The snow here in Burgundy has been coming down all this week. Thankfully, the cave has remained consistent in both temperature as well as humidity. With this trip being rather short, the work in the cave must go on despite the weather.
I have to admit, cleaning up spiders, old bottles and hunting for wild centipedes is not what I had in mind when decided to move to Burgundy. That said, being in the old cave raises my level of appreciation of working in such a historical area. One thing to keep in mind, when filling up bags of debris in a cave, its important to remember that the bags will need to be lifted out as well. A couple of days and a few bags of debris containing old wood (which dissolved at the slightest touch), glass shards, broken clay, shattered bricks and other material, I am left with a solid foundation.the cave is now ready for step two.
I have ordered my gravel, along with my remaining cement runners which will arrive next week. After checking out a friend’s cave, I can fit just a bit over 32 barrels without needing to stack them. I was quite relieved to see the proper orientation of the racks and the resulting capacity. It is quite surprising the amount of barrels that can fit in a space when necessary.
Another detail about the cave is that there are two compartments. The first is for bottle storage, the second being the chais, or barrel room. There is a locking door seperating the two and the resulting humidity is higher in the barrel room, showing an average of 86% relative humidity abd a temp of 10*C. Perfect! I was lucky enough to find a thermometer with a hygrometer showing rh (relative humidity). To say I have been obsessed with this toy…um, tool would be an understatement.
When I first visited the cave, I saw the potential of what it could be. Now, I feel much more comfortable with the space and look forward to building towards having a functional, clean and efficient home for the wines to be raised.
I will be sure to update on the process…