Charmes-Chambertin in tank, Le Chambertin on the way

On Wednesday, we started to harvest our Grand Cru vineyards. Charmes-Chambertin ‘Aux Charmes’ was the first to be pulled in. And, with 7 barrels worth of grapes, this is also our largest cuvée. Thankfully we had the help of Mark Freeman (an American from Sonoma studying in Dijon) once again. Once he had to leave back to class we still had a large amount of grapes for my wife and I to process. We went late into the night, fruit case by fruit case (28 kg each) filling up the two wooden tanks (each holds 3.5 barrels). The fruit looks amazing. Tiny berries, excellent sugars and plenty of acid. There was much less sorting to do as well. As with every other lot, we are de-stemming 100% of the clusters and sorting out any jacks that may have fallen into the grape bins after de-stemming.

Charmes-Chambertin being filled in tank

Once in tank, the grapes are left alone to rest. They are sulphured but not punched down. They receive their first punchdowns once primary fermentations are finished. No typo here. There are very specific reasons for this. But, I’ll simply state that we feel that there is much to gain with this setup in riper years as well as lighter years.

Today, we are onto Le Chambertin, 2 barrels worth of grapes. We were set to go on Saturday or Monday but a call and visit from the courtier assured us that it was in fact this afternoon for this special vineyard. Time to grab a truck, generator (to allow 380 volt power for the de-stemmer) and get out there.

Many more pics to come!

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