Michel Loriot has Meunier vineyards on the steep hills of Festignty and the neighboring village of Nesle-le-Repons, where the pickers where on Thursday when we visited.
We arrived just before lunch, in time to see the second retrousse of a press load of Meunier and taste the juice, before joining the family, winery workers and drivers for a spaghetti harvest meal, prepared by Michel’s mother.AAlban Petit, Michel’s son in law, is in charge of the pressing of the grapes in the traditional coquard press. He is very happy with the grapes he has received so far: “We started on Monday (7 September), and the grapes have just been beautiful! Up till now we have predominantly pressed Meunier and we are all very happy with the quality”, he says. Michel adds: “The grapes are being picked at perfect maturity, our average press load has a potential alcohol degree of 10.5%, which is great for Meunier; 2015 is looking to be a fantastic year for Meunier.”
fter lunch Martine took us to visit the vineyards and see the harvesters. The Loriots have 16 harvesters which they pay by the kilo. The vines were very green as Michel had left the grass grow in between the vines, never cutting it during the very dry summer, resulting in it turning into straw. The September rain brought life back to the grass just in time for the harvest.
Martine expected harvest to finish on the 12th.