At the planting party the weekend before Easter, David Withers, who is a wine buyer and a resident of Alfriston and far more knowledgeable about wines than me, stood at the site of our new Winery and said that the land at Rathfinny “reminds me of Corton-Charlemagne.”
Now I have to admit that I have never been to Corton-Charlemagne. I have been to Beaune, which I thought was a charming town. However, Corton is to the north-east of Beaune. So I had to check it out in my Hugh Johnson World Atlas of Wine when I got home, and I now see what he means.
The Bois de Corton (the hill), has a forest on the top but the slope which faces south and southwest is very similar to the slope at Rathfinny and it is even planted out in a similar way. The Grand Cru Chardonnays are planted at the top on the slope and the Pinot Noir further down.
Bois de Corton
The name Charlemagne (Charles le Magne or Charles the Great) comes from the French emperor Charlemagne and Chardonnay was supposedly planted because his wife preferred him to drink white wine because red wines stained his beard.
Our rain dance worked and we got the required 10mm of rain we needed to bed the new vines in. Cameron and David are now busy putting up the trellising. More on that soon…