Archive for ‘Food and Wine’

April 10, 2021

Wine news of France XII !!!

Well here coming back to my a bit regular posts on wines! of France, of course. The very best and again had tasted and/or visit all the major producing countries in our world ! I like to tell you the latest buzz on my favorite subject chosen by yours truly from various French wine pro publications that I received online or on paper.

We do not really know if Christmas was on the balcony, but Easter was indeed in the fire. Since last Monday, temperatures have fallen below zero in several northern wine regions. The nocturnal efforts of winegrowers to limit frost damage were not enough: crops are severely affected in several regions of France. According to the Interprofessional Council for Bordeaux Wines (CIVB), it is “already certain that this spring frost will severely impact the volume of the 2021 harvest”: the frost has “hit hard” on large areas of the Bordeaux vineyard. In the Rhone Valley, the first land rise in temp let fear the worst. Last Friday, according to Météo France, it will still be cold in the early morning in the lands north of the Loire, over a large north-eastern quarter, in the Massif Central and in the interior of Provence, with frequent frosts reaching locally – 4 to -2 degrees on the Grand Est.

Last Monday evening, on the Champagne side, there was still hope to pass between the drops. The Champagne Salon said “we experience disasters every day, at all levels. It is important to stay positive.” Overall, Champagne is doing quite well. A calm behind which hides cellars much less empty than in previous years, the health crisis having led to a significant drop in sales in France and abroad. At Drouhin-Laroze, in Burgundy, the candles have nevertheless succeeded in limiting breakage. But the Burgundy vineyard will undoubtedly be one of the most impacted. There is talk about black jelly, with buds literally roasted by the cold. However, some estates are reluctant to use candles, which are very expensive, preferring the traditional straw fires prohibited in Burgundy such as at the Breton estates, in Touraine, whose plots of Vouvray have been protected, to the detriment of those located in Bourgueil. At Château Coutet, 43 hectares in the town of Barsac, in the Bordeaux region, it was a disaster, with temperatures dropping to -3.9 ° C. Despite straw fires lit every 80 meters, it is estimated that more than 90% of the vineyard has been affected. Even if since 2017, they have been used to this kind of events. April 2021 has a strong chance of staying in the memories of many.

SJB, the Bollinger family holding company, acquires Ponzi Vineyards, a historic estate in the Willamette Valley, in the United States. Domaine Ponzi Vineyards, was created in the late 1970s by Dick and Nancy Ponzi. For its part, the Ponzi family remains the owner of 40 hectares under a supply contract with the estate. The total needs of the winery represent in all and for all 140 hectares of vines. Production hovers around 480,000 bottles, at prices ranging from 25 to 120 US Dollars. SJB which brings together the brands Bollinger, Ayala, Chanson, Langlois-Chateau and Delamain.

These vines largely dominated by Pinot Noir, but Pozzi also produces Pinot Gris and Chardonnay located in Laurelwood. Last June 2020 they joined the AVI (American Culture Area, equivalent of the French AOC) of the Willamette Valley which brings together the terroirs of Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill-Carlton. The strategy is to get closer to the American consumer who is especially fond of local wines, as well as to the zone where the consumption of high-end wine is the most important. The acquisition of this property forms the basis of Bollinger’s new US strategy. Bollinger is not, far from it, the first Champagne house to attempt an adventure in Oregon. Four years ago, under the leadership of Gilles de Larouzière, the Maisons & Domaines Henriot group became the majority shareholder of the Beaux Frères estate, owned by Michael Etzel, Robert Parker and Robert Troy, in the historic Willamette Valley. Long before that, at the end of the 1980s, the region had been brought to light by the Burgundians Robert Drouhin and his daughter Véronique, true pioneers. Since then, the Jadots, Meo Camuzets and others have joined them. With success…. Now how the wine will be best if all is from France lol !

Soon the rebirth of a forgotten vineyard? Chef Yannick Alléno and the prestigious Domaine Marquis d´Angerville have just replanted 30 acres of biodynamic vines … about thirty km from Paris. It was on the initiative of chef Yannick Alléno that an astonishing adventure two years ago began, that of replanting vines in the town of Conflans- Ste-Honorine (Yvelines 78) . And decided to plant two thirds of pinot noir and one third of gamay, intended to produce a wine that I like, the passetoutgrain. The vines will be cultivated biodynamically, with the help of the teams from the Domaine de Volnay, present to advise and support Laurent Berrurier in his new role as winegrower. In four years, if all goes well, we will be able to taste the first cuvée of Clos Bellevue, and drink to the health of a still confidential vineyard, which we would be wrong not to keep an eye. To be continue…

While canned wine has enjoyed tremendous success across the world, the French still seem reluctant to taste their national drink in an aluminum container. And I hope they don’t follow this!!! Jean-Pierre Robinot ; the Angevin winegrower is about to launch his 25cl cans (conditioned by the Winestar brand) containing a Cabernet-Franc in red and a Chenin in white. Juices in conversion to organic, vinified in nature, intended to be consumed quickly … as we would a soda lol!!!. However, although the French are large consumers of cans, they remain difficult to associate with wine, as if this traditional product could only tolerate a noble glass case. Of course, the canned wine is already enjoying enormous success in the United States. The research firm WICResearch analyzes the phenomenon from all angles and the figures are striking: the supply of wine in cans has tripled since 2018, with some 900 references available today on the US market. Followers of cans for all kinds of beverage, the United States are much more receptive to wine in a metal ring and favor this product, which has become trendy thanks to its multiplied marketing possibilities. Better stay over there!!!

The film star director Francis Ford Coppola (why can he stay with films) understood this well, he who launched several cuvées of his wines sold in packs of four cans (pinot noir, pinot gris, chardonnay, sauvignon) and even a very glam rosé wine called “Sofia”, named after his daughter, also a famous filmmaker. Among the myriad of brands, we can also mention Bev, Love & Exile or Backpack, which focus on fresh, fruity and light wines, with ultra-graphic packaging (and industrially made). Because if this method of conservation does not lend itself to all grape varieties or all vinifications , it makes it possible to broaden the opportunities for consuming wine (picnics , outdoor events, transport) and to rejuvenate its target by targeting 18-25 year olds as a priority to then bring them to more demanding bottles? What if the can formed the fine tasters of the future? . So anything is possible. The only snag in this beautiful story: Robinot cans are priced at 8 euros for 25cl… A high price that seems to contradict the purchasing power of its target. Of course, innovation has its costs but really better stay with sodas!

In the category of nature wines, it seems that the Drappier family is one step ahead of many Champagne winemakers. Brut Zero, a wine without sugar, filtration and sulfur, was released in 1998. An oenological success. The rosé will follow. The first draw comes from the 2004 and 2005 harvests. This wine is claimed to be unfiltered, not discolored, not dose. It feels like a field of strawberries on a beautiful end of summer day. On the palate, some tangy notes, peppery hints and over-controlled acidity. What sounds I like about Drappier: the total mastery of the wine which remains very balanced even when it comes to the most cutting-edge products. It is recommended to serve this rosé at 8 ° C. At the table, it will be the ideal companion for langoustines, shrimps, crabs and other sushi.

