A year in the Vines

This year we are going to follow the evolution of the vines from the perspective of our resident photographer Anaïs Girard.

At present our tâcherons (vineyard pieceworkers) are out in the cold and the snow pruning the vines in the Guyot style leaving just the baguette and courson (two bud spur) for next year's growth.

The next stage is to burn all of this year's years cuttings in the large wheelbarrows called brouettes.  

Some pictures from the harvest.

Some pictures from this year's harvest in Puligny Montrachet.
As Olivier always  says 'Good fruit, Good wine.'

Backbreaking work but deeply satisfying!

The row doesn't really go on forever it just seems that way.

Up to 80 kilos on your back.

Hats are the must have accessory this season.

Harvest Time for Domaine Olivier Leflaive

Well the moment has arrived.  The harvest date has been set for the 27th august and with a week to go the winery is working flat out to bottle the last of the 2009 vintage and prepare for the onslaught of the next month.  This season has already seen some interesting curve balls with a very early start for the buds owing to an unseasonably warm spring.  We all thought that we were heading for another 2003 or 1976 until the weather broke in the merry month of July this year.  Since then we have had promising stretches of sunshine but, on the whole, colder than average temperatures for this time of year.  From a predicted harvest date of the 16th august we have in fact pushed back several days because of the atypical conditions.  We are hoping for a month of dry conditions now mainly because it will provide us with a great harvest but also because we are fed up with the rain!  Come and discover our wine tours in the vineyards and the winery every morning from 10h00 and follow them up with a wine tasting lunch like no other.
Simon Aplin

Wine tasting for our negociant suppliers

Last Wednesday June 15th we organised our annual wine tasting reserved exclusively for the vignerons who supply grapes for our winery.
It is the occasion to see the vintage as a whole, this time 2009, in two colours, to exchange ideas and to define it. The wines are served by the winery personnel who enjoy meeting the various vignerons.
No fancy snacks, no great lunch just plain bread and a few gougeres. 130 people came to visit us between 17h00 and 20h00 each having finished their working day in the cellar or vines. Most of these people are bottling at present and sell to both the national and export markets. These conversations, friendly, frank exchanges, are well worth while because when we chat together as winemakers we are also in contact with those who buy and drink our wines.
In buying a vignerons harvest and making a wine with it we contribute to the overall public knowledge of that terroir.
Tasting from Montagny-les-Buxy to Corton-Charlemagne via St Aubin, Puligny and Chassagne allows a better understanding of the chardonnay varietal. Meanwhile tasting from Santanay to Aloxe-Corton via Volnay and Pommard gives a more complete picture of pinot–noir.
Some of our visitors have told us that in tasting our range of wines it allows them see their own in a different light. We have been organizing this event every year since the creation of our winery in 1985 and we shall continue to do so.
Franck GRUX, Technical Director

The sun doesn’t always shine on Puligny Montrachet…

Just like you, I‘m sure, sometimes I want to just stay underneath the duvet and make time stand still! Finally the rain that we have been waiting for to water our vines has arrived. The morale of the vignerons has been raised but for a June day we could expect a little better… a bike ride in the vines, a drink on the terrace, exploring the lanes in the neighbouring villages, walking in Beaune and finding oneself lost in its backstreets. All those things that you, visitors from around the world, come here to do. But your stay need not be ruined. Our optimism and conviviality will give you the ray of sunshine you have come to find. A blind tasting, games by the fire, a wine quiz, a good meal chatting with the table next to you, whose occupants will certainly become friends by the end of the day (the wine will make sure of that!), an artist’s exhibition, snail hunting in the vines, a massage in our high tech chair , a film of the vines, teatime pouring over the latest wine magazines, a spa treatment in either Beaune or Chalon… We can show you so many ways to fall in love with Burgundy. After all when the weather is bad at home what do you do?
Julie Leflaive

General Manager of La Maison d’Olivier Leflaive

Nathalie Harvey exhibition

Julie Leflaive and Nathalie Harvey are very glad to invite you to the opening of Nathalie Harvey's exhibition Saturday 18th of June between 17 h 00 and 20h 00 at La Maison d'Olivier Leflaive.
The exhibition will run from the 18th of June to the 10th of Septmber.
Nathalie Harvey was born in Saint-Paul-de-Vence in 1975 to a French mother and an American father. Nathalie’s work as already been shown in exhibition in Berlin, Marakesh, Seattle, Brussels, Saint-Paul-De-Vence, Bologna and Paris.
“Paint is above all a toy and my workshop a magnificent adventure playgroud where accidents always prove positive and inspirational.
The feminine has always been my inspiration.

2010 A Dream Vintage?

When a vintage gives us such good body, an excellent acidity and a true expression of terroir, we, the winemakers, should have all the necessary qualities to produce wines of the highest quality.  2009 was a year which gave us a lot of rich, heavy fruit with very little acidity. The weather in 2010 was unusual and made a marked difference, particularly in the premier and grand crus.
June’s colder temperatures didn’t allow the flowering of the vines to happen as normal. Coulure (where the flowers shatter and the fruit is therefore not properly pollinated) and millerandage (the non-development of the fruit) gave us a reduced harvest most notably in the premier and grand crus (these were more advanced in their vegetative cycle) and a remarkable concentration of flavour.
Following this a cold summer with little sunshine did nothing to help the harvest. It was only in September that the return of the sun turned around the vintage and gave us what we have in the cellar today.
The only uncertainty with the aging, which has moved very quickly (1 to 1.5% vol/week) is the level of acidity, which is not dropping very quickly. If there is enough sunshine with a cold north-east wind the colder temperatures do not allow the breaking down of the malik and tartric acids in the grapes.
From the tests performed on the grapes we saw a large discrepancy between the parcelles. The grands vins, which had been badly affected by millerandage, were mature well before the village and regional areas which meant starting the harvest on the 15th September.
The Result:  The whites are full, classy and have a good acidity which will give them life and length. The reds are fruity with supple tannins, elegant but with the tone of the vintage.
So, dear reader, if you are in doubt as to the quality of 2010, having read the opinion of a winemaker who loves this style of wine, come to Burgundy and discover our winery and our wines!
Philippe GRILLET