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October 09, 2012


Sue Dyson

Fascinating story as always. Thank you so much for taking the time to share in such detail all the things you learn. You might be interested to know that soon only Philippe Pacalet will be in Beaune. Fanny Sabre is selling and moving to larger premises in Pommard. When we talked to her recently she was hoping a young winemaker just starting out who doesn't need a huge space might buy her place. Hopefully it will stay as a winemaking and cellaring facility. Cheers, Sue


Thanks, Sue,

Yes, I actually heard about Fanny Sabre's town-house facility being on sale while I was at Pacalet, but I was waiting for more news before telling about it. I hope Fanny's new place in Pommard will be as beautiful as this cellar. I guess she will be less cramped over there, and it may be closer to many of her vineyards (she's doing the pruning and much of the other hard work herself).


This post is so great, we had to share it on our wine wall.

Paul Roberts

Do I understand, Bert, that Pacalet's red Burgundy, including their premier crus, are made using 100% whole cluster fermentations? I noticed no crusher/destemmer in any of your pictures. Do you know whether the treading by feet occurs at a prescribed point during the fermentation, or is it simply near the end of fermentation, after the clusters soften and start to break down? As a winemaker, I always enjoy your posts, but this one especially fascinates me, for I assume the use of whole clusters, to this extent, is unusual in Burgundy. Maybe not. Certainly this is the ultra-traditionalist approach. But can you say how widespread it is today in Burgundy?


Hi Paul,

At this point as far as I remember (I should read again what Philippe Pacalet told me about his vinification methods in earlier visits) that's the way it goes here. The pigeage with the feet occurs after a few days, maybe a week, Philippe and the cellar master tasting the juices all along from time to time to decide when it's time to stomp the cap. I can't say if the whole-clustered approach is widespread today in Burgundy, especially that from year to year more vintners have been changing their work style in the pursuit of quality. I think many vintners opt for a part of the vat being whole-clustered and the rest destemmed, the percentage between the two varrying a lot.



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