Harvest 2017 has been and gone, but before it waves au revoir, let’s raise a glass and shout salut. This year was our first completely biodynamic harvest, so our winemaker Emmanuel, and Burgundy biodynamic specialist Antoine Lepetit de la Bigne, worked hard, and slept little, to ensure everything was in the right place before commencement, which began in Simone at Sunrise on September 5th 2017.
These were our 10 favorite moments over the 10-day harvest. If you were here, thanks for coming, and sharing in the beauty of our home with us. For those who wish they were here – see you next year!
1. A Very Good Year for Reviews
Not only was it a fantastic vintage weather-wise for Clos Marey-Monge, 2017 was also the first vintage following Château de Pommard’s brand relaunch, and commenced the same week we received our Certificate of Excellence 2017 award from Trip Advisor. So, as you can imagine, we were thrilled that so many journalists, wine lovers and travelers arrived from far and wide to see what we are up to. As a result, we received lots of great press coverage and reviews with which we are thrilled. We’d like to say a massive THANK YOU to Decanter, Terre de Vins, Le Point, France Bleu Bourgogne, Beaune Tourisme, and Agency French Press, for giving us the thumbs up as one of France’s best harvest holiday getaways. Please click on the links, to read their reviews. Sante!
France Bleu Bourgogne: Marion opens up for a journalist in Tasting Caveau 12
2. Over the Moon : First Biodynamic Harvest!
2017 ushered in the first completely biodynamic harvest of Clos Marey-Monge. Overseen by Antoine Lepetit de la Bigne, one of Burgundy’s best and brightest biodynamic experts, and our vineyard team, managed by Samuel Grivaux, our harvest adhered to the strict guidelines set out by the biodynamic and lunar calendar. “I am very happy,” Antoine said, “everything that we hoped we would achieve for the vineyard has been completed. So, now we look to the start of next season, and keep our eyes on 2018. We are over the moon, as we say, with the quality of the grapes this year.”
Good Vibrations: Antoine inspects Simone’s grapes on the first day of Harvest
Out in the Field: Antoine keeps his eyes on the prize as Chantrerie is hand-picked
3. Our Harvesters
A merry bunch, forever singing and smiling, and shepherded by our Vineyard managers, Sam and Denis, our passionate harvesters dedicated themselves to the fruits of Clos Marey-Monge’s hard labor. Over the course of ten days, the vineyard was snipped of fruit, and the Table de Tri was put to good use. We’d like to say a special thank you to the following harvesters: Wassim Mabrouk, Marine Cadier, David Defrance, Yannick Brancard, Denis Junon, Yousef Bouyahiaoui, Fabien Rouviere, Yves Rouviere, Michel Grandjean, Catherine Dubois, Michéle Lucien, Elise Leclef, Elyas Megrous, Reynald Dusautoir, Yoann Dusautoir, Sullivan Dusautoir, Julien Bomble, Carole Genelot, Nelly Neicutescu, Marie Zaoui, Augustine Lormand, and of course, Alexia Sala and Cédric Perrin.
Chantrerie: Our bunch of great harvesters worked hard for 10 days in a row
Hard Work: Our Harvesters ensured only the great grapes went into crates
We also would like to thank the plucky volunteers across all the teams at Château de Pommard who take a day off their own work to come and assist in the vineyard. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!
Les Paules: Marketing Manager Anne-Sophie helps out the Vineyard Team
4. Harvest Experience
For the second year in a row, our Harvest Experience has been incredibly popular at the Château. This year, travelers from South Korea, Luxembourg, UK, USA, China and France have enjoyed a Clos Encounter of the preferred kind. The Harvest Experience offers wine lovers a behind-the-scenes Access All Areas (or is that Ares!) view of the vineyard with time devoted to hand-picking grapes, overseeing the Sorting Table, tasting fresh juice from fermentation tanks and speaking about the harvest life with Emmanuel in the Cuverie and Samuel in the vineyard. Harvest may have every vintage, but the Harvest Experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Here’s proof:
“Our Harvest Experience was excellent! We had so much fun. Our Wine Advisor Marion was very knowledgeable and we learnt a great deal about just how special is Clos Marey-Monge. Tasting wine from the fermentation tank and speaking about this year’s vintage with Emmanuel in the Cuverie were the remarkable highlights. We’ll definitely be back next year!”
