Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Cabernet Franc harvest@Clos Chossay (part two)

Some of crop waiting to be destemmed

I've only seen grapes destemmed by hand once before – normally this is done by a destemming machine. This was in Thesée at Les Bois Lucas owned by Junko Arai, who has a wine importing company and a wine school in Japan. She had bought some vineyards in Mareuil-sur-Cher from Didier and Catherine of the Clos Roche Blanche. Then I was a spectator this time I was one of the team stripping the grapes from their stalks, while rejecting those that weren't good enough for the grand cuvée – mainly because they were too pink.

As you can imagine destemming took considerably longer than the picking – around an hour and half against a maximum of 45 minutes to pick.

Mark leads the way....

"What am I supposed to do with this stalk, then?"

Naturally there were many jokes about child labour........

Flying hands.................

All finished – entire crop of 'grand cru' Cabernet Franc 2009 – now time for lunch!

Not forgetting la raflé (the stalks)

Report on the after lunch work from Mark
(photos supplied by Mark)
'After lunch, and so as to make use of the helping hands, the Cabernet grapes were trod (by Fabienne and Lydia), the 2008 Cabernet/Côt was bottled and the 2009 Côt taken off the skins and lightly pressed.

Foot-treading the Cabernet Franc: Fabrienne (above), Lydia (below)

We ended up with 75 litres of Cabernet must with a potential of 12.3%.

A very enjoyable day and the team are keen for a repeat next year. The bottling, at least, will take much longer!'

Hi-tech bottling line


Weston said...

Child Labour is the only way to go! Those small delicate hands very gentle on those grapes good move.

How much wine did those grapes even make, a barrel?

Jim's Loire said...

Weston. The children were, of course, afterwards sent up the chimney with a toothbrush.

75 litres of Cabernet Franc are in the process of being made. 100 bottles – a record vintage!

Mark said...

Thanks again for your help and the great photos. Despite the damp start to the day we all had a great time, and the sun did make an appearance later on. The Cabernet is happily fermenting away as I write this.

Jim's Loire said...

Mark. Thanks. It was a pleasure – I enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

Good job the UK Thought Police haven't seen the use of children in producing alcohol.

Jim's Loire said...

Shhh Anon! Otherwise they'll be around shortly.

Weston said...

hah excellent news on the chimney duty. That needs to be looked after especially since from my understanding no new building in Vancouver at least are allowed Chimney. Just isn't safe, then again we don't have children cleaning them maybe thats the problem

Jim's Loire said...

Weston. Looks like you will have to find other ways of exploiting them!