RSJ's 30th anniversary: 1980-2010

2010 was a very special year for us as the RSJ Restaurant celebrated its 30th year. We held a number of special events through the year to mark our 30th birthday.

36th Year: 1980-2016

Another milestone with events happening during our 36th anniversary year.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sancerre 2008: Roger Champault et fils

Receiving grapes at the Champaults' winery in Champin.
Note the conveyor on the right of the tractor.

8th October 2008
Late morning we dropped in on the Champaults in the hamlet of Champtin, which is just a couple of kilometres west of Bué. We saw Claude Champault and his father, Roger. Laurent, the other brother, was out in the vineyards.

“We started last Thursday,” said Roger, “and there are about three days harvesting left.” While we talked Claude and a couple of workers were trying to fix the belt of the conveyor that takes the grapes into the press. Machines breaking down at vintage time are always a problem. So much of the equipment, like presses and conveyors, needed during the vintage is only used for a maximum of two or three weeks in the year. Only after their long lay-off to be used almost continuously, so breakdowns are inevitable.

Using conveyors means that the fruit is treated much more gently than pumping it in through a pipe. It is very noticeable how much more care now take over the handling of grapes.

Claude had time to let me taste some of the 2008 juice, which was very clean – just as it has been with all the producers visited in Sancerre and Pouilly. “We picked the Pinot Noir in Menetou-Salon yesterday,” said Claude. “We harvest about two hectares a day and I expect that we will finish on Friday. Yields are averaging 60 hl/ha.”

As we left Claude pointed out their shiny new Italian Defranceschi pneumatic press. Just a few more days work before it gets a long rest before the 2009 vintage!

View towards hamlet of Champtin and its vineyards

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