The Muriel’s twentieth grape harvest

It seems to me, and confirmed by Patrick that it's my 20th vintage this year. So I arrived in 1995. I looked haphazardly in the Yellow Pages, I came across this domaine here, It was the only one in the Yellow Pages looking for grape pickers, and so I didn't look for any other domaines. I had experience at other domaines... in the South, in the Beaujolais region, but here it's like family, it's my annual family... My therapy I like to say! It inspires me here, where I can have my feet in the ground, there's nothing like it. I worked in a community, as a social street worker. Recently I stopped being a social worker, but I'm still involved in the community, setting up projects with local organisations. Another world, another environment. My first memories? Henri was still new to this, he had just got the domains, so my first memories... are of the harvest a bit old style, all of us crammed in the van, no windows, no idea where we were going, rattling around amongst the crates. It was very convivial. They were small teams, I think there were about 30 of us, then working at Nuits St Georges. It was a small domaine. Looking back now, there has been an evolution, in terms of the team, in terms of ambiance, but we've kept our bearings, that's a constant... some beautiful times. Then one year they let me work a bit in the winery with them. I really learned about winemaking then, because in the vineyard, we basically only pick grapes, or eventually we move the crates. But that year I worked in the winery, it must have been the second year, 1996. It's still a beautiful memory. There were only perhaps 2 years when I thought about not returning. At the time, I didn't need to harvest to make a living, it was just for the pleasure. As those 2 years I had a conflict with a vineyard boss, so the harvest wasn't much fun. So I had some bad memories and that's why I questioned returning... and before the 3rd harvest with the guy, I had decided not to dwell on it, I learned he'd gone so I said to myself: “I have to do it”. This year was one of my best years in terms of weather, in terms of picking, there was no sorting to do, it was simple, the team worked well. Early September weather made for a beautiful end of season. It was a beautiful harvest. The team gives preference to the domaine, which is nice. Because Berto and I arrived the same year, in 1995, Berto was an apprentice, through the years we got to know the people here. they had their own tight-knit group, it's been pretty stable for a while now. I found it was more Patrick who had been... who was generous, For Henri, there were years when we had good moments, and years where he was... I won't say more absent but... This year has been a lovely year with Henri, Henri is a character, everyone knows him. It's Patrick who keeps stability here, for me he is a mainstay for the domaine. I've come to know Yannick over the years, 7 or 8 years he's been here? I don't know. I don't see him so much as he is in the winery. I'm normally outdoors. We appreciate him, he's someone I think does a magnificent job at the domaine. My two mainstays are Patrick and the Polish guy, Christophe, they've been here the whole time, so they are like my markers. The children who have grown up, Christelle... who I missed a bit at call this year. When she was little, we'd carry her around in the crates. But time goes by, onwards!