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

Friday, 19 October 2012

Domaine de la Noblaie: new chai for 2012 – cutting it very fine!

The entrance to new chai@Nobaie 

We dropped into Domaine de la Noblaie in Ligré (AC Chinon) on Monday 8th October to see whether they had started picking yet. We soon discovered that they couldn't pick even if the grapes were ready as there was nowhere to put the grapes – at least there wouldn't be for the next couple of days – minimum. The Billards were building a new chai. "Just four months from the plans to completion!" said Jérôme. "It's been a panic. The new chai will operate by gravity with the grapes arriving at the upper part of the building – a floor above the press and the vats for red wine, while those for whites will be in the cellar below with the juice descending straight from the press into the vat below." 

We only stayed briefly as there was clearly much still to be done before the Noblaie Chenin Blanc could be picked later in the week. Producers seem to love playing chicken with the harvest when building new wineries but Jérôme looked to be cutting things very fine here!    

 The whites will be vinified in the limestone cave under the new winery  

Bottom of photo: concrete bases for the presses 

Slightly fuzzy pic of François Billard – hurrying to get the job finished in time!

 Jérôme Billard in the white wine cellar 

Some vats in place on the ground level

 The winery from the side with the grape reception area – left hand part of the building
 Winery from the side 

Ripening Cabernet Franc waiting to be processed

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