Louis Jadot is a Burgundy wine behemoth. Producing wines in over a quarter of the region’s 600 appellations, they really are one of the biggest players in Eastern France’s long and winding wine heartland. Recently I met Fred Barnier, the man charged to continue the traditions of this 150 year old business, with a brief to do absolutely nothing! Well, kind of…
I recently got the invite to head off to Southern France for the 50th anniversary celebrations of Foncalieu Wines, one of the largest co-operative wine makers in the region. I was um-ing and ah-ing about what I’d find to write about over there, but thanks to the immaculately afro’ed Romain, I found my angle…here’s my latest piece in The Buyer about the changing attitudes of Co-op Wineries!
I was gutted last week to miss out on a trip to Paris to join in the festivities with JB and the rest of the 20h33 team as they celebrated their 6th annual Soirée de degustation. Some great guys and girls were there, and sponsored by Château Samion, Château Jean Faure, and Château Pichon Baron…doubly gutted to miss it!
Check out how they got on here by clicking here for the video…
…looking forward to starting these up in the UK from next year!
Video: ©Tangram Films
Down in Maçon, in Southern Burgundy, there are a few producers who deserve a bit of respect. Or at least more so than they think they’re getting. I had the immense pleasure of having dinner recently with Audrey Braccini, head winemaker at Domaine Ferret in Fuissé, and this topic was a hot one for her.
I’m sat here in the shop at Pichon Baron in Pauillac, stealing their WiFi, as my Primuer week comes to an end. Primeur week is where wine-o’s come from all the way around the world to try the most recent vintage (2016) of wines from Bordeaux. The week has a lot of critics, because the wines are so far from being the finished article. But there are always some lessons to learn form the week…
When I was out in Cahors, I was there as a guest of the fine folks at Chateau De Mercues. It’s a Relais and Chateaux gaff right on the Lot river, surrounded by Malbec vines. The 13th Century castle also boasts a fine dining restaurant that is pushing hard for Michelin status. I’m doing my best to make it sound amazing, because it was amazing. But I don’t think it would have been half as impressive had it not been for where it is. The Lot Valley is a fantastic place to visit!
It’s ok boys and girls, I can walk again now. After the complete body shock of finishing my first ever marathon I think I’m nearly there. As much as both myself and JB trained hard before we did it, you can’t really train for the idea of running 42kms, having the opportunity to taste over 20 wines, eat oysters and foie gras, and do all this in ridiculous warm fancy dress outfits in 35 degree heat. But what a weekend, eh?!
Before I start about the tasting session we had, there are a couple of things that struck me about the winery and vineyard tours we started the day with. English sparkling wine can’t escape the link with the most famous sparkling wine region the world, Champagne. The (English and Welsh) wine press love to crow when our wines win out in trophies against their better known cousins. I was to learn that this “us versus them” attitude doesn’t exist in the winery.
When you start getting all twee and arty about wine is usually when most people switch off. But that’s ok, us wine geeks have this theory that the reason so many people like wine is that it’s this amazing mix between art, history, geography, and science. If you’re interested in one, then you’ll get into wine, no problem. Luckily I love 3 of them. As my old secondary school teachers will attest to; I’ve always hated bloody Geography!
I’m off on my travels at the minute. I’ve got a week in Northern Italy to get some much needed landscaping done, and then as soon as we drive back to the UK I fly off to Primeur week with all the other Millesima blog award winners. So yesterday and the day before we headed down through Eastern France with a stop over in a town called Troyes. I’d heard it was somewhere you had to visit at some point, and I’m really glad we did!