Protect our ampelographic heritage

Protect our ampelographic heritage

To read in other languages, scroll down to the end of the post

As #winelovers we enjoy wines from all around the world but to be frank, most of the time we are only faced with the “main/international” grapes such as Cabernet (sauvignon and franc), merlot and chardonnay among a few others.
When visiting winemakers, we always let them know that we love so very much their experimentations, terroirs and sometimes even their obscure grape varieties.
We ask them to use more autochthonous varietals (as so many did last year at the 2012 European Wine Bloggers Conference in Izmir – Turkey) even if most of the time we don’t understand how hard is to plant them back (loss of heritage, clonal or massal selection, slope adaptation, yields management among so many other parameters).
This explains why it is important for countries such as France to protect our wine diversity, our ampelographic heritage and of course our past and present research.

This may be obvious for us (#winelovers) however, by now the French Ampelographic Conservatory INRA – Domaine de Vassal (south of France) which inventories over 7,000 varieties coming from more than 40 countries is in great danger due to economic and political pressure.
“The state of public finances being what it is , INRA is considering a plan to move the Domaine de Vassal . Decisions are imminent. By the admission of responsibility , the risks of such a move are considerable (precipitation, inadequate budget , disengagement researchers, loss of diversity , simplification of botanical background , rationalization ….. )”

  • Relocation is not an easy process when comes to vines and world heritage. Some vines are not grafted (prephylloxeric vines) and can only survive in specific soil such as that of Domaine de Vassal (big lot of sand).
    “This extraordinary botanical collection, which could be considered as “The Louvre Wine ” was started in 1876 at the National School of Agronomy in Montpellier and was established in 1949 at the Domaine de Vassal .
  • The vines are rooted in the coastal sand protected from the risk of contamination and the dreaded phylloxera .
  • The devastation it has caused there are precisely two centuries behind the conservatory. 27 hectares, is now flourishing old forgotten varieties, such as unusual varieties of the world’s great wines.
  • The current genetic erosion due to the work of selection makes it essential to maintain the conservatory.
  • It is indeed an indispensable source of genes for crop improvement and access to the wine biodiversity.
  • Some of these genes will be needed tomorrow to deal with diseases of the vineyard, changes in consumer tastes or future climate change, particularly to support the revival of forgotten varieties that will tomorrow thousands of French winemakers to produce original wines highly sought after in the world.”

It is important that all consumers, citizens and leaders understand what is happening and get mobilized to maintain the integrity of our “vine Louvre” and keep our extraordinary and national living heritage.

If you feel the same and really love wine diversity, vine heritage and a winemakers work, please do sign this petition and share it with friends an colleagues!

L’article en français est disponible sur mon blog : vincentpetre.com
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** This article is from Vincent Petre, a Champagne Producer, a Bubbly friend, a #winelover blogger.. and has been translated in other languages as well around the Globe.

We already have 2/3rd of the signatures this petition neds to go on and we meed one more, yours. ..here is the link to go sign

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What Wines from Georgia is all about..

Wines !winelover olive
Yes, that’s it.
.. and I mean it
.. it’s all about Wines !!

I could stop here and say no more.
To be honest, is not easy put down in words my memories about Wines of Georgia, feels difficult as explain why one loves wines. I could list so many reasons why, but it would  never be enough. On the other hand, is not fair keep it quiet.

Is not really difficult find a wine maker highly passionate for their wines, even more easier a stagy proud one. That’s not my point. That said, mind how many of them tried to convince you that their wines are the best you ever tasted. You can tell they can’t wait for a compliment , they want you to like their wines (..and pay ridiculous amount of money for them, of course). That’s not a Gerogian wine style of wine tasting.

Georgia dinner table

What I found in The Republic of Georgia was people that loves wines. They love wines so much that all they want is you to be happy enjoying a glass of wine. Vanity is put aside, the star is the wine itself. And that, I can tell you, is a rare thing bear witness. Georgian wine makers showed their wines as a superb tool to light your senses up and feed your soul. The point of winemaking here is to make people feel good. That’s why, I believe, food, family and friends  are inseparable on the table along with their wines and traditions.

