The Curfman party vendanges 2015

The day started out ordinarily, lazy in fact. Eventually Barb and Harry decided to go out for another bike ride. I decided to take yet another drive up and down the Côte. My timing was both impeccable and fortunate. Just as I started out I noticed the vans and large group of people congregated around the Montrachet vineyard. They were on lunch break so I inquired if they were going to harvest Montrachet during the afternoon – the answer was Yes!

No way was I going to miss that, so I drove back to the house to get the iPad for pictures, returned and parked the car. I visited with a young couple that had come down from Paris to help with the vendanges. I waited and waited, and finally things started to stir. Then even more serendipitous, just as the harvesters were preparing to begin in the vineyard, Barb and Harry came riding by on the bicycles. They shared in the excitement of my good fortune.

I watched them bring in the beautiful grapes, and my wide eyes must have been obvious. One of the Foremen at the truck gestured toward the collection of perfect grapes, “goûter un raisin?” I picked one out and popped it in my mouth, the sweetest I have ever tasted. My imagination? Perhaps. Then he even offered a second taste, and I politely declined, “merci non, mais je voudrais un verre, s’il vous plaît” holding my hand out as if holding a glass. With a mock scowl he said definitively “trop cher!” I laughed knowingly, “oui!”


A big thank you to Bruce Curfman who has allowed us to use both his photos and his words, describing the fascination, awe and fun experienced during the vendanges in 2015. All of this action was seen just a stroll/cycle ride away from 10pm.

Seeing (and tasting, by invitation) the grapes being harvested from the Laguiche parcel in the world-famous Montrachet vineyard is quite something indeed! And isn’t Les Pucelles a beautiful sight with Puligny Montrachet in the background…?

It is so fascinating just to watch this labour-intensive effort, bringing in some of the most prized grapes in the world. It is back-breaking work, but there is a lot of fun had by the pickers when they are off duty!

There are some great action shots, plus a really evocative view of a “Clos” or walled area in the background of one of the pictures which protects the grapes a little.

And in another picture you see the beginning of the wine making, with the grapes moving gently up a conveyor belt into Olivier Leflaive’s Cuverie directly opposite the back of 10pm, just beyond the 10pm vineyard.

Finally, you can get back to 10pm and sample the final fruits of all of that love, angst and hard work – perfect!

Thank you so much Bruce, Barbara, Zoe and Harry for sharing some of your holiday with us.