The history of wine spans thousands of years. Wine drinking is one of the world’s most ancient pleasures and we can safely assume developed only for the pleasure it gave, a very different pleasure today to what it gave 8,000 years ago when it was invented. The origins of wine growing and producing can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia, Greece and Egypt, but what we drink now has very little in common with what Plato drunk.
In the Middle Ages wine was drunk all day, as the only safe drink to enjoy and people were constantly drunk for morning to night. Many strange ingredients were added to the wine, lead, ashes, gypsum and pine sap to disguise the sour, bitter taste of the fermented grapes. It was only in the middle of the 19th century that the first Golden Age of wines developed when Boudreaux wines and Champagne transform wine into an object of desire.
The second pivotal period in wine history is right now, “the democratic period”, when high quality wines are produced all over the world and offered at reasonable prices to be enjoyed by all. What we drink now has developed to the high standard it enjoys in the last 20 years and what we have come to except from our wines is perfection and the ultimate pleasure. More than one note we now look for a symphony.
The story of wine in France, where the industry grew to influence the world, can be traced in part through a vessel called an amphora and likely produced around 525 BC to 475BC. Etruscan merchant seamen used the amphora to hold wine and transport it to Lattara, a coastal site south of Montpelier, which fuelled an ever-growing market and interest in wine there, which led to transplantation of the Eurasian grapevine and the beginning of an industry in France. The rest is history.
Today French wine is produced in several regions throughout the country and is the most exported wine in the world. Second only to Spain in terms of total vineyard area in the world, France often surpasses Spain as the world’s largest wine producer.
Two concepts central to French wines are the notion of “terroir” (style of the wines and vineyard locations) and the Appellation d’ Origine Controlee (AOC) system (grape varieties and winemaking practices). France is the source of many grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blank) which are now grown throughout the world. It is also the source of winemaking practices and styles of wine that have been adopted in other wine producing countries.
This family estate of 25 hectares is located 15 kilometers from Nantes, in the village of Saint Leger les Vignes. This estate surrounds the lake of Granlieu, where it gets the appelation for the Muscadet.
For many years, Jean-Pierre Guedon has been focusing on organic farming and since 2012 every white wine produced by Domaine Les Hautes Noëlles is certified as “organic”.
The Bailly family has been producing wine for more than 200 years. This 16 hectares estate is located in the village of the «Loges», on the banks of the Loire river. Michel and his son David are now managing this estate. Most of their work follows the family tradition of wine making, aiming to get some authentic Pouilly Fume.
Dominique Joseph’s family have a 4 generation history of winegrowing/making at this twelve hectares estate located arround the village of Varrains in the middle of the appellation Saumur Champigny and kingdom of the Cabernet Franc.
The use of treatment products is limited and a special effort is made to preserve the vineyards at their best, by keeping an ecological balance. The vines are between 30 to 80 years old, mainly planted on chalky limestone.
Mathieu Cosme is the fifth generation of a wine maker family who’s been producing some outstanding Chenin blanc Vouvray!
Jean Pierre Rambier Fille et Fils Vigneros
Situtated in the district of Saint Jean de Cuculles, Domaine Haut-Lirou is a familly vineyard, in Jean Rambier’s family for more than five generations. Their adventure started in the heart of the appellation of Pic Saint Loup in Languedoc.
In 2004 Corinne Chevrier Loriaud and Christian Vervy from Chateau Bel Air La Royere took over this estate of 10 hectares. Their will is to bring up an appellation such as Premiere Cotes de Bordeaux to the best rank, therefore they are concentrating all efforts on the health of the vines and the cellar. Bel-Air la Royere is a charming farmhouse perched on one of Blaye’s rolling hills with sweeping views over this right bank Bordeaux district which offers some great values.
This estate of 7 hectares is located in Margaux and held by Mr Boyer. Mr Boyer has so far made more than 60 vintages without changing the method of production which is very rare in Bordeaux these days. He has never been convinced by the use of wooden barrels therefore vignification and ageing are only made in cement in order to preserve the pure flavours of the Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Gilbert Bonnet owns 14 hectares of vineyards in Marmande South West of France. One of his last acquisitions is a plot located in the South of Bordeaux made of Merlot and Cabernets. The result of it is a very straight forward, medium bodied red wine.
Located in the heart of the appellation Bergerac, 12km south of the capital of Bergerac, this property of 18 hectares is in the appellation Monbazillac.
Ideally located within a thirty minute radius from the Bay of Saint-Tropez, the Cannes Croisette, the Gorges du Verdon and Aix-en-Provence, Chateau Sainte Roseline’s one thousand year-old terroir is a haven where ancient and contemporary art thrive in harmony with the art of vinification. In 2007, when Aurelie Bertin Teillaud took over the management of this beautiful estate from her father Bernard, her intention was to invest as much as possible in the pursuit of quality and the search for a distinctive yet genuine personality for each of the vineyard’s wines. This vineyard now produces a highly refined palette of Cotes de Provence reds, roses and whites.
Located in the Valley of Esclans, famous for its red clayey limestone, Chateau des Demoiselles, second property of the Teillaud family, produces wines AOP Cotes de Provence in 3 colours. Technical inputs and wine of Chateau Sainte Roseline and Chateau des Demoiselles allow the full development of their wines and offer two superb aromatic examples, “Le Charme des Demoiselles” appetizer and wine of pleasure and “Chateau des Demoiselles” perfect accompaniment of food and highlights . These two wines are typically Provencal rose.
Maison Julg is an estate of 8 hectares located in Nothern Alsace, in the area of Wissembourg, where Peter and Lydia are using organic methods of wine growing out of respect for the environment. These methods are the key to their wine making. Peter is from a German family producing wine since the 18th century. Overall their wines are crisp, elegant and dry.