In a context of tension between the various candidates for the takeover, Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse, premier grand cru classé B of Saint-Emilion, will be sold for 75 million euros to the cosmetics group Clarins, associated with Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse. Cosmetics and wine well I guess that is diversification. To note , Clarins cosmetics were the first gift of my dear late wife Martine to my dear late mother Gladys!

The recent owner of Château Fourcas Dupré, Gérard Gicquel, confirmed his thirst for Médoc by purchasing Château d’Agassac from Groupama. It was after many commas, parentheses and dashes that the sale was finalized with a signature, bottom right. Thus, Groupama, which owned Château d’Agassac since 1996, was promoted to Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel last year. This project responds to the development of the family group with ambitious investments in business services, around “hospitality” carried by the Beautiful Life Hotels group with already 10 high-end hotel establishments and in the wine sector with the acquisition of Château Fourcas Dupré indicates the press release. Beautiful Life Group thus consolidates its presence in the Médoc vineyards with a volume of 500,000 bottles. One of my favorite wines of the Médoc, track since 1990.

What to drink with … a sea bream? (Daurade, Fr.) Its flesh is tender, its skin tasty and salty; with a lemon juice seasoning, it gains a tangy touch; roasted in the oven with a little fennel, it is enriched with anise-flavored flavors. It will obviously need an aromatic, fruity, young white wine, not too complicated on the palate. The Domaine Meo-Camuzet Hautes côtes de Nuit a fruity and herbaceous nose, a round and charming mouth with a fat that will round off the salty and iodized character of the fish, here is a great label with ease. More unexpected, but just as appropriate, a Roussette de Savoie signed Guy Justin. Still little known until 1993, its wine was only sold in bulk ; this very pretty estate has another particularity, since the vineyard occupies only a small place there, and the rest of the activity is divided between market gardening and breeding. Its Marestel cru will match sea bream exactly, with a blooming bouquet, hints of dill, citrus fruits (orange) and white pepper. The palate has a roundness very softened by the fat, with a lively finish. Its silky side will rebalance the iodized character of the fish, itself underlined by the minerality of the wine. Nice meal to be had we get ours from a traiteur or ready made take out gourmet place in town! The wines webpage are

Domaine Méo-Camuzethttps://www.meo-camuzet.com/fr/les-vins/17/clos-saint-philibert

Domaine Guy Justinhttps://vins-de-savoie-justin.fr/la-roussette-de-savoie/

And there you folks, en vino veritas; with moderation but do enjoy the wonderful wines of France and the world. We drank it every day with meals…and we love it. The only French way!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

April 9, 2021

The Royal Galleries of St Hubert, Brussels!

And of course, with the family and especially wife tagging along we needed to do some shopping and why not at the chic beautiful Royal Galleries of St Hubert in Brussels!! This is a must visit me think , very nice. I am updating this older post for you and me, with lots of memories of our ramblings in the city which we are looking forward to be back when possible. Hope you enjoy the shopping meaning the post !!!

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In our trips to Belgium, Brussels play a big part of it. As said, we like big cities even if lately the smaller town are beginning to appeal and maybe the reason we live in a 7K folks town now. However, the big cities are still attractive and shopping is our past time!  I am used to the passages or thru ways found in Paris; so coming to other cities always love these. Brussels has an exceptional one that all should visit. This is the Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert. We love the Camper shoes, Corné Port Royale chocolates, Longchamp bags, le Pain Quotidien resto, Leonidas chocolats, Mokafé coffee shop, and Häagen Dazs stores!!

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The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a complex of three covered passages all along glass in arcades decoration. These galleries are the Galerie de la Reine (queen’s  gallery) on the rue du Marché aux Herbes to the rue des Bouchers; the Galerie du Roi (king’s gallery) on the rue des Bouchers to the rue d’Arenberg; and the Galerie des Princes (princes gallery) from the Galerie du Roi to the rue des Dominicains.

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These galleries opened in 1847 and are amongst the oldest in Europe; they maintain an ambiance of greatness that still exist today, whether it be through the special shops or notable chocolatiers, been the first one Neuhaus chocolate store that was opened here where they are still today.

In the Galerie du Roi houses the Royal Theater of the Galleries or Théatre Royal des Galeries  while the Galerie de la Reine house the theater of Vaudeville opening in 1884 with the name of Casino Saint-Hubert.  The Galerie des Princes was previously called the Passage du Prince. It has the name on the stone above the entrance. This Galerie des Princes houses the library Tropismes, at no 5 there is lodging chambre d’hôte ,and the restaurant L’Ogenblik. There are apartments in the first floor (2nd US) above the stores and extend throughout the whole building.

The Vaudeville theater used to be a flower market but eventually transitioned into a theater in 1872 and hosted several prominent entertainment figures. While both theaters are open to the public, it is mainly the Théâtre des Galeries that continues to showcase performances, concerts and plays.  Brussels was also the first city that the Lumières brothers (the founders of cinematography) visited after debuting their first films in the Grand Café in Paris. These ten short movies  called moving pictures at the time were screened in the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert in March 1st, 1896.  The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert contains several letters and manuscripts by renowned scientists, artists and cultural figures. The Museum of Letters and Manuscripts houses an extensive collection showcasing the correspondence and personal thoughts of some of the world’s most historic figures in the arts and sciences including Einstein, Van Gogh and Brussels’ own Jacques Brel.

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However, the most important here is the shopping to kill for, the best  of Brussels in my opinion and we love to visit each time in town, which was often. The Galeries Royales St Hubert are on the tentative list of Unesco World Heritage Sites. Again, looking forward to be back when possible.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official site of Galeries Royale de St Huberthttps://www.grsh.be/en/home/

The Brussels tourist office on the Galeries Royales: https://visit.brussels/en/place/Galeries-Royales-Saint-Hubert

Hope it helps you decide to come to the Galeries Royales St Hubert , it is really beautiful. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

April 9, 2021

Quant, nice, small Morretes!!

And here I am updating this older post in my blog from beautiful Brazil. This one was going way south into natural heavens often missed by visitors to the country so can be say an off the beaten path to Morretes in the State of Parana! Let me tell you a bit more about and see my other post on it.

Well on a nostalgic run of my trips in Latin America several years back to 2008! this time . I was living / working in Brazil at Curitiba (see posts) and had a car so drove all over Parana State.  My trip here was two folds, once they told me about a nice little train ride, and took it. Seeing the great rides and the roads not far, and with a Chevy Prisma car , decided to come back by car. Both events were fantastic. Let me tell you a bit about Morretes.

