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,..
Over three weeks ago, world news was focused on the frosty situation in the vineyards of France especially around Bordeaux. The world press has moved on, but the French winegrowers are still very much counting the cost of the freezing temperatures that hit for just a few nights. During the noctural freezing temperatures, those vineyards that could afford a possible solution used various techniques, oil cannisters were lit between every second row of vines, bales of hay set alight at strategic points around the vineyards, and turbines, and in some cases helicopters used to force warmer air down on the vines. Frost affected some vineyards particularly hard, with the buddings on the vines destroyed, so now growers are waiting p..
Spring has finally arrived here in Ireland, well Spring as we know it, can be brollies in the morning, shorts and tee shirts in the afternoon and jumping back into winter woollies for the evenings. But we are a resilient bunch and seems also overly optimistic, barbecue and outdoor heater sales have seen a huge upsurge in 2021. What better way to kick off the barbecue season than with a couple of wines from South Africa. The barbecue in South Africa is a national tradition and known there as the braai, their national Heritage Day on the 24th of September is fondly known as braai day. Most braai at least once a week and always use wood or charcoal to bring out the best flavours from the meat. No proud South African would be seem next to..
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. ..
On our early morning drives into the shop in St Emilion or to the market in Libourne you glimpse eerie silhouettes through the mist in the vineyards, bent over and moving slowly through the vines. Pruning has begun in earnest in the last week in the vineyards around the house. During the winter months the sap from the vines descends into the root system and the vine becomes inactive, making this a perfect time to prune back the excess branches. Pruning takes place between the months of November and March. Late pruning is preferable as pruning pauses the growing cycle and the vine is thereby less exposed to the late spring frosts experienced in Bordeaux. For the smaller vineyards late pruning is possible, for the bigger vineyards this is ..
Wine Moments Coming to Kilkenny with The Wine Buff Opening New to the area, Gary Davidson and Gabi Baronetti are immersing themselves into the local community by opening the most recent Wine Buff franchise at 29 Patrick Street, Kilkenny. Gabi and Gary met in the heart of the wine region of the Western Cape of South Africa, a stone's throw from the best wineries the country has to offer. In South Africa, they ran a farmstall that stocked artisan food from local producers and a pub. In December 2019, they emigrated to Ireland to be closer to family and returning to Gabi’s roots, her mother was from Wicklow. “After coming to Ireland, we were looking for a suitable business venture, something that we would both enjoy doing into o..
We are delighted to announce that The Wine Buff St Emilion has been voted one of the Top 10 wine retailers in France by The Beverage Trade Network. Since our launch in this stunningly beautiful UNESCO village of St Emilion, The Wine Buff has endeavoured to make you, our customer, feel very much at home. At The Wine Buff, we truly believe that your purchase of wine should be a memorable experience, and even more so when you have taken the time to visit the epicentre of the wine world. We are also rated No 1 on Tripadvisor and Google for wine shopping in St Emilion. Not bad for a Irish wine shop competing in a village containing 90 + wine shops and only 200 inhabitants! A h..
In the Rioja region the favourable conditions of 2018 produced one of the largest harvests of the past decade, resulting in balanced classic styled Rioja wines with great bouquet and good ageing potential. The 2019 summer was extremely hot, and the yields are predicted to be reduced considerably on the 2018 harvest, but vineyards are generally reporting great quality. While visiting Bodegas Ontañón’s vineyards near the village of Quel in Rioja Oriental, Raquel Perez explained, “Due to the intense heat in the last few months, the grape sizes are smaller than normal, this allows good air circulation through the grape bunches, all the grapes are very healthy” said Raquel, something we witnessed when she showed us the tempranill..