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Oenology course to discover the art of blending


Last Saturday we spent a thoroughly enjoyable day at the Allegria winery with some of the clients of the Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience. We were there for the Vinification Experience Day with the objective of finding out how the grapes that we harvested during our last visit are fermented to make wine, aged, and then blended before being bottled.

Wine Experience Adopted Vines Allegria Gourmet Odyssey

We started the day by heading straight out into the vineyard to see the source of the wine. Ghislain d'Aboville, the winemaker at Allegria, showed us the different plots and grape varieties that are grown in the vineyard, and explained how the vines are tended to and nurtured. At this time of year, all is very orderly as the pruning has just finished and the plough had just tilled the soil to remove the grass and weeds.

Wine Gift Rent-a-Vine Gourmet Odyssey

At the far side of the vineyard lie the adopted vines of our clients, a small sign in front of the vines denoting each micro-plot.

Wine Experience Gift for wine enthusiasts. Adopt your own vines in an organic vineyard

Back at the winery building, Ghislain showed us the vats where each vine plot and grape variety is vinified separately.

Visit of the fermentation hall

We then visited the cellar where the wines that are being aged in oak barrels rest.

Visit of the cellar

But enough discussion, it was high time for some work! To warm up our noses, we passed around some small flasks containing different aromas that are to be found in wine. Our task was to identify each one.

Wine Course with teh winemaker. Identifying the aromas found in wine

For the wine tasting session, we started by comparing two syrahs from 2010, the first of which had been aged in one of the vats, and the second in an oak barrel.

Wine Tasting the Languedoc wines

We then tasted some of the wines that had already been bottled, starting with the Petits Bonheurs rosé 2010 and the Tribu d'A white wine from 2008. During the meal we tasted several of the red wines, the Tribu d'A 2008 red, the Carignan Gourmand 2008, and the Cousu Main 2008 from a magnum to finish.

In the afternoon, we focused on the 2011 vintage. First of all, we tasted the main grape varietals that are grown in the vineyard to make the red wines, syrah, mourvèdre and carignan, so as to better understand what characteristics each bring to a wine.

Tasting the main grape varietals

We finished the day by making our own blends in measuring cylinders. It's the best way to appreciate the art of blending, and as Ghislain explained, the objective being to blend a wine that is greater in quality than the sum of its parts.

Blending the wine

Many thanks to Ghislain and to our clients who shared such a stimulating day with us.

Comments

  • Thanks Ghislain and Mark for this instructive, fun and tasty day...

  • A very instructive day: all our questions were answered by two organic wine connoisseurs.
    A day dedicated to our senses: our nose and taste buds being put to much use... Congratulations for the deleicious pistachio terrine at lunchtime.
    A very enjoyable day : a small, pleasant group and a warm welcome. In short, I came back home thrilled and enchanted.

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