The name “Morretes ” is a geographical reference to the Morros (Portuguese for “Hills”) that surround the city. Founded in 1721 on the banks of the Nhundiaquara river , this calm and collected colonial town rests on an emerald-green plain at the foot of the Serra do Mar.  The city is known for its restaurants in which one sells the Barreado , at typical dish of rib-sticking meat stew cooked in a clay pot. Also,since colonial times, Morretes has been a traditional producer of cachaça. The distilleries still use the original alembics, and age the liquor in special wooden barrels for at least seven years, for flavors that are unique to the area. Most of the distilleries can be found on Estrada do Anhaia (Anhaia Street). Also produced in the area is a special type of banana liquor (pinga de banana).

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Things to see here in addition to your walks along the Nhundiaquara river are

Saint Benedict’s Church (Igreja de São Benedito), (see post) the Saint Benedict’s Church whike in in 1760, the Brotherhood of Saint Benedict was founded in Morretes.

Old Bridge (Ponte Velha)  Its structure of steel brings an old and glamorous aspect making it even more attractive. The bridge is used to pass over the Nhundiaquara river and gives access to restaurants, that I will tell you below. Pedestrians share the space with cars, considering that there is just one street band. Therefore, one way car or person lol

Marumbi Peak (Pico do Marumbi): Located in Paraná’s sea mountain, the state park of Marumbi remains with natural wealth of the Brazilian Atlantic forest. For those who enjoy outdoor activities, it’s the perfect spot, because there are waterfalls baths, trails or even climbing.

Flower Street (Rua das Flores): The main street of Morretes, a boardwalk on the banks of the Nhundiaquara river with its historic mansions such as the house where Dom Pedro II slept, Marco Zero, fountain, restaurants and the city’s first telegraph. The loveliest colonial buildings are clustered around Praça Lamenha Lins (square) as well as the Flower st, mentioned above, the cobblestone walkway that runs along the river.

Touristic Train (Serra Verde Express): Leaving from Curitiba, the train goes to Paranaguá’s direction, passing through, and stopping, in Morretes. The train, which goes about 74 km between both Paraná’s cities, is compound by 18 wagons divided in three classes: economic, touristic and executive.this train offers fantastic scenery as it meanders its way down in elevation through the Mata Atlântica. The ride from Curitiba (from where I took way back in time) From Paranaguà, there is service on weekends and holidays Need to check the site for the latest schedules and pricing. This is a great train ride and a must. Let me give you the official webpage of Serra Verde Express train : https://serraverdeexpress.com.br/

In addition to the walks and the train ride I came here to try the Barreado dish as above.  This dish is credited to the Portuguese more than 300 years ago that came here.  The dish consists of one or more types of second and lean beef, such as the palette,maminha and duckling, seasoned with onions, garlic, pork rinds, peppers, laurels and cumin and cooked until discolored. The preparation is mixed with manioc flour , and served with rice and sliced banana . The secret in the preparation is the cooking time in the crock pot-about 20 hours-enough to shred all the meat and keep it hot always. After cooked, the fibers of the meat loosen up resulting in a thick and tasty broth and seasoned to taste. And I try it first in style at Ponte Velha right on the banks of the Nhundiaquara river. The service was memorable , the food enormous quantities and the price to die for…webpage: http://www.morretespontevelha.com.br/

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Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The City of Morretes contact info to get there better: http://www.morretes.pr.gov.br/localizacao/

An unofficial tourist page on Morretes in Portuguese: http://www.guiageo-parana.com/morretes/morretes.htm

The Brazil tourist office on Morreteshttps://visitbrasil.com/en/destinos/morretes.html

There you go another small spot in the world map for me but always thankful of the welcome and the experience by all locals. Something to remember forever. Enjoy Morretes, Paranà, Brazil.

And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!

April 2, 2021

Wine news of France XI !!!

And here I am again on my wine rumblings and news! Of course, one of my best hobbies since more youthful days, and never stop. Tried them all, visit most corners of the world on them, but settle for my belle France, and especially Bordeaux. Now let me share this love with you all. Any questions?

And this is the season of Easter and why not the wines ! Happy Easter to all !

The lamb will go ideally with a red wine? Preferably made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, so a priori from Bordeaux.  And, in order to afford “reasonably” a bottle of about ten years (2001 or 1999 vintages), you can choose either a cru bourgeois, or a “second wine” from a prestigious estate. The Château Ormes de Pez in Saint-Estèphe (same owner as Lynch-Bages): notes of dried flowers and ground pepper from the first nose, and a nice freshness on the finish. In the second, I would hesitate, either Les Forts de Latour (the “second” of Château Latour, Pauillac premier grand cru classé) for its elegant classicism, its aromatic richness and its almost silky texture  Or Le Clémentin by Pape Clément, also the dolphin of a flagship of the Bordeaux vineyard for its intense aromas and light delicacy.

Foires aux vins de printemps 2021 oh yes the  Spring wine fairs are here again. I have invitations to a few even folks from the Loire making deliveries here to get around the covid19 restrictions.  As Bordeaux classified growths are almost absent from the landscape, competition between large-scale retailers is less frontal. E. Leclerc, does not organize a national operation for spring wine fairs, which does not prevent some of its stores from putting on occasional events. Of course, Carrefour has it and I have invitation with discount here too lol!!  While large-scale distribution is leading the way, wine merchants and websites are not left out, with often more sophisticated selections. Moreover, it is this return of sunny days, as well as the period of family or religious celebrations, which guides the choices during the spring wine fairs. Indeed , a great round of wine purchases to come!!!

How about the emblematic and historical Corton-Charlemagne by Louis Latour: sublime of  Burgundy. This Chardonnay cuvée is a jewel from the mamelon which culminates in the north of Beaune. Some attribute extraordinary virtues to it. The hill of Corton, with a wood top  at its summit that evokes the shape of a monastic tonsure  a nice nod to its Cistercian past, has more than 1,000 hectares of which 550 are vines of 167 great vintages in the Corton appellation and Corton-Charlemagne. Red or white? If the vines are planted with Pinot Noir, they are entitled to the Corton appellation. Often, the red Corton was called “the king of the good living”. The wine owes its name to two emperors. Otho, a Roman whom no one remembers, who reigned from January to April 69, owned an estate here, like Charlemagne later. It is said that the latter, at the end of his life, suffered from tremors. Tired of spilling his red wine on his superb flowery beard, he had white grape varieties planted. Let us remember that Corton-Charlemagne is an aesthetic work!