Wine lovers knows is not about the alcohol.. is not about intoxication. What the point in fluster your mind when you lusciously feed you soul..?? Wine is to be shared with those you care. Perhaps that is the core of it all. Put on top of it the high quality of their wines and their huge yummy factor..

 

I walked in Tblisi (the main and biggest city in the Country) and could not believe my eyes, Vines everywhere. Every corner of my eyes spotted a grapevine as I was in a winelover-fair-tale. Restored buildings, beautiful monuments, old much-more-than-very-old streets and colourful windows welcome you in spite of the cold breeze.

wines from Georgia

I can tell you this.. there is no way I stop thinking about that place, that people, their wines.

I’ll post more practical info/details about the Wines of Georgia soon (at least that’s the plan..).

L.

Memories Distortions, Luxury Behavior.. and Wines, of course :-)

You don’t need a PhD to know that memory changes when time past. What is less known is that as the memory fades it becomes more vulnerable.

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“We store ours experiences as fragments and when you recollect those experiences what you try to do is to reconstruct a history around the fragments.” Every time you think twice you risk altering the memory even further. “When you remember something you change the biochemistry of the memory that you originally had. And, because of that, it becomes vulnerable to alterations.” Ultimately, after a few rewired pathways in our brains, we believe the alterations to be true and what details are you sure to be real.

(Dr Elizabeth Loftus studied human ability of memory distortion)

I heard that and thought it is great!
Most people would say this is a bad thing because you loss accuracy and what you tell based on your own memory is not the “real truth”. Yes, I do know there is not such thing as unreal truth.. so, please don’t fill my inbox with grammar-reparations-demands :-)
I’m not writing about Law nor any sort of witness-thing. I’m writing about wines, and for that matters memory distortion is great.

fine winesPeople these days have access to everything.
You can buy more and more if you have the money to buy it. But what they can’t really buy is our memories and experiencies. And that’s why people nowadays are curating their lives, collecting very selective elements in their lives. That’s what we should been experiencing, that’s what we should take away and that’s how they choose their wines.
Puur luxury behavior..
..is not almost but a bit quite :-)

I know wine experts that have hidden love affairs with cheap wines. They have this emotional strings with some wines that bring back lovely memories. They had tried the most expensive, famous, fine wines you can imagine.. and even so, they go back to THAT one with a special meaning. Who on Earth would dare to say THAT wine is not the best in the World..?? One should never be ashamed to drink any kind of wine, just because is not famous enough.. or not expensive enough ..or good enough ..or unknown to others. The wine you like is what you should drink, nothing less than this. Why bother have something you won’t enjoy drink..??

Enjoy a glass of wine is a Hedonistic experience, a choice to delight your senses, enliven your mind and hearten your soul.
All factors matter: the place, your mood, who you are with, the food you eat with, the weather and (why not?) the price of the wine. All that, and a few others, combined will  affect the way we all feel the wine we taste in the glass.

When you go travel to a wine country and fell in love with the wines you tasted there, you bring back some with you, don’t you? Back home, few months (..weeks? ..days?! OMG..years?!!) latter you try it again and sometime you have that feeling it was a bit different. Is the wine corked? ..ruined? ..not good enough any more? ..or did the wine not survive the transatlantic flight shaking in your luggage? Yes, these things could happen to any #winelover. May we look at this for another angle..??

Imagine yourself in a beautiful wine country landscape, relaxing, with no kids shouting out loud, in a nice placed chair with a gorgeous glass of wine. Got it..?? Even if the glass is not hosting the best wine in this world, it will taste like it was indeed the best on Earth.

When you open the same bottle in completely different atmosphere, not as nice as the original one, the wine doesn’t always delivery what is expected from it. All the influential factors are gone, the wine is naked in your glass.  Whether is a great wine you will be fine rather disappointed if it was a not-so-good-one.

Now put your self back home, after a long day of kids running around with play mates, noisy child-ish music.. then cleaning, laundry, ironing and cooking to welcome dear husband tired from a bad day at work.
Well ..after the house is quiet and silence settle, you will have the most yummy wine ever tasted by a woman! ..and probably the best mouth full you had in week! It’s wine o’clock for you now. Who cares how much that bottle cost? That’s the time I open my dear wines, on my enjoy-the-moment-time, at my me-time of the day.

