Scenes of Harvest 2012, Champagne, France.

Local wisdom is predicting an exceptional year for Chardonnay, especially.

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Harvest Champagne 2012

[Pinot Noir, Moët & Chandon]

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@ ♥Chérie Du Vin - You will LOVE my wine picks!

Mission Hill Family Estate’s Summer Lineup

Sample Menu:

Locally-sourced ingredients and wine pairings from Mission Hill’s portfolio. Highlights include:

  • Vine Smoked Arctic Char with berry gel;
  • Ocean Wise Shrimp and Sweet Corn Panna Cotta;
  • Naramata White Peach Gazpacho;
  • Deep Fried Hen’s Egg with chickpea panisse and buttered green peas;
  • "AAA" Beef Strip Loin with crispy polenta and truffled cauliflower;
  • Glazed French Lemon Curd ‘Bar’ with basil marshmallow and pine nut crunch.

4-Course Garden to Vineyard Lunch: Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Guests are invited to join Executive Winery Chef Matthew Batey in Mission Hill’s on-site varietal garden, to glean knowledge and pick their own fresh ingredients that will pair perfectly with the meal’s wine selections. Enjoy a four-course tasting menu in the vineyard, created and presented by Chef Batey from the day’s harvest.

Thursday, July 19th, 2012 at 11am $85 per person 

Summer in Whites Loggia Dinner: Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Fresh, vibrant, alluring, these words all describe the white wines of Mission Hill. This exclusive dinner is a splendid way to enjoy these exuberant wines of summer. Guests will be privy to a gorgeous pre-dinner vineyard reception, a Sommelier-hosted winery tour and a three-course wine-paired dinner, set in the winery’s stunning Loggia gallery. Guests are encouraged to dress in white in celebration of the evening’s wine theme.

Friday, August 3rd, 2012 at 6pm $99 per person 

Purchase tickets online: missionhill.com

Mission Hill Family Estate is world renowned and honored as one of the ‘Top Five Winery Restaurants in the World’ by Travel + Leisure magazine. The restaurant and epicurean program is led by Executive Winery Chef Matthew Batey and Chef of The Terrace Chris Stewart. Majestic mountains, scenic lakes and lush orchards encase the winery’s dramatic architecture. With sustainable practices that ensure care for the environment, and a timelessness that respects the von Mandl family’s European heritage, guests experience the height of winemaking in an incomparable lakeside mountaintop winery.

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Moët & Chandon Trianon Gardens

Just across the street from the famous Moët & Chandon cellars in Champagne, France are their exquisite gardens. Only open to private visitors, or once a year to public visitors during the Fetes des Jardins, the grounds are aptly named after Marie-Antoinette’s famous personal palace at Versailles, Trianon. The proper name is the résidence de Trianon and the jardins de l’orangerie.

Manicured grounds with remarkable palm trees, exquisite lemon trees and ripe rosé pink rose bushes, this year’s artistic exhibit in the Orangerie at the far end of the grounds features photos of gardens throughout recent history. Gardens in pictures from Paris’s Luxembourg gardens to flowered grounds in other regions of France and abroad as far away as the U.S.

I was inspired so here is my humble offering to photographic historical record...Click HERE for Full SLIDESHOW

All photos © Paige Donner 2012

 

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Chérie Du Vin ♥ Chérie Du Vin - You Will Love My Wine Picks!

Centre Vinicole Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte

by Paige Donner

A few interesting facts set the champagne brand of Nicolas Feuillatte apart from the others.

For one, it’s a champagne house that is cooperatively owned. Just outside of the champagne capital of Épernay in France, in the little village of Chouilly, the modern and sleek facilities whose cellars are both above and beneath the ground, ferment, disgorge and age 300,000 hectoliters of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Petit Meunier destined to become top-selling champagne every year. That translates into 21.9 million bottles of champagne in 2011.

CLICK HERE FOR SLIDESHOW

The house doesn’t actually own any vineyards, however. Those are all owned by the growers. They get privileges for being part of the vast co-operative, the growers do. Privileges such as use of state-of-the-art bottling and riddling machines for example, when they have enough leftover from their growing season and harvests to offer a limited supply under their own champagne label - if they so choose.

It’s one of the most, if not the most, successful “cave co-operatives” in the wine industry in France. The numbers are impressive:

  • 5,000 growers (that comprise the Producers Union)
  • 82 smaller cooperatives (who form the larger NF brand)
  • 350 wine presses
  • 21.9 million bottles produced in 2011

And what’s more, Nicolas Feuillatte is a real person. Still alive and kicking today.

It was in the early 70’s when he inherited 10ha of champagne vineyards. After a few years’ harvests and a successful brand launching, notably in the U.S. among the jet-set and the glitterati, he accepted the offer of the union of growers to lend his brand to their champagnes. It was, quite evidently, a match made in heaven.

