2011 Harvest Outlook

Harvest 2011 will be here in just a moment. By the looks of scanning a few websites, it feels as though harvest threatens to be here tomorrow. Alas, we are still looking quite green in the vineyards, with no color change shown in any of the vineyards which I checked on today. Any moment now, the grapes will soften a bit, and flecks of red will move in, deepening, and remind of just how much more beautiful the region’s vineyards can be with only  the slightest suggestion of color. As it turns out, while the days seem to crawl early in the growing season, the last months leading to harvest seem to move at a consistently increasing pace, until you find yourself in the moment, doing your best to execute and modify your strategy as the logistics of harvest do not care one bit for your best laid plans.

With this in mind, I have begun to finalize harvest preparations. Just today, I confirmed my last fruit increase for the harvest. This is to say that everything that I brought on this year is fruit that I plan to have in the future – these are no one shot deals. Today I added 3 barrels worth of grapes for Le Chambertin from my same source as before. This brings my totals (providing a full harvest) to:

Le Chambertin  Grand Cru 5 bbls

Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru “Aux Charmes Haute”  7 bbls

Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru “Les Chaffots”  5 bbls

Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru “Monts Luisants” 5 bbls

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Les Corbeaux”  2 bbls

Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru “Les Feusselottes” 2 bbls

Volnay 1er Cru “Les Robardelles”  5 bbls

Looking at the list above, I think that I will be taking a huge break from taking on any new sources for a while, unless it is is special. The goal, of course is not to have a lot of cuvées, but to work with special grapes and to preserve as best I can what makes them unique. This is a very tall order which I hope that I can live up to. Having a control of as much as I can requires a small production scale. Taking the fruit sources that I have has been done with the understanding that I am working inside of truly tiny, heavily allocated space (see:garage). If nothing else, it will be fun!



4 thoughts on “2011 Harvest Outlook

  1. Hi Ray, Just found your blog while trying to get a handle on the harvest start dates! Arghhhh.. is all I can say at this stage. Except it looks by all accounts to be an early one. I am told however that the weather has been pretty miserable which should slow things down a bit. So, do you have any idea at this stage. I have been told 28th Aug to 1st Sept start. Is that your belief? By the way, I used to live in Beaune, running the PIckwick’s of all places, with the then owner’s son – Gus Dale. I will be harvesting aka drinking with Domaine Newman (some Beaune, Pommard, Chambertin) and haven’t been over for a few years. So I am just putting the feelers out to get a general concensus. Hope you can shed some light for me? Thanks Paul Flynn (Ireland)

  2. Thank you for your comment, Paul. With the cold and rainy weather, it is looking more and more possible that we will end up with a start date around the 7th of September.


  3. Thanks so much for your response. Good to see that you are on top of your blog posts! I am planning to get in around the 7th for 5 days, so should hopefully catch some action? Good luck with the final weeks. I will keep my fingers crossed for you.

  4. My pleasure. I believe that you will certainly catch a spot of action on those dates. Of course, you never know when things will get moving here until just before that moment. Though there is always something to do.


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