A young Corton-Charlemagne, whose color sometimes reveals green reflections, releases formidable mineral notes. It is then urgent to wait. Over time, the aromatic palette widens, the notes of honey, frangipane, toasted almond and cinnamon become more present. The oldest vintages release a leathery nose, without the wine ever losing its delicate acid touch. On the palate, the juice is both racy, concentrated but elegant.  In Paris, a discreet circle, aptly called Cercle Corton-Charlemagne, maintains the cult of this wine. The Maison Louis Latour house covers some twenty hectares, a continent on the scale of Burgundy. Half of these vines are in the Corton-Charlemagne appellation, spread over the climates En Charlemagne, Le Charlemagne, Les Pougets, Les Languettes and Le Corton. The price of the wines of the hill is at its highest, and the price of the land continues to rise. A fifth of the Corton-Charlemagne appellation has changed hands over the past twenty years. In one generation, the value of land would have quintupled. At the start of 2017, the acquisition of the Bonneau du Martray estate (11 hectares) by the American billionaire Stanley Kroenke terrified the locals. The wine heritage of the hill has become colossal. Fortunately, this in no way affects the work of the families of winegrowers who work here. The wine has remained the same, unique, reflecting a protected territory, a know-how transmitted over the centuries, an ideal detached from fluctuations in the price of the land.

The 2013 Château Latour was released, with a higher price than the previous one, despite ratings in free fall and a vintage deemed to be catastrophic. 365 euros!. This is the professional price announced by Château Latour for its 2013 vintage, which is one of the five Premiers Grands Crus Classé of 1855, i.e. a slightly higher price than the previous one, which already amounted to 350 euros when it was released. The property of the Pinault family no longer sells its wine en Primeurs since 2012.The only thing is: who would have expected the 2013 vintage to be one of the worst Bordeaux has seen since 1984? The second wine Les Forts de Latour 2015 has just been released at the professional price of 150 euros, with marks of 93 and 94, respectively attributed by Galloni and Martin. The competition promises to be tough.Indeed!!

Hear all about it loud and clear ! The “Cahors Révélations Malbec” operation returns to introduce you to Cahors wines at 215 wine merchants throughout France. The key is a wine tourism trip in the vineyards of Cahors accompanied by a dinner at the starred restaurant Le Gindreau, as well as a night and a lunch in a century-old institution in the city of Cahors, the Hôtel Terminus, known for its gourmet table Le Balandre, which will continue with a tailor-made tasting at Villa Cahors Malbec. Find the Cahors Révélations Malbec competition on the Facebook page @vinsdecahors and on Instagram @cahorsmalbec.  Find all of the participating wine merchants on the @vinsdecahors Facebook page.

And for the British: Brexit oh yes that word will live in history! The United Kingdom postpones the import formalities for French wines on the territory. Finally, good news for exporters, importers (and drinkers!) Of wines from the EU zone in the United Kingdom, with new import formalities postponed until the end of 2021. For the moment.  At the heart of the debate, form VI-1, made up of two parts, with first of all a certificate which confirms compliance with the rules relating to PDOs, PGIs,labeling, names of categories of vine products. and authorized oenological practices , but also the obligation to provide an analysis report, consisting of having to have a bottle of each batch “tested” through an official laboratory. A puncture that does not take into account the size of the importer or the volume of cases imported. In other words , a serious shortfall for a trader whose flow is limited to one or two units per transaction. Indeed no help for free trade!

And something could not tell much before, but now in retirement mood, let me tell you a bit. This is my HQ head office and they were into wines of course, I saw it part of my job in Finance dept. head of a service to be told later.  I knew it coming and we are now big into wines!! By completing the merger with Vinadeis and taking over the entire Cordier brand, the InVivo Wine group is deeply restructuring and changing its identity: it becomes Cordier by InVivo, with the ambition of establishing itself as a global wine giant. In 2015, InVivo, the leading French agricultural cooperative group (whose wine branch is InVivo Wine), acquired a 78% stake in Cordier-Mestrezat, (I got a free bottle!) , the remaining 22% being held by the large wine cooperative group Val d’Orbieu  which has since become Vinadeis. Vinadeis goes completely under the banner of InVivo, the whole being now called Cordier by InVivo. Currently bringing together 9 cooperatives, 32 estates, 600 employees, 3,600 wine growers for a turnover of 500 million euros, Cordier by InVivo aims to quickly reach one billion turnover, by relying on a solid logistics park, a production tool spread over several key sites (Cubzac, Trilles, UCCOAR, Sudvin) and a very wide range, which goes from bulk to organic and revolves in particular around promising brands such as Café de Paris, Maris, the Mythique cuvée, Bonne Nouvelle, Canei or LeVal. The affordable wine drinkers of the future beware a new player is coming and soon purchasing property in California USA ::) The webpage: https://www.invivo-group.com/en/wine

So, therefore, stay tune, wines gets better even if change tastes a bit in Summer. Enjoy the post as I do, and do drink wines, its good for you, the jobs, the history the traditions. Of course, in moderation.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

March 28, 2021

My travels in the Morbihan LXXXVIII

We went again ,just for a ride as most is closed or take out only. I have written plenty on the presqu’île de Conleau or Conleau peninsula of Vannes in my blog and have nice memories of family visits here, only about 30 mins from home. We were there this morning Sunday with the boys my Dad, and our dog Rex, we had a nice outing even with the times. Let me tell you a bit more on the Conleau peninsula. Oh yes this is one of those peculiar things here that is a peninsula but a district of Vannes as well.

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We went for a leisure ride back into the N165 direction Vannes and Arradon. Taking exit 29 at Plescop road D101 direction Arradon/Vannes! We took this scenic drive rather than the expressway N165 as it is more residential and nicer by car and continue on the Bd de la Résistance and follow signs for Conleau just before the parc du golfe turn right into the peninsula. If no car, you can easily come from the Vannes train station on bus line 7 to Parc du Golfe then line 3 to Conleau. This way in less than 20 minutes, you will be at the Conleau peninsula across from the beach/pool. Free parking at the dike. Paid parking at the end.

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Conleau is one of the neighborhoods of the city of Vannes. It includes the Conleau peninsula It is located at the south west of the city of Vannes at the end of the Gulf of Morbihan. The Conleau peninsula is an ideal spot for families, barbecue, and just soak in the tranquil life away from the city and crowds. It has been linked to the mainland since 1879 by a dike road, and in 1919, the City of Vannes acquired the pine forest and the seawater swimming pool.

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You can walk around the peninsula along a winding path. You can discover a rich flora and fauna, the Pointe des Émigrés (see post) and Arradon (see post) on the other side of Vincin. In the mudflat, migratory and sedentary birds take advantage of the environment. Little Egret, Chevalier gambette or even Curlew are easily observable.

