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Archive from October 2014

Visit our partner winemakers at one of these upcoming wine fairs


The Gourmet Odyssey partner winemakers are taking to the roads once again, now that the harvest has finished and the bulk of the work in the chai over. They will be present at numerous wine fairs and festivals between now and the end of the year. If you're in the area, don't miss out on the opportunity to taste the latest vintages of their organic wines!

Domaine Stentz-Buecher

 

Salon des Vignerons Indépendants Paris 2014

 

  • 14-19 December, Alsace Christmas Market, Paris - Gare de l'Est from 09:00 to 20:00 except Sunday 10:00 to 19:00. Free entry.

 

Domaine Chapelle

  • 24-25 October, Wine tasting at the « Foire aux Vins », Quimper - Chapiteau F.A.V., 150, Route de Brest. Free entry.
Salon des Vins et Produits du Terroir 2014 Sévrier
  • 7-9 November, Salon des Vins et Produits du Terroir, Sévrier - Complexe d'Animation, Route d'Albertville. To receive an invitation, please contact us.
  • 19-21 novembre, Private wine tasting at the Hôtel Napoléon, Paris - 40 Avenue de Friedland. To receive an invitation, please contact us.
  • 21-22 November, Wine Tasting at the Cellier de Saint-Pierre, Troye. Free entry.
  • 29 November, Wine Tasting at the Maison du Vin, Claix. Free entry.
Natura Bio 2014 Salon des Vins Bio Lille
  • 13-14 December, Wine tasting at the Pressoir du Gâtinais, Amilly. Free entry.

 

Château Beau Rivage

 

Salons des Vignerons Indépendants 2014

 

 

Domaine Jean-Marc Borcard

Grand Tasting 2014

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Thanks to you, Gourmet Odyssey is celebrating its 5th birthday !


Five years ago today, Gourmet Odyssey was born.

Many thanks to all of our clients, partner winemakers, suppliers and friends for your support, loyalty and most of all your good cheer!

During these first 5 years, more than 30 000 lucky vines have found adoptive parents, and we have shared a fantastic time with you during each of the 148 Experience Days organised at the wineries!

Thank you and here's looking forward to the next 5 years!

Mark, Marie & Ines

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A great Christmas gift for wine lovers. Adopt-a-vine in France.


Christmas is approaching and you are once again on the quest to find some original Christmas gift ideas. If so, this article is for you! More in depth and participative than a personalised bottle of wine or a traditional wine course, give some adopted vines and the opportunity to follow the making of their own personalised vintage over the course of a winemaking year.

 

Vines adoption as en original gift for christmas

Rather than hesitating over which bottle of wine to choose, turn them into an apprentice winemaker. They'll follow the progress of their adopted vines and all of the work in the cellar until their wine is made and bottled, together with their own personalised wine labels.

 

Personalised wine bottles as a gift for Christmas

And if they are the type that like to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in, why not send them to one of our partner wineries for one or more Wine Experience Days, where they will be able to meet the winemaker, see their adopted vines, and share a winemaker's meal with a tasting of the vineyard's wines?

 

Spend time at the winery to learn what it?s actually like to be a winemaker

All of the days are accessible to novices as well as those with a more in depth wine knowledge. Through hands on participation, the days are focused to give an insight into what it's actually like to be a winemaker, and to gain a better understanding of all the work and decisions necessary to make a quality wine. There are three types of Experience Days; the Discovery Experience Day to learn more about the work in the vineyard to produce the best quality grapes possible, the Harvest Experience Day to pick the grapes and follow their journey into the fermentation tanks, and the Vinification Experience Day to track the work in the cellar to ferment, age, blend and bottle the wine.

 

Wine course for fermenting, ageing and bottling the wine

All of our partner winemakers are organically or biodynamically certified, and are passionate about sharing the love of their profession. They will welcome you with pleasure and will talk about their daily life, the methods they have chosen to adopt to make their wine, and their commitment to making their wine as environmentally friendly as possible.

