Veuve Clicquot Harvest 2012

Nov 02, 12 Veuve Clicquot Harvest 2012

Posted by in Champagne, Travel

I was invited by Veuve Clicquot to be a part of their harvest this year and I of course, jumped at the chance. For the past few years, the House has opened it’s doors to select journalists and friends of the house to participate in the joys (and backaches) of a traditional grape harvest. This being Veuve Clicquot however, we were eased into the strains of doing a harvest by being hosted at the Hotel Marc the evening before we hit the vines. The Hotel is the original home of Veuve Clicquot and had recently been renovated. A cool and stylish mix of classic interiors and modern design, I especially liked the little touches of whimsy, such as the life sized stuffed Ostrich wearing Veuve Clicquot orange sunglasses or the hallway lined with larger then life portraits. After the aperitif of 2004 La Grande Dame in the cellars, we sat down to eat in the main dining room. During dinner, we were served a very red wine, the only one that comes from Champagne, a Bouzy red made from pinot noir, I believe it was the 1983, a great wine and still very drinkable. It’s a shame in one way that they don’t produce more Bouzy red but then again if they did, we’d have less champagne. The next morning started with a brief demonstration of how to cut the grapes and also examples of what types of grapes we should and shouldn’t throw into the pannier (basket). It was fascinating, especially since it was all in French (which I don’t speak- yet)  but I’ve been around enough vineyards to get the gist of it: dirt and leaves – bad, moldy grapes – bad, no moldy grapes – good,  got it! We were giving nice clean white (!) gloves, a pair or secateurs and shown our vine. We each had our own row to pick and me and my harvest partner, Christina, got to work. There is a rhythm and system to it. For...

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