Les vendanges 2009

One intense day of grape picking – vendanges in French – in Dominique Roger's vineyards around the village of Bué in the Sancerre appellation.

The day began in the cool light of morning and started on the slopes of Beaumont, between Le Briou and Crêzancy-en-Sancerre, villages to the east of Bué. Almost every hillside and slope has its own name or ‘lieu-dit’, some of which are very ancient, each with its own story, tying it down into local history and culture.

Later the gang moved on to the village of Bannon, to the south-west of Bué, where Dominique's vines are planted in the heat of the village.

Back at ‘Domaine Roger’ in the centre of Bué, Dominique, Alain and Jacques worked hard sorting and grading grapes, selecting which to use for rosé and which to reserve for the red wine.

Although Sancerre is renowned for its crisp, dry whites, in a good year the red can be superb, but requires a lot of careful work in vineyard and cellar to get the most from the Pinot Noir grape.