Personalised wine experience gifts in a nice welcome pack

To find out more about our unique and authentic approach to discovering the world of winemaking, take a look at our personalised Christmas wine experience gifts. Your recipient will be sure to remember this original and participative gift for a long time to come. And this year, it won't just be Father Christmas who'll need to get his boots on!

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Holidaying in France? A good excuse to make a few gastronomic pit stops


With just a few weeks to go before the holidays, the Gourmet Odyssey team has toured France to put together a few suggestions of gastronomic and wine addresses to keep spirits up!

For those who are headed to the warmer climes in the south of France, the Bordeaux region is famed the world over for its wine-making prowess. In between visiting the numerous château, take the time to meander along the routes des vins. If you pass Macau-en-Médoc, stop off at the Tonellerie Nadalié, the cooperage owned by the family of Christine Nadalié, our partner winemaker at Château Beau Rivage. Making barrels is a truly fascinating sight, and a real art form. Whilst you're there enjoy a meal at the excellent 1902 restaurant.

Cooperage visit Bordeaux France Nadalié

Further south again, and you'll find yourself in the Languedoc-Rousillon region, steeped in history with its medieval villages and monuments, and vast mountainous landscapes. Surprise yourself by the depth and variety of its cuisine and wine, and if you're passing Pézenas, stop off for some wine tasting at Domaine Allegria, and admire the chai, which is a striking example of contemporary and environmentally friendly architecture.

Contemporary and environmentally friendly chai Languedoc France

Coming back up the Rhone Valley on the east side of France, you'll be seduced by the Provencal specialties such as truffles, olive oil, walnuts, and chestnuts, which perfectly match the wines of the region. And if you're looking for a relaxing place in the middle of nature, then Eric and Marie-Pierre, the winemakers at Domaine la Cabotte, have mapped out some trails through their vineyards to take in views of the Dentelles de Montmirail ridge, the Mont Ventoux and to discover the terroir of the Massif d'Uchaux.

Rhone Valley relaxing place and trails through the vineyard

You can't talk about gastronomy without mentioning Burgundy! The region is a must for all food and wine aficionados. If you are in the Cote de Beaune wine region, don't hesitate to visit Domaine Chapelle, situated in the picturesque village of Santenay. Further north, Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard will welcome you for a winemaker meal, wine tastings or can put you up in one of their gites.

Wine tasting Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis France

For history buffs, the Loire Valley is the perfect destination, but it's also highly recommended for its cuisine. Stop off in Chinon, and visit the caves dug in the 12th century to extract the stone used to build the fortress above. One of these caves is now home to the cellar of Château de la Bonnelière, who will be delighted to let you taste their latest wines.

Chinon fortress caves visit Loire Valley France

And lastly, for those you are looking for an early taster of the Christmas markets in Alsace, you won't be disappointed by the numerous local specialties. On the wine route from Eguisheim, one of France's prettiest villages, stop off at Domaine Stentz-Buecher in Wettolsheim, where Céline and Stéphane, the owners, will be sure to let you know of all the best local events happening and of course to taste their wines!

For all of the proposed activities or if you would like to visit one of our partner vineyards, don't forget to contact them in advance to make an appointment and to check on opening times.

 

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The harvest season continues in the Loire Valley


The 2014 series of Gourmet Odyssey Harvest Experience Days came to an end last weekend under a magnificent blue sky at Château de la Bonnelière in Chinon. We had a great day to finish the season.

After a coffee and a croissant, Marc Plouzeau, introduced us to his winery, and told us about the "Vin Doux" plot of vines that we were to harvest. Marc bought this vineyard of magnificent old vines a couple of years ago, and it is currently being converted to organic.

Harvest experience in the Loire Valley

Once in the vineyard, Marc and Noémie, the vineyard manager, handed out the tools we needed to harvest. Each equipped with a bucket and pair of secateurs, we listened attentively to the instructions before spreading out in twos among the vine rows to start picking the grapes.

Harvesters at work in Chinon Loire Valley

We also had a few volunteer porters. Once we had filled our buckets, we called a porter and emptied our grapes into the basket that they carried on their backs. They then took the grapes and emptied them into the trailer at the bottom of the vineyard.

