Monday, January 5, 2015

Warm Welcome to Burgundy by the BIVB and Domaine du Clos Frantin

Hospice de Beaune in Burgundy
(May 21, 2014) – We awoke to a warm day in the low 80’s with partially cloudy skies, and were made to feel very welcome in Burgundy by a presentation provided by the BIVB.  They actually came to our hotel and provided an excellent slide show describing the special terroir and AOC’s of the region.
Wine Tasting with Christophe at Domaine du Clos Frantin
Wine Tasting with Christophe at Domaine du Clos Frantin
Next we boarded the bus and drove to Nuits St. George for a cellar tour and tasting at the Domaine du Clos Frantin.This is one of several estates owned by Maison Albert Bichot.  We were greeted by the estate manager, Christophe, who provided an overview of the organic vineyards and then toured us through the cellars.  He said it took 10 years to prepare the vineyards to be organic, and they have now been officially organic for the past 2 years.
Christophe is primarily a red wine maker, so he provided a fascinating overview of how they farm their 35 hectares of pinot noir. After sorting in the vineyard and again at the winery, the grapes are destemmed but not crushed because he likes them to have a bit of carbonic maceration within the individual berries. He said he rarely uses whole cluster, and destems 99% of the grapes.
We tasted 5 excellent wines here, including two village wines:  Gevrey-Chambertin “Les Murots” and Nuits-Saint-Georges, as well as Vosne-RomanĂ©e Premier Cru “Les Malconsorts and Richebourg Grand Cru.
At the end of the tasting when we presented Christophe with our SSU gift, he reciprocated by teaching all of us how to do the traditional song of Burgundy wine lovers, from the Chevaliers du Tastevin.  It is a simple and fun song using the words “La, La, La, La,” with lots of clapping and hand waving.  After watching Christophe perform it perfectly, we all practiced it again, and everyone felt energized and happy from the chant.  See an example at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laDaKB9xzJ0
Wine Tasting at Domaine du Clos Frantin
Wine Tasting at Domaine du Clos Frantin

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