21 October, 2000
The Pinot Meunier is so mature, you can eat it.
Sunday, the seventh day of the harvest, we have returned to our first location, two villages further away from the farm and Soulieres to pick blue Pinot Meunier-grapes. Vi started with them on the first day but had to continue with the green Chardonnay-grapes, because the cooperative at that time was finished crusching the blue ones. You dont mix them up, and since we are in the peripherique of the Blanc de Blancs area with mainly green grapes, we had to follow the others and pick the green grapes before, even they were less mature.
In the meantime our Meunier has been too mature some of them; so from early morning we get instructions to only take the big and pretty grapes and either leave the rest or put in on the floor. The cold weather adds a pretty frosted touch to the deep blue colour of the grapes to enjoy and to try to forget about the only six degrees Celsiuswe start out in. Only after the mass has started in nearby Loisy-en-Brie - we hare the bells as we work - the sun gets the power that makes it possible to work in a t-shirt only.
Short after lunch I am saved by the bell and visitors from Paris. The energi is low, down to the level of throughly exhausted, so half a day of less work is very welcome. Once again we visit the coop with numerous other familydelegations with dogs, little children, grandmothers and so on. Today the workers at the coop has more time. The parking lot that was full of tractors and white vans last wednesday is now empty most of the time, and the workers have time to explain what they are doing. The asfalt and more or less anythuing else is very sticky due to grapejuice freshly made. It also smells grape juice everywhere.
We are offered samples of the new juice in little glasses to taste, and I can tell you, that it tastes very good, sweet and a bit acid. It seems to be one of few years where both quality and quantity will reach the top.
So far we have harvested all in all 46.000 kilo grapes - the quota says 12.000 kilo per hectar for champagne, 2000 kilo per hectar for reserve, 2000 kilo per hecar for vin ordinaire, that can be sold to other champagnehouses and finally 800 kilos per hectar for wine for own use. So now that smart guy with the calculator can if he does dome additions and multiplications prove that we will be finished during tomorrow.