In October 1685 Louis XIV, the ‘Sun King’ of France, revoked the Edict of Nantes. Protestantism was once again declared illegal, and the French army began pulling down their churches and schools. The State-sanctioned persecution resulted in the exodus of at up to half a million Huguenots. Many of the refugees were from wealthy families or highly skilled in working with silk, plate glass, gold and silver, as well as the manufacture of watches and furniture. Among those Huguenots who fled from France to Ireland was Jean Chaigneau, the owner of the ancient “La Bellonniere” wine estate that stood midway between Rochefort and St Savinien near Cognac. He was the son of Jacques Chaigneau of St Savinien,..
Vincent Paris is a quiet, gets on with his work type of individual, however his wines are quickly becoming iconic in the region and around the world. He started making wines back in the 90’s and his first two vintages were made with his uncle the legendary wine maker Robert Michel, after these two years he decided to strike out on his own and leased some plots on the Cornas slopes and inherited some from his grandfather, his first vintages from 1997 were made in a small garage before moving to his new facility in 2001, where he still operates. In 2006 his uncle retired, and his vineyards were put up for sale, as expected a fierce bidding war ensued for the renowned old vines, primarily from the valley’s greatest producers, but a..
Nolwenn and Matthieu are two young winemakers who met by chance at a wine fair. A sip of Pouilly Fumé and it was the beginning of a true love story. After doing a science degree, Matthieu returned to his first love: wine and particularly his family vineyard in the middle of the Loire Valley where he worked with his father in the family vineyards. Nolwenn worked as a publisher in Paris, when she met Matthieu and decided to leave her life behind her and join Matthieu in the Loire. Together, they decided to create their own winegrowing estate. At a turning point in their careers their paths led them to a small domain at the crossroads of the terroirs of the Pouilly Fumé appellation. And so was born Domaine de la Croisée in Pouilly Fumé. ..
We recently visited the 17-acre Bordeaux vineyard of Château des Graviers located in the Arsac region of Margaux and has been in the Dufourg-Landry family for generations. Some of the adjacent parcels of land are Grands Crus Classes such as Chateau Issan, Rauzan-Ségla, Prieuré-Lichine and Marojallia. Christophe Landry is the fifth-generation winemaker and like many winemaker’s sons was sent to college to study wine making. Christophe was frustrated by the techniques and manipulative processes he started to learn in college, so he decided on his own path. Leaving college and approaching wine making from his purest ideals and his precise attention to detail. Each grape in his wine is produced on the terroir best suited to its qual..
Diemersdal is one of the oldest family owned estates in South Africa, founded in 1698 and owned by the same family since 1885. The Louw family is now farming the vines. Every first-born son is called Matthys Michael Louw and there are currently three generations living and working on the estate. It has been handed down from father to son since 1885 and now has three generations working and living on the farm. Thys Louw is the sixth-generation winemaker, his father, Tienie snr has been making wine on the farm for more than 30 years. It was under Thys and Tienie snr that the farm moved away from bulk wine, selling the grapes on to other wine makers. "My father is a forward thinker. He realised back then that we could add value without a..
Laila Libenzi was started in the 1950’s when Aristle Libenzi and his wife Renata bought land near Corinaldo in the Marche region overlooking the Adriatic Sea on the East coast of Italy. They worked the land and tended the vines with true Italian passion. Over the years they were joined by their daughter Laila, then son in law Andrea Crocenzi. In 1990 Andrea invested heavily in high density planting which is very unusual in the region, this obtained wines of greater concentration, resulting in a style that is unique to the winery and together with Oenologist Lorenzo Landi they turned this into one of the most innovative wineries of the Marche. Since 2013 the vineyard has been managed by Laila’s children, Andrea and Chiara w..
"Costières de Nîmes is the most southerly appellation of the Cote du Rhone. The wines of the area are reputed to have been consumed by the Ancient Greeks and thus figure among the oldest known wines in the world. Tucked away in this region is Chateau Beaubois, vines have been grown here since the 13th century. Cistercian monks originally planted grapes and olives in the sun-soaked, stony soils, noticing immediately the potential for quality found within modern-day Costières de Nîmes' terroirs. Fanny and her brother François are the 4th generation tending the vines and making wine on this plot of land. This brother-and-sister team organically farm 54 hectares of grapes, and 2 hectares of olives on their historic property, happy to ..
Wine has been produced in Spain for thousands of years: Romans had a particular liking for Rioja wines, records exist of shipments of nearly 20 million amphorae from Spain to Rome in 20 AD! The region gets its name from the river Oja, a tributary of the Ebro. The real improvements in Rioja wine making began around 1780, when then modern techniques were adopted from wine makers in Bordeaux. Historically in Rioja, growers grew the grapes, sold these to the wine makers who bottled, stored and sold the wines. This practice still exists, with contracts between growers and Bodegas. In the early 1980’s when Gabriel Cuevas inherited a portion of his family’s vineyards, located on the high mountain slopes of Rioja Baja, he decid..
This time of year, France is focused on its wine harvest but this year is different to recent years, an unusually mild March and frosty April, difficult ripening due to water stress and scorching heat in June and August has led to low yields, the lowest since 1945. And with unpredictable rains now forecast the race is on to pick the grapes. Last week we spoke to Fanny and Francois Boyer from Chateau Beaubois and received their harvest update. “Our harvest started historically early this year on 11th August at 2am to take advantage of the cooler late-night temperatures. The harvest started 15 days earlier than 2106 and 30 days earlier than the 1988 vintage. Take note climate change sceptics”. said Fanny. Fanny who is the wi..