Don’t you be afraid to open THAT bottle you keep saving for a special occasion. YOU can proudly be the special occasion for a fine wine. Who are you saving that bottle to impress? Is not worth it.. trust me on that.
Wine is not your best choice to impress anyone.
Wine is you best choice to make someone feel special, happy and loved ..even if this one is you and nobody else.

Be happy is a political decision..
..we shall learn how to curate our lives.

L.

What Megavino 2012 is about..??

Megavino 2012

..surprises, with Austria as a main host!

Well ..to be honest.. this is not actually a surprise itself. Let me tell you why:

Austrian wine has recently been very hip and trendy, the export figures doubled in just 5 years. Austria in area and production is a small wine country. It employs about 46,000 ha of vineyards, with an annual production of 2.5 million hectoliters, or less than 1% of world production. These numbers puts Austria on the 18th place in the wine world, with a relatively small vineyard shared by more than 20,000 wine producers. And that means that the average area per area by 2.26 ha is particularly low.

The vineyards extend over four wine regions:

  • Niederosterreich is by far the largest area of ​​27,128 ha of vineyards
  • Burgenland (13,840 ha)
  • Styria (4,240 ha)
  • Vienna (612 ha).

Within these four regions we are still 16 demarcated wine regions with DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus), their version of wild known DOCs or AOCs.

Austria, nowadays, is known by their high quality and specific wine style.

The diversity of grape varieties is remarkable with no less than 35! And though Austria is by definition a white wine country, in the past 10 years red wine and rose has grown in importance (today is 2/3 white and 1/3 red).

The absolute star of Austrian Wines in white is the Grüner Veltliner, representing almost half of the white grapes planted. Followed by Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Weissburgunder (or Pinot Blanc) and Muskateller. In red Zweigelt leads the peloton, followed by far by Blaufränkisch and Blauer Portugieser. Also not to be forgotten are the Pinot Noir and Sankt Laurent (in small percentage).

Let me tell you that what makes Austria a fascinating wine country is that large number of producers, which one with different Terroir and planting different grapes. Is hard to find another wine country with such variety and high quality together. Do not surprise me that Austria has the strictest regulations in the world of wine!

MORE INFO..  AUSTRIAN WINE:    www.winesfromaustria.com

A record number of countries representatives, this year on Megavino, with more than 300 exhibitors from 30 different wine countries.

Italy is the second largest country in Megavino, with a huge pavillon from Sicily, regional pavilions from Aosta and Piedmont. Fot the first time, wine producers from Asti, Tuscany ,including a strong delegation of Pisa, and a large one from Puglia.

Spain is traditionally a obligatory stop for major importers, with Navarra as its star wine region.

France may not be a host this year, but still remain Belgian southern neighbors and one of the largest participants in Megavino. France boasts a real village in a beautiful pavilion where regions as Bordeaux and Beaujolais, in a gigantic “trial theater” present their attractions. New this year -> 17 different commented tasting, showing over 200 wines, for you to attend.

Countries like Argentina, two times as big as last year, Chile, California, South Africa, Brazil, Germany and Luxembourg are back in Megavino.

Not to mention the lovely “Night of the Luxembourg Crémants’ on the opening night.

New countries? Yes! For the first time present at Megavino are Mexico, Canada and Slovenia, a wine country that is particularly on the rise. All together with more than 50 different workshops, demos and commented tastings in our 4 showrooms.

After three years MegaSpirits is back at the exhibition! As a little brother it has significantly expanded. Numerous Whisky producers represented as well as Cognac, Armagnac, Marc and others distillates. If you’re looking for something for exotic, you can run over Rum, Tequila, Vodka and, of course, Cocktails J

You can figure out that Megavino this year is heading a very extensive and varied program.

See you there!!
L.

Megavino 2012, from October 19th to 22th, Paleis 3, Brussels Expo

To know more.. http://www.megavino.be

When a winelover goes to Floriade

Have you ever heard about Floriade..??
If you are not in the “Flowers Industry” neither are you Dutch.. You didn’t.. As I didn’t till this Spring. Is a expetacular “Flower Fair” for all senses.

20120907-013113.jpg. Guided by an old friend from Brazil, and a Florist as well, I had a great day,
I loved that place where the madethe Dinner Table a lovely garden. Beautiful and carefully arranged to suits the plates andtheglasses, that tablewas unbelieveble.

