2020 has been complicated for all of us. It should be a special year, as the 20th anniversary of the Femmes et Vins de Bourgogne. At last I can start circulating again to visit my vigneron friends. I have just come back from Chablis where I was able to taste with Isabelle, Lucie, Nathalie, Athénaïs & Gaëlle, Nathalie & Julie, and Eleni, among others.
Today it has become normal, happily, and no longer a cause for remark if we taste with vigneronnes rather than vignerons. When I open a bottle, it does not occur to me to think about the gender of the winemaker, certainly not. However, I do care about who has made the wine. It is my incredible good fortune to have walked the vineyards and met the vignerons who make the wine that I drink – which I am sure enhances my pleasure because as I raise the glass to sniff the wine, I can see the contours of the vines and hear the words, the characteristic personal phrases or the smiles and laughs (it should be possible to bottle the laughs of some people!) of the vigneron responsible for the wine in my glass.
The years go by but are never the same. The vintage will be with us and I have just come across these words of Colette, Femme de Bourgogne, and a great admirer of wine, in correspondence with the négociant Louis Brocard:
"The vintage, a rushed joy, the urgency to bring ripe and unripe* grapes together to the press in a single day, a rhythm which is far removed from the dreamy cadence of other harvests, a pleasure , redder than any other, songs, little drunken cries - then silence, the sleep of the new wine now cloistered, become intangible, withdrawn from dirty hands…" (my translation)
*no longer the case today