Oenotourisme France - Les 15 questions à poser au vigneron lors de votre visite de domaine - Les Grappes

The 15 questions to ask the winemaker during your visit to the estate

Going to meet a winemaker may seem insignificant. But your pleasure and his are relatively linked, so it's best to have a few questions in mind before arriving at the estate. Traditionally, a visit to a winery is made in several stages: the vineyard, the cellar and then the cellar for tasting. Each place in the vineyard will undoubtedly arouse your curiosity. But it is still necessary to know how to ask the right questions in order to be able to come out with a clear understanding of the vineyard and the winemaking profession. You will find below the 15 questions to ask the winegrower during your visit to the estate!

The vines: beautiful 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 cultivated on several, it will undoubtedly be a feast for the eyes. As you wander through it, you may ask :

  • What is the surface area of the estate?
  • Which grape varieties are cultivated ?
  • What are the yields per hectare?
  • How many pickers come each year to help with the harvest?
  • What is the density of plantation?
  • What is the type of soil?

The cellars: the place where it all happens. Depending on the estate, you will find the fermentation vats and/or the wine maturing cellar. Sensitive sense of smell, abstain! As in beer breweries or whisky production, smells are strong due to the reaction between bacteria and the grape. Nevertheless, these are magnificent places as can be the cellars of the mythical Château de Meursault (Burgundy) or the grandiose Château d'Yquem (Sauternes). Don't forget to ask there:

  • What is the capacity of the vats?
  • Are there any inputs during the winemaking process?
  • How to control the alcoholic degree of the wine during vinification?
  • How many barrels are there?
  • Is it oak barrels? Stainless steel?
  • For how many months does this cuvée remain in barrels?
  • What impact does the stainless steel barrel/vat have on the wines? What about tasting?

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

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

By asking these questions, you will be able to find out more about the vineyard and what the winemaker does on a daily basis. Beyond your knowledge of the subject, these questions will also show the winegrower that you have a real interest in his world: the guarantee of a successful visit!

Want to discover the French vineyard?

Les Grappes offers many activities and tastings at winegrowers' homes in all French wine-growing regions

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