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Note from the Blogger:
_ I had never been a gardner myself.
To be honest, I lived almost all my life in big urban city apartments.

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People come from all over the World to visit Floriade, is very international and very Dutch at the same time. Everyone speaks English and French, but there is no hot meal for lunch. Oh yes, there is cold pizza and tosted bread.. But served cold :(
When we finaly found a German Hotdog Kiosk, we were dreaming about wines.

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Before you ask me.. yes! .. of couse I was sniffing all the flowers looking for “aromas from the wines”..

Celebrating the Summer Vacations

The weather’s screwed up again.
Well, I live in The Lowerlands long enough not to be surprised with such a thing as the weather.
We all get excited with the Summer vacations_ it’s time to go back to our home land or travel around exploring new lands. Either expectation has the power to launch our mood to the happysphere.
No matter how crowed are the airports, the traffic jams on the roads, that long hours confined in less than one square meter with bored kids. We all want to scape to somewhere else but that endless laundry pile of ours. And “that” was exactly what I was thinking when we finaly got to the security line in Schipol. (sight!) I wish I have more money to grabe a couple of Champagne bottles to celebrate. Browsing the shelves was not difficult find one bottle that fit my very much stressed credit card.
But how to decide which bottle to buy?
What to get more for the money?
How sort one label over others without prejudice in taste?
All that bottles with big fancy brand labels can be quite intimidating.

There are 15 different sizes of Champagne bottles and many of the larger sized ones have biblical names. Magnun is found in most Wine Shops, is twice the size of an ordinary bottle.

The grades of Cru include Cru, Premier Cru and Grand Cru.
“Cru” refers to the grade or class of a French vineyard.
Grand Cru is the most esteemed class of vineyards from which the Champagne (or the wine) is.

Only Sparkling Wine from a delimited area in France is allowed to be labed as Champagne, not to mention all the production rules. There are many others Bubbles I love produced in different styles in vary other corners of the globe.

Sparkling Wine is all about surprises so why not try something new and a lesser known brand that may hold experiences far better than common labels.
Cava, Sekt, Asti, Prosecco just to name a few. They are very fresh and balanced enough to pai with sea food with mediterranea stlyled seasoned.

With so many different blends and flavour profiles, Champagne really can suit most occasions. Whether it is an aperitif, a light dish or stronger flavours, it is trully a culinary wine.
That’s how I like it best, with food!
Home made cheeseburger, Italian Pasta, Asian Fusion Cuisine or a warm stroopwafel could make you call me crazy. But it always provides great fun moving away from the traditional macht.

The first Champagne I tasted was a Yellow Label Brut, with French Fries (Pommes Frites).
I was hooked by those bubbles exhaling brioches and vanilla.
As the epitome of Veuve Clicquot style, Brut Yellow Label has an intense fragance, with notes of white fruits, vanila and brioche. A blend of fifty of the finest Crus in Champagne, Brut
Yellow Label is a perfect example of harmony between delicacy and power.

Not all Champagne have an expensive price tag but often the rareness, and the increase time to produce quality and the more expensive components of ‘the best’, does drive price too. And that’s a good reason to buy in a DutyFreeShop, don’t you think?

Thinking about a gift you have to give to someone who has everything?
Hereby a few fantastic small Champagne producers:
Tarlant Louis;
Jeaunaux-Robin les Grands Nots 2003;
Chartogne-Taillet les Barres;
Bereche et fils Vallee de la Marne Rive Gauche;
Laherte Freres les Empreintes 2007 Brut Nature

I hope you have a bubblying Summer!
Enjoy..
L.

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Are you in nearby Lisbon

are you in #Lisbon?
are you a #winelover ?

-> don’t miss the Adegga Summer Market 2012 !!
#swm2012 #wine

How to get there?
easy-> go to Hotel Florida today, ask for your glass and have fun :-)

To know more go to www.adegga.com

ps.. they all speak English there and most of them French and Italian as well. communication won’t be a problem with the “adegga-boys” :-)

You now nothing about Wines from
Portugal? Never tried one?!?!
Ooh G’d… you need to grabe a glass and urgent taste some how lust can praise yours senses.

Enjoy!
L.