I am one day out of Bulgaria and I already miss it. Let me tell you first and foremost: I love Bulgaria, I love Bulgarian wine (what I tried of it), I love Bulgarian people (even though they don’t like each other). I want to live and die in Bulgaria! But how did this happen and what did I experience?
Follow my work at Domaine des Enfants to learn about the early stages OF the wine making process
After working in Alsace and Rheinhessen, the third stop on my wine around the globe tour is Domaine des Enfants, in Maury close to Perpignan. The wine growing region is called Roussillion and is part of France’s biggest wine growing region Languedoc-Rousillion.
The domaine is run by Swiss Marcel Bühler and his American wife Carrie Sumner. I have the opportunity to stay two weeks at the domaine and get involved in various tasks. As it turns out, these two weeks cover pretty much all steps from picking the grapes to nearly bottling the wine. Follow me and learn what happens at these various stages and how juice turns to wine.
1. Work in the vineyard: picking grapes
I arrive pretty much on time for the harvest of the white grapes. There is an anxiety and excitement to be felt about when exactly to start harvesting the white grapes. Marcel and Carrie are discussing it frequently, checking the weather, checking the ripeness of the fruit, checking the moon. Why the moon? Because they follow biodynamic principles and pick fruit on fruit days of the moon calender. Continue reading
Wine naming in France
In most parts of France, wines are always named after the regions they come from. What does this mean, exactly? You have probably heard about a Bordeaux, a Médoc or a Chablis wine. Well, these wines are all named after the regions they come from and not after the grapes these wines are made of. So, a Bordeaux usually exists of different grape varieties, such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. A Chablis, a region in northern Burgundy, is usually a white wine made out of the Chardonnay grape. The same system, by the way, applies to Italy and Spain.
But in Alsace, it’s the grape, baby!
However, in the wine region Alsace we don’t encounter what is typical for the rest of France. Here, wines are named after the grape varieties they are made of. This little odditiy can be explained through the closeness to Germany, where wines are typically named after their grape variety and not the region. Continue reading