After publishing some harvest pictures from Château de Minière a couple of weeks ago I thought I should continue with some pictures from Vouvray, taken when I called in on Vincent Carême on 22nd September 2017.
I found Vincent and team in the larger section of Le Clos, just as they were finishing their picking in this section. Vincent was leading from the front.
I had only been there five minutes and the picking in this section was completed, so we moved round to the much smaller front section of Le Clos, in front of the house. The slope here has a southwesterly aspect, and looks down onto the outskirts of Vernou-sur-Brenne. I have bought a lot of groceries in that Super-U over the years.
The team moved swiftly through the vines; having chatted with Vincent for a few minutes, I saw the pickers were already halfway through this small section of vines.
There’s a lot of ribbing about the weight of hods; the idea is to ensure the more slender-framed members of the team carry the hod, and then poke fun at how much weight they can carry. It’s very good-natured, with smiles all round. This hod wasn’t the most heavily laden on the day, and it certainly produced a few chuckles, which were bore with good grace. I have to confess I was full of admiration for the whole team; I got the notion everybody was enjoying being part of the harvest, even though it was obviously hard work.
Just to prove the first hod wasn’t just for the camera, here’s Vincent at work again, in the front section of Le Clos. That’s a well-filled hod, Vincent leading by example.
A few steps up the ladder and Vincent’s hod of grapes was tipped into the waiting trailer, which was filling up nicely.
And after adding this latest hodful to the trailer, he was off like a bullet, ready to refill. The whole team worked at remarkable speed, and five minutes later they were finished.
The 2017 vintage will largely be dominated by dry and sparkling wines chez Carême, Vincent having continued to pick everything as the weather conditions threatened rot. I tasted the 2017 Vouvray Sec at the Salon des Vins de Loire (largely from vines up on the plateau, not from Le Clos) and it is clearly a vintage with nice potential. I will publish a tasting report on releases from 2017, 2016 and 2015 for subscribers later in the year.