Richard Bampfield MW speaks to Christophe Chauvel, Vineyard Manager at Domaines Albert Bichot, about viticulture in Burgundy.
This webinar will start by showing a video filmed in Burgundy which covers many of the key aspects of viticulture - site, exposition, soil diversity, rootstocks, training and vine health. Following the video, Richard Bampfield MW will host a discussion with Christophe Chauvel, Vineyard Manager at Domaines Albert Bichot. The conversation will be led by questions from the audience and will provide an excellent overview of a modern approach to sustainable viticulture.
Richard Bampfield MW
Richard Bampfield graduated in French from Cambridge in 1981 and immediately decided the wine trade was where he could put the language to best use. He managed retail wine shops in the North West of England for JW Lees Brewers for 7 years, then spent a year getting his hands dirty in vineyards around the world, also working in wine cellars in California and Australia. Having passed the Master of Wine Exam in 1990, he joined the Australian producer, Brown Brothers, and managed their European operations until 1999. He left them to set up his own company, specialising in public relations and offering wine consultancy, talks, tours and courses. Principal clients now include Lidl, Albert Bichot (Burgundy), Leith’s School of Food and Wine, Santa Rita (Chile) and Château Brown (Bordeaux). He is also a partner in Wine Ring, the leading personalisation software for the wines and spirits industry.
A growing interest in sustainability has led to him becoming a founder member of the new international group called the Sustainable Wine Roundtable. He regularly guides groups of students and press on visits to Bordeaux and Burgundy, and has been actively involved in the promotion of English wines. He is now probably best known for his work writing tasting notes and evaluating wines for Lidl. Richard is a past Chairman of the Association of Wine Educators and was the European Champagne Ambassador 2009. He is a Panel Chair at the prestigious International Wine Challenge in both the UK and China.
Christophe was born in 1964 in Angers in the Loire Valley. In September 1982 he arrived in Burgundy and did his first harvest at Lycée viticole de Beaune. Between 1984 and 1988 he held different viticulture and harvest jobs at several estates as well as being a wine waiter in Paris for a year. He then went to Bordeaux for four years to achieve his Diplôme National d’œnologie in 1992, where he had teachers including M. Dubourdieu. From 1993 to 1999 he worked at Estate Pierre Morey in Meursault where he began to change from conventional to organic viticulture and from 1996 onwards from organic to biodynamics viticulture.
Since December 1999 he has overseen vineyards for Albert Bichot in the Côte d’Or (Clos Frantin, Château-Gris, Domaine du Pavillon), in Mercurey (Domaine Adélie) and in Moulin à Vent (Domaine de Rochegrès) while also working closely with winegrowers who provide grapes to Bichot. For over 10 years he has been focused on sustainable viticulture and preparing the vineyards, step by step, for organic production. Official certification with Ecocert was gained in 2014 for viticulture and “organic wine” has been requested for the 2018 vintage.
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