Les Grappes magazine with le parisien
The magazine Les
Grappes & Le Parisien
Everything you always wanted to know about wine but never dared to ask

Meeting a winegrower may seem harmless. But your pleasure and his are relatively related, so it's better to have a few questions in mind before you arrive at the estate. Traditionally, a visit to a winery is done in several stages: the vine, the cellar and the cellar for tasting. Each place in the vineyard will undoubtedly arouse your curiosity. But it is also necessary to know how to ask the right questions in order to be able to stand out as an expert on the vineyard and the winegrower's profession. You will find below the 15 questions to ask the winegrower during your visit to the estate!

The vineyards: magnificent and complex places at the same time. It will be time for you to take a deep breath and appreciate the beauty of these cultures. Often grown over several, it will undoubtedly be a feast for the eyes. As you walk around, you can ask:

  • How large is the estate?
  • What are the grape varieties grown?
  • What are the yields per hectare?
  • How many pickers come every year to help with the harvest?
  • What is the planting density?
  • What is the type of soil?

The cellars: the place where everything happens. Depending on the estate, you will find the fermentation tanks and/or the wine cellar. Sensitive sense of smell, abstain! As in beer breweries or whiskey productions, odours are strong due to the reaction between bacteria and grapes. Nevertheless, they are magnificent places as can the cellars of the mythical Château de Meursault (Burgundy) or the grandiose Château d'Yquem (Sauternes). Don't forget to ask:

  • What is the capacity of the tanks?
  • Are there any inputs during vinification?
  • How to control the alcohol content of the wine during vinification?
  • How many barrels are there?
  • Is it oak barrels? Stainless steel?
  • How many months does this cuvée remain in casks?
  • What impact does the stainless steel cask/vat have on your wines? And at the tasting?

The cellar: for a unique moment of sharing with the winegrower. It is the place where the winegrower makes you taste the fruit of his work. It is known that from the vine to the bottle, it can sometimes take more than 2 years: the winegrower is therefore always happy to share his wine with visitors. Whether you are an amateur or an expert on the art of tasting, ask:

  • Which cuvée is most influenced by your terroir? (soils, climates...)
  • What is your favorite and why?

By asking these questions, you will be able to understand the vineyard and what the winemaker is doing all day. Beyond your knowledge of the subject, these questions will also show the winegrower that you have a real interest in his universe: the guarantee of a successful visit!

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