September 25th 2017
I write this second instalment from London, having returned after two incredibly fun, exhausting, hilarious, and exciting weeks in Pommard. My birthday fell in the second week and the team lunch that day was one of my favourites – raclette. This was just one small contribution to my colossal cheese intake over the past fortnight. But you can indulge guilt free when you’re working in the cellar, as the graft is physical and demanding.
As the fermentations progressed we began to apply more gentle pump overs. It’s very easy to make a powerful wine from Clos des Epeneaux’s red, iron-rich clay soils. It’s much harder to achieve elegance, which is what Paul and his team are aiming for. Alongside sugar density and temperature analysis, tasting every tank twice daily helped us keep on top of just how each one is doing. The day’s programme of pump-overs (remontage), rack and returns (délestage), and plunging (pigeage) are prescribed according to how the wines are tasting. It’s a consistent and dedicated way of making wine, and now that I’m back in the office (I feel a bit silly saying this) I really miss all the cuves. But they’re in the capable hands of Paul and his South African stagiaire, Phillip Theron, for the final leg of their journey before being pressed off.
With huge thanks for all the fun time to the amazing team in Pommard – Dom, Raph, Boris, Nico, Henri, Muriel, Isabelle, Marion, Phillip, Polo et tous les vendangeurs.