August 25, 2014

I completed my first day of work in Burgundy a few hours ago. My daily commute

consists of walking out my front door, pressing a button which swings open two large,

impressive gates, then walking about 100 m across a premier cru vineyard to the

winery. The first order of business was the racking of the white 2013 wines including

Meursault, premier cru Beaune Les Aigrots, and Aligote from Volnay. In the cellar

(unlike any I’ve seen before–quite ancient with some parts dating back to the 13th

century), I was handed a tastevin (a nifty, silver sort of cup used to discern the clarity of

wine while transferring from barrel to tank) and a mallet which could have been crafted

by Vulcan himself, and knocked out a little wooden plug at the base of the barrel, then

inserted a venerable spigot-like valve into the hole in an attempt not to spill any of the

wine (Meursault). Even more impressive was the leve-fut, an ingenious metal fork with

a pulley system and a claw used to tip barrels forward while racking (in my opinion,

one of the most technologically interesting contraptions I’ve seen in a winery—even

outdoing a Vistalys optical sorter).

The adventures continued throughout the day. After all the cellar work was completed,

we finished the day out in a Premier cru vineyard next to my house attempting to save

young vines by removing all the competing, nearby weeds. No English was spoken

to day and I’m still here to write about it. Everyone I met is incredibly welcoming and

helpful—excited to see what tomorrow brings!

My happy home

Very Cool Leve-fut

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