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Swimming is possible in Conleau. Two options: the natural beach or the seawater swimming pool. The quality of the bathing water is excellent. The beach is not very big but you will be seduced by the view. Equipped beach, seawater swimming pool, cabins, restaurants, and grand hotel . The place gained its place as a seaside site in the 1950s, giving way to fishing. The grand hotel Best Wertern Le Roof has received stars like Johnny Hallyday and Renaud ,and even former Prime Minister Michel Rocard.

vannes conleau BW hotel le Roof front mar21

For eating, there is a nice restaurant inside the hotel Best Western at the tip of the islet , Le Roof for a formal dinng or the le Cafe de Conleau for lighter fare , and also a bar area. Then for quant, local and family warm go to my favorite there La Guinguette de Conleau, (closed ,here for the memories) at 3 Allée Frères Cadoret. Now it has been replace by the 1930 Conleau a more modern decor which I have not try yet.

vannes conleau le cafe conleau mar21

vannes conleau 1930 conleau old guinguette mar21

There is ,also, a wonderful looking camping which not stayed but walked all around it many times and if visiting this is an ideal place to stay. The city of Vannes on the Conleau camping: https://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/tourisme/camping-de-conleau/

vannes conleau camping mar21

The Gulf of Morbihan local tourist office on the Conleau pool: https://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/fiche/bassin-de-conleau/

The city of Vannes tourist office: https://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/tourisme/office-du-tourisme/

My fav Plages TV beach site on the beach and pool of Conleau: https://en.plages.tv/detail/conleau-beach-vannes-56000

The BW Le Roof hotel resto complext at Conleau: https://en.le-roof.com/

There you go folks, a nice family ride on a Sunday at any time, this is prime heavens on the Conleau peninsula of Vannes. One more jewel of my beautiful Morbihan, and my lovely Bretagne ,and my belle France! Hope you enjoy the ride as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

March 28, 2021

My travels in the Morbihan LXXXVII

And out we went again ,just for a ride as most is closed or take out only. I have written plenty on Guidel in my blog and have nice memories of family visits here,only about 38-40 mins from home. We were there Saturday with the boys and Dad, and we had a nice outing even with the times. Let me tell you a bit more on Guidel and Guidel Plages. Oh yes this is one of those town that has a bourg or town center site as Guidel ,and a beachside site as Guidel Plages.

We went for a leisure ride back into the N165 direction Guidel and its beaches. Taking exit 45 at Guidel road D306 direction Guidel you are in town in 15 minutes! We pass by the town to see our old hangouts by car and continue to Guidel Plage or beach along the same road D306 on the bay it becomes the road D152 ,and have several restaurants overlooking the shallow waters of the bay of Bas Pouldu coming in from the ocean.

This is another beach town in my beautiful Morbihan, this is a new visit and new pictures of Guidel bourg or town and a Guidel plage or beach. I have several posts in my blog to say the least, one of our favorite spots all with nice memories with the family.

In Guidel bourg or town, you have a nice Church Saint Pierre and Saint Paul in place Polignac ,  surrounded by shops ,restos, and parking ! We took advantage right in front of the church to shop for our traditions baguettes at Lucas boulangerie/pâtisserie and grab a couple!

Guidel ch st pierre et st paul side ent mar21

Guidel Lucas boulangerie cv mar21

We remember one of our fondest memories with my dear late wife Martine where we pick at random a picturesque Italian villa call La Villa Toscane resto grill pizzeria at 15 place Jafffré. It was sublime and we look forward to come back when possible. For the record here is their webpage: https://www.villatoscane-guidel.com/

Guidel La villa toscane resto ent mar21

Guidel la villa toscane resto side terrace mar21

Then, we continue to Guidel Plages or beachside at about 3 km away. Guidel Plages or beach is better known to surfers but good for the whole family with shallow water and playground for kiddies; two big section of games and restos ,one by Le Bas Pouldu and the other by plage de la Falaise or cliffs beach.

Guidel plage bas pouldu marina to ocean mar21

Guidel plages falaise to ocean mar21

The Port or Pleasure marina area has excellent gallery of painters and plenty of restos and bars with the bay behind them; there is a walking trail of the Laîta river just alongside the bay , and the Le Bas Pouldu plage/beach.

Guidel port arriv mar21

Guidel port marina mar21

We have tried here Ty Beach a resto pizzeria right at place Bas Pouldu with a plethora of restaurants next to the port and the beach Le Bas Pouldu plage. webpage: https://restaurant-tybeach.com/

Guidel plages pl du bas pouldu restos court mar21

Right as above we have tried the Brasserie Le Roof  which invites you to a relaxing and refreshing break. On the large terrace, with breathtaking views of the sea and in the shade of the immense maritime pines propose, noon and evening, to enjoy in all conviviality and with the feet in the water. This is closed for now do not know if permanent or the virus break.

Right at the end of le Falaise Plage or cliff’s beach, you have another wonderful section for water sports and kids playground, the dune du Pouldu, the tip with views of Fort Bloqué and the vast beautiful beach.

Guidel plage bay laita to pl du bas pouldu mar21

There is surfing and beach shops as well as ice cream parlor and restos. We have tried for lunch La Moule qui Saoûle, friendly service even late.  There are great views of the ocean, wonderful walks alongside it, and just beach bum style par excellence.

Guidel plage La Moule que Saoule resto mar21

Of course, the history of the town and many other things to see and do are in my older posts in my blog with pictures. This is my latest live trip of last Saturday. Hope you enjoy the brief tour of Guidel and Guidel Plages in my beautiful Morbihan, lovely Bretagne and in my belle France!

Guidel plage falaise carrousel mar21

For the benefit of new readers, some webpage to help you plan your trip here and it is recommended ,especially with kids.

The Ports of the Lorient country as Guidelhttps://www.ports-paysdelorient.fr/fr/ports/le-port-de-guidel

The city of Guidel on what to do/see: https://www.guidel.com/temps-libre/sports/guidel-a-leau-de-mer-de-piscine-de-riviere/

The Lorient Bretagne tourist board on Guidel heritage: https://www.lorientbretagnesudtourisme.fr/fr/immanquables/guidel/

The plages tv site on the beaches of Guidelhttps://en.plages.tv/seaside-resorts/guidel-56520

And there you go another adventure from home in nearby Guidel, the wonderful coastal wonders of my beautiful Morbihan dept 56. Hope you enjoy the post and do read my other posts on the area; you are sure to like it as we do.

And of course on the way back home we got in by Landevant exit/sortie 37 of the free road N165, and stop to shop at one of our favorite delights in our belle France chocolats: Here is the factory and boutique of Maison Le Roux, with branches in Paris and Quiberon here as well. Sublime chocolates!! webpage: https://www.chocolatleroux.eu/

landevant maison le roux chocos mar21

landevant maison le roux choco bars et boite mar21

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

March 20, 2021

A memorable lunch in Toulouse!

Back to you in a winter in Toulouse, the pink city we love. Of course, plenty of posts on it in my blog and this one too. However, always a stop for us while visiting the city or area! And we keep coming back and always glorious cooking as the cassoulet! Hope you enjoy the post as we!