Recommend: If you get the chance, try the 1996 vintage Brut. Elegant, generous, laced with a refined minerality.

All photos c. 2012 Paige Donner

YOU WILL LOVE MY WINEPICKS! - ♥CHÉRIE DU VIN

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Notes From Burgundy

[From Bourgogne Newsletter]

BURGUNDY WINE SCHOOL

BURGUNDY_WINE_SCHOOL

 

BURGUNDY WINE SCHOOL
For full details see ecoledesvins-bourgogne.com

The Wine School’s programmeThe Burgundy Wine School has launched its 2012 programme. This year is likely to be a full one, as it includes three new features: sessions on food and wine pairing with Burgundy wines; sessions in English in September and October and the organisation of a 3-day programme (in English) as part of the Hospices de Beaune wine auction.

These new offerings will be added to the rich catalogue of around sixty training courses aimed at the general public, not to mention the “Coaching” and “Tailor-made services” (from 3 hours to several days) set up by the School. The Wine School also manages the Aroma Cellars, with around fifty exhibitions per year.
In 2011, 2,550 people attended training courses at the Burgundy Wine School and gave it an average score of 17.6 out of 20.

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BURGUNDY’S CLIMATS AT UNESCO: A KEY STAGE REACHED

BURGUNDYS_CLIMATS_AT_UNESCO__A_KEY_STAGE_REACHED

The French ministers of ecology and culture have decided to put forward the application for theClimats of the Burgundy vineyard for inclusion in the UNESCO world heritage list. Two projects were selected throughout France (the second was the Chauvet cave in Ardeche).

UNESCO should give its verdict on the project in July 2013. In the words of Bernard Pivot, French writer but also Chairman of the support committee for the application: “It is not just a question of distinguishing a famous vineyard and its universally known wines, but it is also a question of recognising the segmentation of the soil of Burgundy’s vineyards into Climats as being unique in the world. They are works of art drawn on the soil by man and by time.” 

Aubert de Villaine, Chairman of the association behind the project, thanked all those supporters (nearly 40,000) who believe in the legitimacy of this application. “Their mobilisation is not only the expression of the universal notoriety of the wines of the Côtes de Beaune and Côtes de Nuits, but also that of the attachment of the local population to their history. Adding them to the UNESCO world heritage list will help assert their specific nature and preserve the landscape situated between two towns of art, Dijon and Beaune.

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TOURISM: CHABLIS OBTAINS THE “VIGNOBLES ET DÉCOUVERTES” LABEL

TOURISM__CHABLIS_OBTAINS_THE_VIGNOBLES_ET_DECOUVERTES_LABEL

The vineyard of Chablis and the Chablisien is the 4th of the Burgundy vineyards to receive the “Vignobles et Découvertes” label for its 43 tourist services. This label, dedicated to wine-tourism, allows visitors to identify wine destinations in a region covering some 30km, which provide a full, high-quality offering: wine cellars, cultural and natural heritage, gastronomy, leisure activities, accommodation, local tourism agency, etc. 

It was implemented in 2010 by the wine tourism council. Three regions across Burgundy were already awarded the label last year: the destinations “Côte and Haute-Côte de Beaune: around the Montrachet hill”, “Côte and Hautes-Côtes de Beaune: around the Corton hill” and “Dijon-Côte de Nuits”. 

There are a total of 300 offers labelled “Vignobles et Découvertes” in Burgundy! Find out more in the guide “En route vers les Bourgognes” published by the Burgundy Wine Board (BIVB).


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Winemaker Diaries
CHILE AND ARGENTINA

Motorcycle Diaries

[From Laughingstock.ca]

What do we do in the winter? When the vineyard is covered in snow and wine is aging in barrel, adventures begin. This year, David went adventure motorcycling in Chile and Argentina with Paul Gardner, from Pentage Winery.

While no revolutions were started, much wine drinking was done of South American Tannat (brooding, dark and high tannins), Torrentes (floral, rose petal and fresh) and some rockin’ Malbecs (lush, intense and full). Back to spring winemaking realities now of blending decisions and bottling schedules (with some inspiration from Che).


Director’s Blend Wines

SOON AVAILABLE AT TOP TABLE RESTAURANTS

Blending is more art than science, and this year the Wine Directors of 4 of the leading restaurants in Vancouver and Whistler joined us to create a proprietary blend series — available exclusively in each of these restaurants later this spring. Sarah McCauley of CinCin, Andrea Vescovi of Blue Water Café, Samantha Rahn of Araxi and Owen Knowlton of West came up a number of times to the Naramata Bench to create deeply pleasing red and white blends that are true to the Okanagan. Congrats to Owen for being named “Sommelier of the Year” at this year’s Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival.

