Les Evocelles

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Gevrey-Chambertin is located at 47° North. Humans first settled here from between 100-500AD during Roman times. Archaeological digs have found vines dating from this period. As Christianity developed in France, the monks began to plant vines on the Côte d'Or and to learn about how the same vines produced different styles of wine on different plots of land along the Côte. Over time, they worked out the different plots and delineated these on maps. These plots have evolved into the Grand Crus, Premier Crus and AOCs of today.

We came to Gevrey-Chambertin for the first time in the summer of 2000, with a 5 month old baby, a five year old, four suitcases, a pushchair and a baby cot for a summer holiday. We stayed in a little rented apartment above the winery of the Esmonin family in Clos Saint-Jacques, a legendary Premier Cru vineyard. There is a chapel on the clos, where pilgrims doing the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela from eastern France would stop to rest, on their way south, to Spain – no one knows how old this is, except that it has been there for hundreds of years.

Every morning PM would get up at day break and make a bottle for our baby Hugh, and she would see the sunrise softly over the vines of the Clos, and the Côte – a beautiful sight, heralding the start of another summer's day.

Every evening we would sit on the balcony overlooking Clos Saint-Jacques. The church bells would ring at 6 o'clock, their rich mellow tones rolling across the village as they have done for hundreds of years, marking the end of the day on the Côte and signaling to the vignerons it was time to lay down their tools and go home.

Somewhere in the middle of these two weeks in Gevrey, we signed the contract to buy the land at Lowburn, a curious coincidence. A year later, we found our house which was almost a ruin, and a new chapter began for us on the Côte. As we grew our vines in Lowburn, we also learnt about wine and vines on the other side of the world, made friends and explored the Old World.

In 2013 we had the good luck to acquire a small parcel of vines in Gevrey and to work with Gerard Quivy, a fine winemaker who makes elegant and spirited wines in a straightforward, non-interventionist style.

The name "Les Evocelles" is derived from old Burgundian dialect, which means the bushy place. One of our neighbours who is a wine historian, thinks that this may have been a wood long ago, before it was cleared by the monks and turned into a vineyard. Certainly a little wood remains on our land, and it is a delightful place with wild flowers in spring and summer.

The rich yellow soil is argilo-calcaire, or calciferous clay, and filled with rocks and the fossils of long dead molluscs.

The vines are between 80 to 100 years old, planted post-phylloxera. They are gnarly, venerable bits of wood. Since the acquisition, we have planted some new vines, replaced some old vines and also added some soil to the top half of the vineyard, to address erosion which has occurred over the years. This soil came from another AOC classified vineyard, as required by French law.

Les Evocelles is farmed organically and wild flowers grow everywhere in the spring and summer.

Les Evocelles: This 10.44-hectare climat is situated in the commune of Brochon but is entitled to the AOC Gevrey-Chambertin. The vineyard is located high up the hill at the northwesterly-most point in viticultural Gevrey. The name derives from a corruption of Les Broselles, referring to a patch of scrubland. All of the adjacent and neighboring vineyards are designated Premier Cru. Les Evocelles enjoys a favorable south, southeast exposition and lies on the same calcareous soil as its neighboring Premiers Crus Champeaux and Combe aux Moines. While it is unclear why Les Evocelles missed out on the more prestigious denomination, arguably the high elevation of the vineyard, at almost 400 meters, occasionally affects the ripeness of the grapes in cool vintages. An excellent source is Domaine de la Vougeraie.

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Last edited on 10/22/2019 by charlie11

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