30 September, 2015

Noirs & Blancs til "Best of the year"

Posted by Picasa
"Den vandt en smagning for noget tid siden i vores lille vinklub, så den skal med i en "best-of the year aften".

Så hvor får man fat i mere Noirs & Blancs?

Svaret er Soulières, men hvis du ikke er på vej til Champagne, foreslår vi Thingstedhus ved Horsens, Butlervin på Østerbro og i Sorø, le Petit i Torvehallerne ved Nørreport eller Champagneselskabet.

God fornøjelse.

11 September, 2015

Grapeharvest 2015

Grapes grapes grapes.

We have begun the vendanges. This is what it looks like.

More pictures to enjoy at our Facebook-page.

10 September, 2015

Ready steady cut

As this photo pops up in your screens, we have just started the work.

Picking grapes for the rest of the day. Today, tomorrow and probably a full week.

The grapes look very fine. Excited as always.

This is what it looked like in 2014.

Stay tuned for more to come.

09 September, 2015

The grapes of 2015


Everything is ready, we think. Not least the grapes.

Last weeks generel measures showed Chardonnays 87%, Pinot Noir 93% and Pinot Meunier 97% mature.

We have had an extraordinarily warm summer in Champagne which has accumulated quite an amount of sugar whilst the acidity seems to remain at an accetable level. However, we have followed the development with some excitement due to the heatwave. Late august the Comité Champagne compared the level with that of the years 2013 and 2008 based on the data from these years. However, your own sample may still be different than the general pattern It shall be interesting to learn about the final level at the presses.

Some rain these last weeks has made the grapes put on some weight but they remain smaller than last year.

As for the rest we will no much more in the days to come.

08 September, 2015

To help the grapes see the sun

Outdoor preparations before the grapeharvest look like this.

They have looked like this for a couple of weeks now.

The idea is to remove branches - leaves - to uncover the grapes, so they will catch just a bit more sun before they will land in our baskets in just a few days now. (More pics).

You are quite right.

It is okay to cut manually, but when you cut three hecares and an equivalent of about 10 kilometers of rows with vines, you may feel that your arms are a bit long in the end.

Luckily this job is coming to an end now.

07 September, 2015

Flowers and the vineyards

Getting to the end of our preparations we took the time to welcome some guests.
We went to the vineyards. Alain is not working out, he is looking for an American to show.

And then we all went for a sip of champagne.

They were not really champagne-drinkers, they said. They already tried something in a restaurant that they did not like, so what would I suggest?

The same as I just delived a few days before to a lady from Brittany, about to celebrate a big double birthday in the close family. A party, that could turn out quite cheerful.

I am quite convinced, that our visitors might come back for champagne another time. In Soulieres or a shop where our champagne is found.

Flowers from the visit
Guess what, they tipped me and made me promise to go and buy flowers with the money.

After the grapeharvest, I will get something to plant in the garden, and a flower for the little vase, the only one I have with me, where we live at the moment.

Feeling really pleased :-)

04 September, 2015

A taste of grapes

Chardonnays of 2015. Looking good as you can see.

But when are they perfect? Or rather when do they reach the optimum level before they decline?

Sugar and acidity-samples
To decide this a network of winegrowers all over Champagne collect samples, measure the sugar and acidity and report their resultats to the technical department of the Comité Champagne. The technicians of this interface between winegrowers and champagnehouses analyze and combine this into a rather general result and share it with us all during the last weeks before grapeharvest.

We combine these general facts about the yields and the year with our own samples, experience and ideas to reach a conclusion on how to proceed.

A bit of history:2011
Believe me, it is not an easy task. The risk is always that disease, bad weather or other problems arrive as you wait for the perfect level of sugar.

In 2011 Champagne saw an even earlier grapeharvest than this year. That year started out very very early, thus the vines performed the different stages much earlier than usual. However, the summer was not great, which slowed down the maturation. As the weather changed, some decided to postpone the grapeharvest some days. We were amongst these. Others wished they could have postponed too.

To taste the grapes
In Avize, the big coop of l'Union Champagne decided to re-create an old technique of tasting the berries. They imported this from the Bordelais-region, where tasting the grapes is part of the decision proces. I guess, the technique must have existed in Champagne once upon a time, since the idea of tasting the berries to constitute the mix of vines for the blend is one of the techniques ascribed to the legendary Dom Perignon as far as I remember. There is no written heritage from his hand of course, but it could be fun to investigate a bit more.

Anyway, l'Union Champagne has used this technique on top of the others since 2011, and they say to our regional newspaper l'Union, that they are able to retrieve the character of the grape in the final wine.

The parameters are the intensity of the acidity and of the sweetness, the intensity of the taste of "green grass" (herbacité), the lemony maturity, the intensity of the fruit, the maturity of the fruit and the intensity of the astringency.

We both find this quite interesting. And worth trying.

Grapes to be tasted
Next weekend our plan is to pick grapes for another plot champagne. The final wine will be in our hands.

Thus the second step will be to taste the grapes. The first step?

Get the grapes.

They are right here:

Air and sunshine

Soon enough it will be busy here.

Slowly gearing up for the grapeharvest.

Pillows and covers benefit from some september air and sunshine to go with it as do the rooms.

03 September, 2015

Tomatoes and menues

Work during the summer turned out to be worth it.

Tomatoes will be a sure entry on the menu next week when we begin the grapeharvest.

At the moment the garden supplies us with baskets like this every day.

The rest of the menu we will decide today.

And powershop accordingly what does not come out of the garden.

Like this the menu planning of the grapeharvest week will be almost a game for kids. Apart from the chopping, cooking, baking, stirring and frying.

But that's a story for another day. Coming up soon.