After the cellar visit (the cellar that Hervé Dampt built for a third the price of a builder which is the sort of thing these three brothers do to stay so competitive) then tasting ('09's are a wow and '010 looking good already) get taken by Eric and Nadia and the young Hervé to Tonnerre - white wine - (and Epineuil - reds mostly); the next-door wine region(s) that so nearly vanished. Not a 'Little Chablis' but separate region - the next valley - just not well known.
The Dampts do Chablis extremely well, but they were the family who really brought Tonnerre back to life. It is their passion. "Before phylloxera a region more important than Chablis" ... "Sandwiched between the borders of Chablis and Champagne.. they had to chose which way they were to go...". I cannot remember it all. Passionate? More like obsession. But that's good for us.
We taste their delicatate 2009 Pinot Noir; so pungently 'cherries' you'd think they actually put cherries in it. But it’s just the way the Pinot comes out here if done well; so so pretty, but so much work in the vineyard... being so 'borderline'.
Edward III burnt this town down and drank 6000 barrels of Tonnerre but they don't seem to bear a grudge.
Visted the old Hospices then called on Olivier at Chateau Vaulicheres who's wine the Dampts make.. in the old days - pre-1926 - his family sold grapes to one of the best known Champagne houses... as I said, this is a vineyard right on the borders.
With us and providing the historical stuff today was Jean-Paul who comes regularly to man the Dampt stand at our wine fairs (usually with a fellow lawyer they all refer to as 'Watson', English, and so in love with Chablis he's bought a vineyard here... and who has a actress daughter who's name I cannot give you or I'll be turned into a toad. But she's done a harvest for the Dampts.
Today, like yesterday, was a day full of all that's really wonderful in wine; history, countryside, friends and good cheese.