Out in the vineyards today taking samples to get a sense on the progress of the vines. While not a rigid “numbers man” when it comes to picking decisions (I base it on flavour first), it does give one a good sense on how the vines are behaving.

I take 100 berries in a random fashion per vineyard not looking at the bunches as it has been shown in research that one reaches for the ripest grapes even if one if endeavouring to be as scientific as possible. Psychology rears it’s head even amongst the vines. Sugars today are as follows: –

Aux Fourneaux (Rouge) 9.6º
Les Saucours (Blanc) 9.3º
Dessus Les Vermots (Blanc) 9.9º
Les Gollardes (Blanc) 10.0º

Measurements are in º Potential Alcohol which is the system the French use when the grapes are still on the vine. They switch to using Specific Gravity once in the cuverie — that’s the French for you! º Potential Alcohol roughly translates to how much alcohol in percent would be produced if it was fermented into wine.

Grapes are looking good. There is some pourriture in the Pinot Noir which is not surprising given the wet and humid July we had. It just means we need to be very diligent when harvesting, both amongst the vines and again in the cuverie, to ensure no rotten berries make it into the wooden tank.

The blanc is looking very, very good. I am very excited about this vintage for white especially in Savigny-lès-Beaune. I am going to take some more samples on Friday and will set a picking date for the blanc then. My gut says next Wednesday but let’s see.

In Aux Fourneaux, my Pinot Noir vineyard, I am doing some effeuillage, fancy french word for leaf pulling, on the northern side of each row. One, to open up the canopy to lower humidity and thus make conditions better for avoiding rot but also to get some more sun on the grapes giving them the final “kick” into full flavour ripeness.

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