy countryside. Being in this prestigious wine producing area, often these history loving motorists finish their day with a stop at some wine producer to partake in a glass or two of Burgundy gold. Indeed, recently 100 of such enthusiasts visited the prestigious cellars of Maison Joseph Drouhin in the centre of historical Beaune as a fitting way to finish their day.

With the whole of summer to continue growing, the vines are active and healthy. They are happy, as are we all, with these fine sunny days, and let’s hope a lush and healthy season for both man and grape alike….

Miss Pinot Noir

Posted on: 25 Jun 2015
Posted by: Rory & Caroline Mcrae

It’s like a yearly miracle. Yesterday I was in the vines, and not just any old parcel; the Montrachet if you please! We are just at the beginning of the re-birth. The vines have all been pruned, of course, and the branch that will support this year’s growth has been tied down onto the wires.

There are generally between 6 and 8 buds per plant. Well yesterday, following some days of pleasant, warm weather, I could just see the first buds starting to burst. At first the buds swell, and then burst open, and then the first tiny leaves make their appearance, emerging from their winter cocoon. Nature comes back to life.

Our vineyards in Burgundy are also very stony; we have a basic clay and limestone subsoil. When dug over, the vineyards are full of small stones. These stones help with the drainage, but also, very importantly, they reflect heat back up onto the vines, thereby helping the ripening. If the fine weather continues, in a couple of weeks, there will already be around 5 leaves per bud.

Next time, we’ll talk about the flowering……. Until then,

Miss Pinot Noir

Posted on: 13 Apr 2015
Posted by: Rory & Caroline Mcrae
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