Gilles Descôtes, a 47-year-old agricultural engineer and œnologist, has been appointed Cellar Master, a job which may be low-key but is absolutely essential, as it involves reproducing the House's quality and style from one year to the next.
Gilles Descôtes joined Bollinger in 2003 as Assistant Production Manager, before becoming successively Vineyard and Sourcing Manager, then Technical Director. Now in charge of blending, he watches over Bollinger’s 164 hectares of vineyard...
Published on October 31, 2013
From November to December, Bollinger’s teams must demonstrate all the stamina of an athlete to taste hundreds of clear wines.
On your marks, get set…go! Every year, about two months after the end of the grape harvest, a series of tastings that somewhat resembles a marathon begins at Bollinger. How are spirits? They could not be higher. The object of the exercise? To taste each batch from that year’s harvest. Now that primary fermentation is complete and the lees have been removed, they are called clear wines.
Published on December 3, 2013
CAMERA /ˈKÆM. ɹƏ/
Each year a small scene (but which bears no resemblance to a film shoot) is played out in the wine cellar in rue Jules Lobet in Aÿ. Before the harvest, in readiness for being filled with the precious liquid, the barrels are washed, rinsed and disinfected before being stored in the cellar. This is where they will be enchantelés, or laid out on wooden rails, called chantiers in the jargon of the trade.
A strange tool, jokingly called a “camera” by the men who work in Bollinger’s cellar, now makes its entrance. This camera has nothing to do with filming, but is used to help position the rails. A small reel of string, into which chalk powder is poured, is used to make light and easily removable markings on the red floor of the cellar. When the lines are drawn, it becomes much easier to align the rails at an ideal distance from one another.
Published on November 26, 2013