In my continuing saga with the pink city of Toulouse I bring you to eating out. And you are in for a good one here in my belle France of course. The culinary experts here is the cassoulet dish and even if imitators and competitors this one remains the only one unique, me think. OF course, came here first with my dear late wife Martine as her father was from the area and the tradition continues even if missing a large part of our lives.  The dish even has a page in the tourist office of Toulouse! We love it and I die for it; each time here must have one and where better than in our ritual place at Place Victor Hugo right above the market of same name, the restaurant Le Loubechem! A family tradition for years…

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Of course, there are others, but this one is a family tradition of many years going back to the founders of the restaurant and my wife’s father’s family from the area.  We have been coming to Le Louchebem since 1994 when it opened and keep coming back!! The word Louchebem is the result of the deformation by jargon of the word butcher attested for the first time in 1876 in the form luchebem, was then used to indicate the jargon of louchébems or the butchers’ talk, in other words the slang of butchers from second half of the 19C. Louchébem remains known and used today in this professional universe.

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The Le Louchebem restaurant opened its doors in 1994, above the marché Victor Hugo market at Place Victor Hugo square. This traditional establishment is a family home that serves a restaurant and a butcher. It holds the title of Maître Restaurateur. The cuisine concocted here is prepared from fresh and carefully chosen products. The setting is picturesque, the atmosphere friendly, the service as professional as smiling. In other words, it is a good address for Toulouse residents as well as for passing visitors. You must absolutely taste the house specialties, as plentiful as delicious. An institution warmly recommended to all!

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The official webpage of Le Louchebem restohttps://www.lelouchebem-toulouse.fr/

The cassoulet is of occitan origins and is a specialty based on dry beans, generally white, and meat. Originally it was made from beans. The cassoulet takes its name from the enamelled terracotta casserole made in Issel. It is usually told that the place the origin is in the city of Castelnaudary, during the Hundred Years War (1337-1453).  During the siege of Castelnaudary by the English, the hungry besieged would have gathered all the food available (beans and meat), to make a gigantic stew or estofat, to reinvigorate the combatants. These could then drive out the English and liberate the city.  The question became nationalized around 1900 when the food critic Edmond Richardin launched a debate on this subject in the Parisian Gazette. Everyone then took sides for a region such as Castelnaudary, Carcassonne, and Toulouse, while by passing the existence of local versions like Villefranche-de-Lauragais, Narbonne, Montauban, Pau or Pamiers. To mediate this rivalry, Prosper Montagné ; a Languedocien gourmet who became a cook in Toulouse, uses a metaphor : “Cassoulet is the God of Occitan cuisine. A God in three people: God the Father who is the cassoulet of Castelnaudary, God the Son who is that of Carcassonne and the Holy Spirit, that of Toulouse. ” We of course, side with the version of Toulouse!!

The Toulouse cassoulet contains duck confit and a Toulouse sausage, carrot and an onion spiked with cloves. It is sometimes covered with breadcrumbs, before going to the oven. The number of times it is necessary, during baking, to break the crust that forms on the surface of the dish, is the subject of great quarrels of experts told between six and eight times depending on the versions and the chef. The tourist office of Toulouse on the cassoulet in English : https://www.toulouse-visit.com/cassoulet

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Hope you can visit Toulouse and enjoy this institution by a wonderful picturesque quant neighborhood of Victor Hugo! at the Place Victor Hugo inside the marché or market of Victor Hugo!! Enjoy the Le Loubechem!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

March 18, 2021

The market at Lannion !

I have several posts in my blog on markets, we love them. Each time in a town we look for them and do shop as well. The freshest best of the very best of France are found there. Some are better than other of course , but they are all better than the other places to shop groceries, especially. One of these was in Lannion , little known but a wonderful place to be in and shop. Therefore, let me update the post and tell you about the pretty market at Lannion!

I have written on Lannion in my blog but believe not enough on this wonderful building that deserves more. Therefore ,here is a bit more to see in Lannion at the Halles or covered market and the open market around it, historically wonderful. Lannion is the Côtes d’Armor dept 22 of the region of Bretagne. It has the wonderful N12 road connecting Brest to Paris as well as a TGV train station.

lannion-les-halles-front-mar16

The big Lannion market is an institution! Every Thursday, at dawn, it takes over the city center or downtown, for the whole day. In the morning, honor is given to the regional food products, on the place de Général-Leclerc and in the adjacent streets. The first hour, on Thursday morning, the street vendors settle in the city center. In the morning, producers in the region offer for sale their mouth-watering products in the Place du Général Leclerc, rue Jean Savidan and rue Cie Barbé. On the Quai d’Aiguillon, rue Le Taillandier, rue des Chapelier, the other merchants take place for the whole day.  In the morning, from Tuesday to Saturday. For one hundred years, the stalls of the central halles have the famous fresh products of the land and the sea. This is a wonderful building indeed and deserves more and a visit ,the halles of Lannion.

lannion-les-halles-back-side-mar16

The first halles of Lannion were born in the Middle Ages and were rebuilt in 1697, on the order of the intendant of Brittany. These halles were private property of a noble who had a royal privilege which allowed him to collect the rights of haulage in exchange for the maintenance of the buildings. The halles belonged to the family Le Gualès from 1688 to the French revolution. The law of March 15, 1790 removes the royal privilege by prohibiting the collection of the rights of haulage for individuals. In 1822, the town of Lannion bought the halles. The new halles will operate on the Place du Centre throughout the 19C. The halles were demolished in 1832 and it was in 1905 that the town of Lannion decided to build the halles that we know today. The work of the zinc frame and the glass cover are given to several merchants that needed coordination, and the inauguration of the halles of Lannion originally scheduled for October 15, 1907, will finally take place on November 1, 1907.

lannion-les-halles-side-mar16

The hours are Tuesday to Saturdays from 8h to 13h with Fridays in addition open from 14h30 to 19h30.  A bit of info on the city of Lannion webpage here:  https://www.lannion.bzh/ville-educatrice/89-vie-quotidienne/118-les-halles-de-lannion

More info I gather at the Hôtel de Ville, Place du Général Leclerc , Lannion. Tél : +33 2 96 46 64 22 : Fax +33 2 96 37 17 03. Mondays to Fridayas from 8h-12h , and 13h30 -17h30 as well as Saturdays from 9h- 12h.

The Côtes d’Armor tourist board on the Halles of Lannion markethttps://www.cotesdarmor.com/fr/fiche/degustation/les-halles-de-lannion-lannion_TFODEGBRE022V51D3YS/

The Brittany tourist board on Lannionhttps://www.brittanytourism.com/destinations/the-10-destinations/pink-granite-coast-morlaix-bay/lannion/

And there you go, a nice shopping spree up north with plenty of wonderful monuments to see too, look up my previous post on nice Lannion.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!

March 18, 2021

Créperie Saint Sauveur at St Goustan!!!

I like to update this memorable spot forever. As we came to live in this area we road warrior a lot but also walked a lot in towns. Auray was no exception and walked it we did. Coming upon the lower town or the port of Saint Goustan and its meandering narrow steep cobblestones streets we hit this restaurant; the créperie Saint Sauveur! It has been our central eatery and already good friends with the owners which we have even encountered doing the groceries! Of course, hightly recommended. 

