Champagne Harvest 2015- beautiful biodynamic grapes at Bourgeois Diaz and Françoise Bedel


Pinot Noir in la bien Aimée

  Yesterday I sPent the day in Croutes sur Marne, the last village of the Vallée de la Marne when driving to Paris. It is a rare village with 2 biodynamic producers – seeing there only are 25 certified producers in Champagne.

We started our day at Jérôme Bourgeois, who was picking Pinot Noir at La Bien Aimée to make rosé de saignée and red wine. 

Jérôme has mixed feelings about this harvest. He is very happy with the quantity, he expects to harvest around 11000 to 12000 kg per hectare which means he can build up his reserve a bit. But he regrets the heavy rains Croutes due Marne got since August the 15. “We got around 115 milliliters of rain which diluted the grapes a bit. The flavors are there but I would have liked to have a little more sugar”, explains Jérôme. 


picking grapes at la Bien Aimée

On average the grapes have come in between 10,2 and 10,4 degrees alcohol since Jérôme started on Monday. However he does not think he will chaptilize if the degree remains around this average. “I don’t want to chaptilize and even if the sugar levels are a bit lower I think we can make great wines like this”, elaborated Jérôme.

Some vineyard blocks have been very ripe, and Jérôme isolated two different plots, one of old vine Meunier and another one of old vine Pinot Noir in La bien Aimée to make some rosé de saignée and red wine. He destemmed a first lot whilst we were there and expects to make more red wine toward the end of harvest.

la retrousse at Jérome Bourgeois

 Jérome used a radioman 4000kg Coquard press and at the moment they are doing two press loads a day. This year Jérôme is testing natural powder sulfur, burned in a sulfur generator and injected in the juice. “It is a more natural form of sulfur which tends to have less side effects for people sensitive to sulfur. The generator is connected up an ixigen bottle, we light the sulfur which comes straight from the mines  and make our own SO2”, explains Jérôme. 

He expects harvest to continue till the middle or end of next week, depending on the weather this weekend. Harvest usually lasts about 10 days at Bourgeois Diaz.

old tractor to transport the grapes st Françoise Bedel

Picking also started on Monday at Françoise Bedel, the other biodynamic domain in Croutes due Marne.  Vincent Desaubeau, François’s son who is set to take over the domain, is very happy with the quality of the grapes coming in. Up till now they have only harvested Meunier, with 80% the dominant grape variety on the  8 hectare domain. 

“I went out to powder the vibes (with sulfur) after the big rains we had. It stopped the development of rot, snd where we do have some rot it detached really easily so it is cut it out of the bunch without harming the other grapes”, explains Vincent. “I am really happy with the results. We see this year that working in a biodynamic way really paid off for the quantity and quality”,  he adds.


vincent in the vines at la Grande Boulognière

 Bedel has 28 pickers, 2 debardeurs ( people emptying the baskets) one female tractor driver and two people at the press, which makes 38 people for lunch. All meals are prepared by Francoises 85 year old mum Marie-Louise and an assistant cook, often from the produce of  Marie-Louise’s garden. 8 people stay at Bedel as well as they are from several different countries. Harvest will continue for another 6-7 days. 

This entry was posted in biodynamic, Caroline's Champagne, Champagne, Champagne harvest 2015, organic and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.