Moyra and Brian Berry, UK
5. Emmanuel’s Happy
Being a winemaker is hard work with many challenges, especially in these times with unpredictable weather. However, 2017 was kind to Emmanuel Sala, our beloved winemaker d’extraordinaire. We spoke with Emmanuel before Harvest commenced and got all the gossip on the 2017 vintage:
“The 2017 vintage has been very precocious – always one step ahead, just like the 2007 and 2011 vintages. A dry spring, hot summer, with little rainfall, and no hail or frost… an ideal vintage! We have been waiting five years to have such great quality as well as sufficient quantities. This year, the major challenge has been the conversion of the whole vineyard to biodynamic viticulture. Luckily, everything went smoothly and it was a very easy year. The primary challenge we are facing now is the early harvest. We will begin harvest 2 or 3 weeks earlier than usual, on September 5th. All the ideal conditions are met in order to create fantastic wine – perfect sanitary conditions, full ripeness, continual sun all year – which was never too intense, and just enough bouts of rainfall. Our wines will be full of color, fleshy, and well-balanced.”
6. Learning to Fly : Flying Drones
We love to embrace technology and innovation at Château de Pommard, so it only seemed right that we capture this year’s harvest from all angles. To do this, you need a drone. So, we got our pilot’s license and learned to fly a few weeks before Harvest began, gliding, sweeping and hovering all over the estate. We’ll be posting loads of content over the next few months…but until then feel free to feast your eyes on some of our videos below.
7. Benoit Guenot, Parisian Photographer
Every winery in Burgundy captures their harvest with a plethora of cameras and equipment. We like to ensure that we snap the shutter on every moment of harvest and the last remaining days of sunshine and heat before Autumn falls. This year, we sent Parisian photographer with an keen eye for reportage, Benoit Guenot, into Clos Marey-Monge from sunrise to sunset to capture life through his lens. The results are outstanding.
Monopole Position: Benoit’s photos of Clos Marey-Monge captured the spirit and hard work of Harvest 2017
©BenoitGuenot / www.facebook.com/monopolerevue
As is customary every vintage, the end of every Harvest is celebrated with a fun paulée for all the team. After ten days of working up several beads of sweat in Clos Marey-Monge, we jumped at the chance to sit down and savor a few sips of wine. The whole team, including all of our harvesters, gathered in Château Micault’s Orangery and feasted and dined on spit-roasted meats from Le Conty’s Laurent Parra and enjoyed Swing Folie and their excellent jazz manouche. No paulée is complete without a celebratory speech from Emmanuel and a few renditions of the Ban Bourguignon.
Paulée: Swing Folie, Le Conty’s chef Laurent Parra and many sips of vintages past made Paulée 2017 one to remember!
9. Fighter Jet
Every Tuesday, at almost the same time every week, a fighter jet flies over Clos Marey-Monge – making an awe-inspiring blast and boom in the process, a sound that takes great delight in echoing off the many golden slopes of the Côte d’Or. Travelling at supersonic speeds, we have never been able to capture the plane … until now! After all these years, it’s great to be able to get a look and see what all the noise is about.
Supersonic: The famous fighter jet flies over Clos Marey-Monge. Finally, we get a picture!
10. The Grapes!
Saving the best for last, obviously. The Pinot Noir grapes of Clos Marey-Monge have never looked so delicious. They were hand-picked at the the perfect time, wonderfully ripe, Now, as they make their way towards the barrel, we must wait until they are perfect again. However, the next time we will see these little bundles of joy, will be as wine sometime in the next 18 months. Until then, adieu!
Pinot Our Grapes: Harvest – see you in 2018!