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So taking you back closer to home and the historic wonderful Auray of my beautiful Morbihan 56 in my lovely Bretagne, and my belle France. This is even better at the wonderful district or lower town of Saint Goustan, a port!  I like to tell you about one I have mentioned briefly in previous posts several times but it is worth mentioning on a single post. As we lived close to Saint Goustan when we first entered the Morbihan ,we took our weekend road warrior spirit to check out the area. While coming to Saint Goustan we felled in love with the place and spent time on it. Moving up from the Place Saint Sauveur we came upon a hilly cobblestone street and voilà we found the Créperie Saint Sauveur!

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The owners husband and wife were very friendly welcoming us to the area talking about everything with us. We came to know them well and now with two little kids in tow the wife spends more time at home and the husband in charge with staff help. We come across them several times while doing our groceries in the market or hypermarket! A very personal photo one of the best of my dear late wife Martine, she enjoyed coming here and talking a lot with the owners (taken order) ; memories never to be forgotten.

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I have taken my French family here and visiting friends and all came out with the same good feelings of the place which of course I highly recommend to all! The Créperie Saint Sauveur is at  6 Rue Saint-Sauveur,  Auray ;however it is in the lower town in the port district of Saint Goustan.

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A bit of a unbiased description. The place really offers a very nice welcome, the products are fresh, of local quality and the dishes are succulent.  An efficient staff, very welcoming and really friendly (waiters and cook)! Excellent crepes all home made from Breton hands of very good quality used for their preparation. Original recipes from dish to dessert . All this for a very correct addition!  In an old house of historic appearance in the district of the port of Saint-Goustan,  in a warm and complicit atmosphere. The plates are simple and return with kindness the classics of the genre, which will be appreciated at competitive prices. Dynamics personnel and owners. A must to visit!

The official webpage of the Créperie Saint Sauveurhttps://www.creperie-saint-sauveur-auray.fr/

The Bay of Quiberon tourist office on the Créperie Saint Sauveurhttps://www.baiedequiberon.bzh/preparer-son-sejour-en-baie-de-quiberon/savourer/restaurants/creperie-saint-sauveur

My fav YELP on reviews which I am in it since 2004 (see bottom front page my blog)  on the Créperie Saint Sauveurhttps://www.yelp.com/biz/cr%C3%AAperie-saint-sauveur-auray

You will do good to come here when in the area, the Créperie Saint Sauveur has grown in popularity thanks to its good local products, great making of the owners and their friendly open attention to all. Enjoy it as we do!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

March 4, 2021

Wine news of France X !!

And here I am reaching another weekend, well the first one in March 2021! And need to tell you again about the wines of France, the story never ends !! indeed, simply the best. If you read my blog you know this is one of my hobbies and been all over in wine countries over the years. Here is my latest news on wines of my France!

And what the government or governments don’t tell you about the virus. The rules and the incompetence are hurting all. In France, 220,000 restaurants have closed their doors since the start of the pandemic. Beyond this tragedy which affects hundreds of thousands of employees, an entire industry is at half mast. The winegrowers, often very affected by the crisis, launched, at the initiative of the Force 4 Agency, the Solidarité Restaurateurs operation to raise funds and support restaurateurs in a logic of sustainable development from the reopening. Among them, Michel Chapoutier from Maison Chapoutier, Xavier Gomart, general manager of Cave de Tain or Alice Euvrard, Domaine de la Navicelle, Maison Louis Jadot, Patricia Ortelli from Château La Calisse, etc etc. Consumers identify the participants in the operation by the green dot on the bottle. From € 0.20 to € 1 per bottle sold are donated to the Hésiode endowment fund of the French Association of Master Restorers. Webpage: https://www.solidariterestaurateurs.com/

The Renaissance of Château Kirwan, the discreet of the Margaux appellation, one of my favorites!  Its neighbors are called Boyd-Cantenac, Brane-Cantenac, Prieuré-Lichine, Issan and, a few km further, Palmer and Margaux. By their side, Kirwan is a confidential address, a good deal given by word of mouth. The confidential address has nevertheless been a classified grand cru since 1855. At the time, the château was selected for the Universal Exhibition organized by Napoleon III. It was the first of Margaux’s third Grands Crus Classés and the 16th Grand Bordeaux in the official order of awarded wines.  In Cantenac, once you have passed the entrance gate to the domain, the charm immediately sparkle. In front of the beautiful 18C bourgeois mansion stretches out a garden, also listed with its hundred-year-old trees and its flowered arbour of roses, imagined by Camille Godard – former mayor of Bordeaux and, in his spare time, landscape architect, who was the owner during the second half of the 19C and vineyards as far as the eye can see, on 37 hectares! This enchanting setting has undoubtedly inspired the appellation of the château’s second wine, called Charmes de Kirwan.

At the origin of its notoriety, a Scottish immigrant, Mark Kirwan, arrived in Bordeaux in the middle of the 18C. He inherited the estate in 1760 by marrying the owner’s daughter, Sir John Collinwood. It is said that in 1787 Thomas Jefferson, then United States Ambassador to France, already called the Château a “second rank grand cru”. A comment announcing the fate of this exceptional wine. It was in 1926 that Alfred Schÿler, at the head of one of the oldest wine trading houses, the Schröder et Schÿler house, founded in 1739, bought this château north of Bordeaux, on the prestigious Margaux appellation.  Today, it is his great-granddaughter, Sophie Schÿler, who oversees the property, supported by Philippe Delfaut, a former Château Palmer, while his brother, Yann, chairs the trading house. She is an expert herself. Administrator and member of the Bordeaux Wine Academy, she regularly participates in master classes in the grandes écoles to initiate future leaders who are expected to be received at large tables, she specifies ; and writes for the Forbes Magazine as well as for several trade magazines. After having worked in the United States at Moët Hennessy and in the Besnier group, she returned to her native lands in 1996 to take charge of commercial development in particular of exports to the United States and Asia , and the communication from Kirwan.

