After a spell of dreary weather, it’s a splendidly balmy day here in Champagne. There’s been a lot of recent growth out in the vineyards, with leaves beginning to develop in earnest, and I took advantage of the sunshine to take a little walk in the Clos des Goisses to look at the vines and enjoy the views of the valley.
The steep, fully south-facing exposition of the Clos makes it a particularly warm site—Charles Philipponnat says that it averages 1.5 degrees (centigrade) higher than the surrounding vineyards in Mareuil. The above photo is of a relatively old pinot noir vine in Le Chalet, a particularly prime sub-parcel in the heart of the Clos; the one to the right is chardonnay, in a nearby plot to the east called Les Jolivets. Chardonnay is of course further along in its growth right now, as it buds first, and this plant demonstrates how warm the Clos really is—in the vineyards on the slope behind my house in Dizy, the chardonnay buds are only a small fraction of this size. From this alone it’s easy to see why the Clos des Goisses is such a special vineyard.