Monday, 23 September 2013

A Grape Chute

 Domaine de Clos Roussely, overlooking the village of Angé.
On our recent visit to Domaine du Clos Roussely in Angé, Vincent Roussely, the owner and winemaker, pointed out an unusual feature of the estate (on the left of the photo above).

Looking up the chute from the cellar.
In amongst the vines, looking rather like a chimney, is a structure installed by his grandfather. It is the top of a chute which goes through the roof of the chai (winemaking cellar). They still use it, and when the harvest starts (any day now) they will park the pneumatic press underneath. The grapes must have the shortest journey from vine to press of any winery in the Touraine I think.

UPDATE: I have learnt that these chutes are called les jittes in French (from the verb jeter='to throw'). Rosemary has posted an explanation on Blois Daily Photo, which includes a most amusing sketch of how they work.


  1. Very environmentally friendly...
    food inches rather than miles...
    what a far thinking Gramps!!

  2. Very illuminating (no pun intended) . . . the farm where my mother grew up outside of Chinon has 7 caves and 2 of them have chutes like the one pictured except they're lacking the chimney, the opening is covered by a flat stone. One of the caves is where wine was pressed and the other is where the old bread oven is. Nobody knew the purpose of the chutes and I was always told they were for light but sending grapes and bags of flour down seems more reasonable!