Evidenced by the sculptural door through which it is accessed. A contemporary work in stainless steel lace called Les Ceps this magnificent porch, we are welcomed under a large glass roof revealing a row of wooden barrels. Mark Kirwan’s historic cellars, dating from the 18C, have been enlarged by the creation of a new space fitted out with wooden barrels from Allier. The whole being connected to 37 concrete tanks made to measure in Italy. Finally, she likes to receive groups of wine lovers in the Orangerie room of 220 m2, offering from all sides a panorama of the vines and extraordinary acoustics, thanks to its wooden beams on the ceiling, ideal for organizing events. concerts-tastings. The official webpage: https://www.chateau-kirwan.com/

Chanel is expanding its pink paradise in Porquerolles. By purchasing Domaine Perzinsky, a little over two years after acquiring the Island vineyard, the fashion house becomes the largest wine owner in this Mediterranean Eden. There were three owners who shared the 80 hectares of vines on the island of Porquerolles, with 70% production of rosé wines. Now there are two of them. Because the 14 hectares of the Perzinsky estate have just been bought by the house of Chanel to expand the Domaine de l’Île, which it has owned since autumn 2019, in this corner of Mediterranean land, facing the Pointe de Giens. Already owner in the Bordeaux region (Château Rauzan-Ségla, second classified grand cru of Margaux, Château Berliquet and Château Canon, grand cru and premier grand cru classé of Saint-Émilion), also at domaine of St Supery Estate Vineyards and Winery Napa California. Chanel made its entry into the promising rosé wine market with the Domaine de l’Île, a historic property of the 12.4 km2 island pebble, including 30 km of coastline that once belonged entirely to an adventurer of Belgian origin, Joseph- Alain Fournier. Strong personality, this former owner of mines in Mexico had devoted his fortune to his Mediterranean Eden before it was divided between his six daughters, then, little by little, ceded to the State which, in turn, had retroceded some arpents in the early 1980s to wine growers in the form of emphyteutic leases. In five years, when everything has been replanted and restructured, 40 hectares and 200,000 bottles per vintage will be sailing around the world. But always entirely and exclusively handmade, from the vineyard to the bottling, in this earthly paradise “made in Provence”. The Domaine de LÏle webpage: https://www.domainedelile.com/

In Saint-Émilion, wine tourism is no longer a fantasy. Some properties have made significant efforts to attract visitors, whether they are experts, novices or simply curious. In turn, Château Montlabert has decided to join the wine tourism dance. The reception pavilion is on the edge of the departmental road that connects Saint-Émilion to Libourne. Those who stop in can set off on a comprehensive 1.5-hour tour in a small group. The time to watch a video which presents the geographical location of the property, its terroir, its history since the 18C, and everyone gets into a very contemporary electric car. The castle and the new installations, invisible from the road, are revealed only after a few hundred meters. At the end of the small path, you will discover the 3 hectares of the English park as well as the French garden and its rose garden. A large fountain has been built, it is also likely to serve as a water reserve in the event of firefighters intervening.

This Castel group, which has nineteen properties in France, including fifteen in Bordeaux, three in Loire, one in Provence, one in Languedoc, or 1,100 hectares, needed a standard bearer. Château Montlabert was acquired by the family in 2008. Each year, Château Montlabert produces 50,000 bottles of its first wine and 70,000 bottles of the second. At the entrance to the vat room, four screens placed flat recall by their arrangement the sorting tables of the grape. We discover, in a film shot vertically, the main stages of wine making. It’s both spectacular and educational. A few meters further on, everyone can enter the heart of the cellar, made up of four islands each divided into as many large vats – two in stainless steel, two in concrete – in a space designed to limit energy consumption as much as possible (- 60 % compared to a conventional installation). The walls are covered with cork, a good insulator, while an ingenious system allows a natural flow of air to circulate in the vat room as well as in the cellars located on the lower level. In this space dedicated to drums, another video animation, very general public, of a few tens of seconds, is projected on the walls and columns. Then, towards the boutique store. webpage: https://www.chateau-montlabert.com/fr/

And here is the scary question and yes we do! What to drink with … a cheeseburger?   America’s culinary heritage owes a great deal to 19C immigrants. Thus, the hamburger (minced meat between two slices of bread) is a very old specialty of the city of Hamburg , Germany. The cheeseburger is an evolution: around 1925, a young chef from Pasadena (California), named Lionel Sternberger, had the idea of enriching his sandwich with a slice of cheese; but it was one of his colleagues from Denver (Colorado), Louis Ballast, who made it a registered trademark in 1935. With the success that we know. Cheese or not, it is obviously the ground beef which takes the best here. We should therefore avoid white wines: not structured enough, and especially devoid of tannins, they would lead to a somewhat wobbly marriage. Especially since you have to marry at the same time the sweetness of the ketchup, the acidity of the pickle and, of course, the fat of the cheese. We will choose it red, young for a preserved fruitiness, strong in taste and aromas, with notes of vanilla and black fruits, and above all a nice density in the mouth, with very present tannins. A south west France red, of course. Bon appétit.

And a bit of technical know how by yours truly.   Alcohol is an essential component of wine, the result of alcoholic fermentation, which transforms the sour in grape juice into alcohol; the latter generally represents between 12 and 14% of the total volume of a wine, and its content (also called alcoholic strength) is indicated on the label, this is the law. Not all wines are equal when it comes to alcohol content, but they owe it as much to their climate, to their grape variety, as to the cultivation practices put in place by the winemaker. Schematically, wines from the South are generally more generous (in alcohol) than wines from the North, an obvious consequence of the light intensity and the duration of sunshine, at the origin of photosynthesis which brings the sweet juice in. the vat. Today, in the south of the Rhône valley or in Languedoc, it is often difficult to harvest certain grape varieties (especially Syrah) even at potential 12 ° C, because if the sugar is there, the skins do not have the maturity required to make a great wine. Because that is where the heart of the matter lies: the only way to make a great wine is to pick the grapes at their optimum maturity, skin and juice. Even if the final degree sometimes reaches 13 or even 14 ° C, this is always better than having a wine with a rough touch and vegetable scents because the season was picked too early. You want to learn more about the different climates of French wine terroirs, oenology courses in Paris, Lyon, Marseille and in 24 other cities in France are organized by Prodégustation and are accessible for all levels, from amateurs to the most advanced. Webpage:https://www.prodegustation.com/cours-oenologie/vog-academique.html

The Jura has a rich diversity of terroirs and wines. Because, for those who do not yet know it, this vineyard does not boil down to yellow wine alone.   Trousseau and Poulsard produce unique reds that are rarely fleshy or full-bodied, but often intense and beautifully fluid. As for Chardonnay, it gives birth to whites capable of challenging the finest wines of the Côte de Beaune. Finally, Savagnin brings all its personality to yellow wine, king of oxidative wines. André & Mireille Tissot in Arbois are my best example of this little known wines, try them. Whether from the trousseau or the poulsard, Stéphane Tissot produces reds with character. While elegance is always present with silky textures, the wines never lack substance. As for its yellow wines, here too, the plot work in the vineyard has enabled it to make a huge qualitative leap in the cellar. The wines have gained in race.

A world apart: First observation: even in the absence of some of the most prestigious names, the magic of yellow operates. Second observation: breeding under sail is indeed a world apart. Last point, probably the most important: if a hierarchy emerges, the rating is only indicative, because everyone’s preference will be based on their affinities with a particular style.   The jaune or yellow wine represents around 5% of sales in Jura production, with an average volume of 3,000 hectoliters bottled each year, ie a little less than 500,000 clavelins.(bottles size of the region). Webpage of the Tissot propertyhttps://www.stephane-tissot.com/en/index.htm

To know more about the wines of the Jurahttps://www.jura-vins.com/vins-guide-vins.htm

And there you go for now folks, another dandy post on the wines of France, simply the best! Hope you have enjoy the post and the news of wines of France as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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