It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money. 
P. J. O’Rourke

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Winemaker’s Cup 2011!!!

Oliver, B.C. The organizers of the Winemakers Cup announced today additional details for the fourth annual festival. The Winemakers Cup Ski Race is the World’s only annual ski challenge weekend for the wine industry and it takes place for the benefit of industry networking, peer camaraderie and palate appreciation.

The fourth annual weekend of festivities takes place March 25 to 27, 2011 at the resort of Spirit Ridge in Osoyoos and up on the ski hill of Mt. Baldy in B.C. Close to one hundred winemakers, cellar hands and vineyard managers, tasting room staff, restaurateurs, sommeliers and many other industry people will race head-to-head on the ski slopes and then drink wine, après-ski style while reliving the hilarious antics of the day.

They will be participating in several events as part of the weekend in the heart of the Okanagan, one of the world’s most scenic and beautiful wine regions.Today it was announced that the following organizations have confirmed their participation in the event, and their sponsorship of this important wine industry gathering: Cellar Tek, Title Sponsor of the Winemakers CupBDO, Sponsor of Saturday Evening Dinner and Awards BanquetViking Refrigeration, Sponsor of the hilarious “Agony of Defeat” video, Osoyoos Indian Band, Sponsor of the Lunch at Mount BaldyWestland Insurance, Sponsor of the Friday Night Winemakers ForumBMO, Trophy Sponsor for the Winemakers Cup

“We are looking forward to another great event this year” said Randy Jones, Proprietor of Title Sponsor Cellar Tek. “We appreciate everyone’s efforts in putting on such a fantastic gathering of the industry. With the great snow conditions that are at Mt. Baldy this year, this is going to be an exceptional year.”

Further, it was announced that Saturday night is Industry Night at Spirit Ridge. This social night is open to any and all people involved in the wine industry, regardless of whether they participated in the ski race or not.

“Come on out and rub shoulders with new and familiar acquaintances. It does not matter whether you ski or snowboard or not. Just come on out and have some fun” said Peter Glockner of Cellar Tek. Previous winners of the Winemakers Cup include: 2008 Bill Eggert, Winemaker, Fairview Cellars2009 Stephen Wyse, Winemaker, Young & Wyse 2010 Herb Alex, Cellarhand, Jackson-TriggsFull video from the race and the festivities from previous years are available at:  http://www.paulcottonfilms.com/WinemakersCup.php.The events for the 2011 Winemakers’ Cup include: Friday March 25. Spirit Ridge Resort. 7 pm to 9 pm “Winemakers Forum”. Some special iconic guests from the Wine Industry will join their Okanagan peers for a blind-tasting session as well as an interesting panel discussion on trends & opportunities in the wine industry today. 

No cost to join, just be sure to bring one bottle of wine donation per person.9 pm to midnight “The Wine Industry Hospitality Suite”. Come and rub shoulders and socialize with Winemakers, Cellarhands, Vineyard staff and other industry folk. .Saturday March 26, Mt. Baldy Ski Resort. Join us for a fun day on the slopes or on the deck enjoying the sun.

There will be a fun dual-slalom ski race with prizes being given out to Top Skier (Male & Female), Top Snowboarder (Male & Female), Top Telemarker, Best wipe-out and Worst times (Male & Female) as well as prizes for any kids that enter. Registration starts at 9 am. Race Starts at 11 am. BBQ & Hanging in the Sun at 1 pm. Free skiing or Après skiing all afternoon long.Snow bunnies/Lodge Skiers- BBQ Lunch and commemorative T-shirt: only $35.00.  

Race participants: Lift ticket, Race participation, BBQ lunch and T-shirt: only $65.00. Race without Lift tickets (season pass holders): $45.00There will be optional snowshoeing lessons for anyone that would like to try it. Saturday Evening: Spirit Ridge Resort6:30 pm Sparkling wine reception.7:00-9:30 pm Winemakers Cup Awards Banquet. Includes a gourmet 3-course dinner, wine pairings, and awards presentation: Only $80 per person9:30 pm- 1:00 am. The Winemakers Cup After-party & Dance featuring the live music of “Double Magnum”. Cost only $20.00 per person plus one bottle of wine for admittance. Sunday March 27Free to check out and do whatever you want. 

“We’re lucky in the Okanagan. We’re not only blessed with unique winemaking terroir, but we are the only region to have a ski area such as Mount Baldy in very close proximity to the vineyards,” says organizer Glenn Fawcett, president of Black Hills Estate Winery. “Making wine is hard work, and it’s good for all of us to get away from the grind and get together for some friendly ski competition, marked mostly by laughs.Fawcett says it’s also a chance to for the industry to connect and share ideas.

