Vineyard tour Meursault VigneronVineyard tour Meursault Vigneron
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Visit the vineyards

Meet the winemakers

Un clos = un vin

To visit a winery and meet these passionate men and women is to embrace authentic Burgundy.

Unique plots

Viticultural Burgundy has the particularity of being a parcelled vineyard, even very parcelled, and has been since the Middle Ages. It is divided into parcels or clos called Climats. In Burgundy, a Climat is a winegrowing terroir combining plot, grape variety and know-how, nothing to do with the weather! This is the very essence of the Burgundian viticulture model; nowhere else is wine production attached to its place of production.The production of each Climat is vinified separately, from a single grape variety, and the wine thus produced takes the name of the Climat from which it is made. The personality of the Climat is expressed in the wine thanks to the know-how of the winemaker.

From plot to Climate

In Burgundy, when we talk about a Climat, we don’t raise our eyes to heaven, we lower them to earth.

Bernard Pivot, writer

Family estates

This mosaic of clos is divided into numerous estates averaging 7 hectares. As the vineyard is highly fragmented, a winegrower may have land scattered across several appellations in different communes, land often inherited from his forebears… Yep! Estates are often family affairs, with the younger generation taking over the winemaking work carried out by their parents, who themselves received it from their ancestors…Each generation has marked its time by bringing added value to the estate. This makes it all the more interesting to meet a winemaker. It’s more than a job, it’s a passion that keeps him going. His emotions when he talks to you about his vines are palpable, and by the end of the visit, we understand his fierce attachment to this land. Love and passion for the land is like a virus, it’s passed on…

What's the winemaker's job?

A winegrower works all year round, not just during the harvest. A vineyard is the story of a family of farmers. The winegrower mobilizes his family for the harvest, managing the estate with discretion and with a view to passing it on. How can he pass on to future generations the heritage he has inherited from his forebears? Such is his preoccupation. Here, even the wealthy winegrower is still considered a peasant, a Burgundian proud of his land, a quiet force, measured and humble in the face of climatic hazards.

Through the seasons
  • In winter

    The vine is a creeper, which, if left unpruned, would grow endlessly. In winter, from February to March, we prune, prune, prune, to encourage spring recovery. Some winegrowers use pre-pruning to thin out the vine stock. In Côte d’Or, the most common type of pruning is called Guyot, after Doctor Jules Guyot, who, at Napoleon’s request, studied the vineyards and proposed winemaking and viticultural methods adapted to each region of France. Pruning is no simple task, requiring a great deal of practice and an expert eye! It’s all about choosing the shoots that will carry the harvest.

  • In the spring

    In spring, the first actions are aimed at the soil. The soil that has protected the vines from frost during the winter is levelled. Soil maintenance involves ploughing to loosen and aerate the soil. Ploughing is increasingly done with a horse. The horse’s slow, sure stride ensures ideal soil work without crushing the soil, and its maneuverability and dexterity mean that ploughing can be carried out even on steep, enclosed vineyard plots. And it’s so much nicer than a tractor!

    In Burgundy, all the vines in a plot are renewed every 50 years. Every year, the winegrower may have to replace a few vines, a process known as transplanting and planting. When the stakes are damaged, they need to be replaced.

    Culching, or the action of spading, is used to remove unnecessary roots, while griffage, a superficial ploughing, is used to destroy weeds, aerate the soil and bury nutrients. This is followed by weeding or mowing.

  • In summer

    As soon as the first buds appear, tie the shoots to the lowest trellising wire. As the shoots grow in early summer, we tie them to the trellising wires. The vines are not allowed to grow in all directions. The winegrower accompanies and channels the vine’s growth right up to the harvest with other actions as well (pruning: removing shoots that don’t bear fruit; protecting the vineyard: preserving it against diseases such as powdery mildew, downy mildew or botrytis; placing pheromone capsules to combat insects and caterpillars; trimming: concentrating nutrients on the bunches by cutting off superfluous ends; green harvesting: cutting off bunches deemed to be in the way to encourage the remaining bunches and their ripening; leaf removal: removing certain leaves to perfect ripening and facilitate hand-picking…).

  • In autumn

    Harvest time has arrived in Burgundy, a year of hard work is coming to an end, and we’re about to find out if the vine and the winegrower have done their job right! The grapes are harvested by hand, hundreds of cheerful grape-pickers enter the tightly packed rows of vines, and the harvested grapes make their way to the vats for vinification. It’s a time of great excitement, with an endless stream of tractors with grape-laden buckets, and vehicles carrying the pickers. Jokes and laughter mingle with the dry clatter of secateurs.

    The best moments are the snack break and the Paulée. The Paulée is a meal that brings the harvest period to a close: hosted by the winemaker, all social classes gather around the same table, to celebrate the promising new vintage. In short, a good meal often made of cochonnailles, joyful, festive, noisy and as is often the case in Burgundy, we sing!

    Maturation is crucial, practiced in Burgundy cellars, in vats or oak barrels, it contributes to the improvement and aging of wines. In Burgundy, ageing can last up to 24 months after the harvest. The aromatic characteristics of the Burgundy wines obtained reflect, each year, the conditions encountered by the vine throughout its cycle.

Do you know?

What's the difference between vigneron and viticulteur?

The winegrower works the land, cultivating the vines. He takes care of it throughout the vegetative cycle. Finally, he harvests the bunches of grapes. Then he sells his grapes to others who transform them into wine. These may be cooperatives or wineries. It’s up to them to age and blend the wines, sometimes from several winegrowers.

The winegrower does the same work of growing and harvesting grapes, but keeps the fruit of his harvest and produces his own wine. He has the appropriate equipment to mature his wine, a vat-house where he carries out all the stages of vinification.

When should you visit a winery?

In general, all year round except during the grape harvest. You can find out about the dates of the grape harvest, as they change every year. They depend on the weather and the ripeness of the grapes. Around August 10, many wineries are closed for the vacations, which give winemakers a boost for the coming harvest. Numerous wine events take place throughout the year, so don’t miss out on the chance to meet winegrowers and taste their produce all in one place!

Autumn in Burgundy is magical, as the vineyards are decked out in autumn colors, making it a great time to take in the sights!

Taking part in the harvest?

YES! it’s possible, and it’s an experience you should have at least once in your life. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll come away changed, with the winemaker’s passion reaching out to you, his world seeming more familiar, and you’ll learn so much faster!

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