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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.