“Some of the most interesting conversations happen on a chairlift, up there in the fresh mountain air. The Winemakers Cup is a great catalyst for these conversations. It enables an exchange of ideas and information that outside of the day-to-day work environment in the wineries and vineyards,” he says. It’s just a lot of fun to get the industry together for some laughs. And of course, you don’t have to be in the wine industry to come out for these events. Everyone is welcome.”  

The Winemakers Cup was created and organized as a partnership between Black Hills Estate Winery, Mt. Baldy, and Spirit Ridge Resort.For tickets, call Jennifer at Spirit Ridge at (250) 495-5445, ext. 5003. If you’re interested in the race, spots are available right up to race day. For further information on the Winemakers Cup, go to www.spiritridge.ca/race . For information on Mount Baldy Ski Area, go to www.skibaldy.com .

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Only 700 bottles of Rémy Martin VSOP Cannes Limited Edition cognac will be available at duty-free and travel-retail outlets around the world
Liquor supplier Rémy Cointreau Global Travel Retail has announced a new travel-retail exclusive to celebrate its seven-year partnership with the Cannes Film Festival.
The Rémy Martin VSOP Cannes Limited Edition cognac (pictured), created especially for the 64th edition of the cinema event, is a 1.5-litre magnum decorated in black and gold.Only 700 individually-numbered bottles will be available at selected duty-free and travel-retail outlets around the world between March and May.
A one-litre limited edition will also be on sale, according to the company.The two products will be previewed at the Duty Free Show of the Americas in Orlando on March 21–23.
The Cannes Film Festival starts on May 11.

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Only 700 bottles of Rémy Martin VSOP Cannes Limited Edition cognac will be available at duty-free and travel-retail outlets around the world

Rémy Martin VSOP Cannes Limited EditionLiquor supplier Rémy Cointreau Global Travel Retail has announced a new travel-retail exclusive to celebrate its seven-year partnership with the Cannes Film Festival.

The Rémy Martin VSOP Cannes Limited Edition cognac (pictured), created especially for the 64th edition of the cinema event, is a 1.5-litre magnum decorated in black and gold.

Only 700 individually-numbered bottles will be available at selected duty-free and travel-retail outlets around the world between March and May.

A one-litre limited edition will also be on sale, according to the company.

The two products will be previewed at the Duty Free Show of the Americas in Orlando on March 21–23.

The Cannes Film Festival starts on May 11.

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G-Night on March 4th in Avignon,”Discovery of the Rhone Valley”

KELLY MCAULIFFE, SUPER SOMMELIER & WINE TOUR GUIDE, PRESENTS:

G-Nite Invite FR

Bonjour all Grenache loving people,

As a Download on the link above is the invite for the G-Night on March 4th in Avignon. This is during the week long “Discovery of the Rhone Valley” event. 30 rockstar Rhone winemakers who Glorify Grenache and all served in MAGNUMS. From 7pm till 10pm it’s for everyone in the trade. After that it’s open to all! Live music and a great location to have a party. Please spread the word to anyone you know that is coming to Avignon and that loves Grenache!!!

Bonjour a tous les amoureux de Grenache,

En attache je vous joint l’invitation pour la soiree G-Night a Avignon le 4 Mars. C’est pendant la semaine “Decouverte en Valley du Rhone”. 30 Rockstars vignerons du Rhone qui glorifient Grenache et servis en MAGNUMS! De 19hr a 22hr pour les professionnels. Apres, c’est ouvert a tout le monde! De la musique live et un endroit parfait pour faire la fete.
SVP si vous pouvez faire circuler cette info a du monde qui vient a Avignon et qui aime le Grenache!!!

Merci et a bientot


Kelly Mc Auliffe
Sommelier & Wine Tour Guide

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Paris By Mouth is one of Paris’s most awesomest Food Blogs! Read all about founder Meg Zimbeck’s food evolution in the City of Lights on Eye Prefer Paris by Richard Nahem.

What are some of the latest food trends in Paris?Wine bars that serve food have been popping up all over in the past year, and it’s been nice to have more options that don’t require advance booking or a three-course commitment. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good four-hour meal, but wine bars are great for those nights when you just want to nibble without breaking the bank.

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Paris By Mouth is one of Paris’s most awesomest Food Blogs! Read all about founder Meg Zimbeck’s food evolution in the City of Lights on Eye Prefer Paris by Richard Nahem.

What are some of the latest food trends in Paris?
Wine bars that serve food have been popping up all over in the past year, and it’s been nice to have more options that don’t require advance booking or a three-course commitment. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good four-hour meal, but wine bars are great for those nights when you just want to nibble without breaking the bank.

TWITTER.COM/LOCALFOODWINE

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FACEBOOK/LOCALFOODANDWINE