I understand that hiring a helicopter was briefly considered, as other producers of 'grand vin' such as Pétrus have done in the past, but the visibility was too poor and the vineyard is perilously close to the A85 motorway. So picking started around 10.30am in light rain and was concluded within about 45 minutes but with a record harvest of three large tubs of very clean and healthy Cabernet Franc grapes. The pickers split equally to tackle the two blocks of Cabernet Franc under Mark's watchful eye.
Full report and photos on manual destemming at Clos Chossay this morning to follow tomorrow in part two.
Restructuring the Clos Chossay vineyard (Côte Rôtie-en-Touraine)
Jim's Loire understands that plans to restructure the Clos Chossay vineyards are well advanced. Prior to moving to Epeigné, Mark Robertson was a keen amateur of the wines of the Northern Rhône. The idea is to recreate in miniature some of the features of Rhone's most famous vineyards – the terraces and the names of its famous producers on the retaining walls. The terraces would increase the vines exposure to the sun and possibly make it viable to plant a few Syrah vines here.
One of the attractions is the belief that the new terraced vineyard will attract time-challenged oenophiles, particularly from the US and Asia-Pacific, keen to be able to visit the Château de Chenonceau and get a flavour of a nearby northern Rhône vineyard all in a morning.