Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Le Vendange Chez René Geoffroy

I stopped in to see Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy today in his new digs in Aÿ. This is the first harvest in his new cellar, which is palatial compared to his old place in Cumières. The winery is built on three levels—two traditional Coquard vertical presses on the top level, tanks for débourbage on the middle level, fermentation tanks on the bottom floor—plus there are two additional levels of storage cellars below. “It’s much bigger, I can consolidate everything in one place, plus I can work entirely by gravity,” says Jean-Baptiste. “In terms of quality, it will be a significant improvement.”

Lots of stuff going on today—some saignée rosé macerating away, some old-vine pinot noir getting destemmed for making red Coteaux Champenois, a little chardonnay being put into barrel for fermentation. I even witnessed the birth of a new cuvée: Jean-Baptiste has a 38-are parcel co-planted with five different varieties, à la Marcel Deiss, and this is the first year that he’s had enough grapes to fill a press.

Jean-Baptiste checking on a vat of meunier—it doesn’t look so appetizing now, but someday it will taste good

Pinot noir grapes in the courtyard

This is how saignée rosé starts its life

Filling the press

Co-plantation in all its glory: chardonnay, pinot noir, meunier, arbanne & petit meslier

The retrousse

Destemmed pinot, destined for pigeage

Putting barrels in place


Sharon said...

Those pictures are brilliant! I am swooning, despite being supposedly impervious to such behavior. Another beautiful post (writing, too).

Peter Liem said...

Thanks, Sharon! You really ought to come out here for harvest. It's a blast.

Tobias Ø said...

Cool pictorial! -And thank you for clearing up my gamay inquiry the other day.

Dr. Vino said...

Great shots, Peter!

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