Porter for the harvest 2014 in chinon

Once we had finished our rows, we followed our harvest back to the winery to discover the sorting table, where we removed any unripe berries or leaves that had inadvertently added themselves. But due to the high quality of the grapes and the diligent work of our harvesters, there wasn't much to sort at all! At the end of the table, a de-stemming machine separates the stalk from the grapes which fall into a trolley below.

Sorting grapes for the harvest 2014 in Chinon

We then split our harvest into two parts. The first was put into a 600 litre barrel for an integral vinification, and the second into one of the vats. Marc explained what happens to the juice during the fermentation process that will last up to 3 weeks.

Once we had finished putting the grapes into the barrel and vat, we were rewarded with a glass of « Perle Sauvage », the natural sparkling wine produced at the winery.

Wine tasting at Château de la Bonnelière Chinon France

The harvesters' meal was served in the barn, where we continued the tasting of wines, including the Chinon blanc 2013, Clos de Bonnelière 2012 and Chapelle 2011.

Harvester's lunch at Château de la Bonnelière Chinon

After lunch, we headed out into the vineyard where the Gourmet Odyssey adopted vines are to be found.

Vine adoption in Chinon Loire Valley

We then returned to the chai to learn more about the important work carried out there during the harvest, and to learn about the differences in making white, red and rosé wines. We finished the day by tasting some grape juice that had just started to ferment. Marc also showed us how to measure the density of the juice and estimate the potential alcoholic volume using the mustimetre.

Assessing the potential alcoholic volume of the wine

Many thanks to Marc, Marie-Rose and Noémie from Château de la Bonnelière for welcoming us and accompanying us during the Harvest Experience Days, and to all of our clients for their good cheer!

See you again soon for the Vinification Experience Days!

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The harvest starts in Bordeaux


Last weekend was the turn of Bordeaux to start the harvest. After the Gourmet Odyssey Harvest Experience Days in the Languedoc, Burgundy, Alsace and the Rhone Valley, we met up at Château Beau Rivage, in Macau-en-Médoc for the start of the harvest at the winery.

 

Wine experience in Bordeaux

 

After a particularly wet summer, the September sun has been very welcome in maturing the grapes, and Christine Nadalié, the château's winemaker, had waited as long as possible before starting the 2014 harvest. Christine introduced us to the winery and brought us up to speed on the year so far before we set off into the vineyard. Here, we learnt which grapes to pick and which to leave behind. Then, armed with a pair of secateurs and a basket each, we spread out among the rows to start picking the grapes. The plot of vines had suffered from a few very hot days in July, so we had to be quite selective about which grapes we picked. But there were also plenty of good grapes, so the baskets soon filled up!

 

Adopt a vine in Bordeaux, France

 

We had a few brave volunteers to do the heavy work of being a porter. Once the baskets are full, we empty them into a big basket carried on the back of a porter. The porters then walk to the trailer, and tip the precious harvest into the trailer, being careful not to fall in with the grapes!

 

Wine Making Experience in Bordeaux

 

Once the trailer had been filled, we headed back to the winery to follow the grapes journey. Christine had decided she wanted to make some rosé wine from the merlot grapes that we had harvested, so we put in place the conveyor belt to carry the grapes from the trailer up into the press.

 

Vineyard experience in Bordeaux

 

After our morning's work, we were rewarded with a refreshing clairet rosé wine. We continued to taste different red wines from the winery over lunch which we enjoyed in the garden of the château.

 

unique wine gift personalised in Bordeaux

 

The winery cultivates 5 grape varietals, each of which ripens at varying speeds. After the meal, Christine led us to the vineyard plot behind the château, where we tasted grapes from different varietals to compare the different tastes and stages of ripeness.

 

Adopt a vine in Bordeaux, France

 

At the other end of the vineyard, the Gourmet Odyssey adopted vines are to be found. We took a few minutes to go and see them, and to take a few photos.

 

Rent a vine in Bordeaux

 

Back at the winery, we followed Christine into the chai, where she explained how the wine is worked during the harvest period to ensure that it ferments and macerates in the best conditions.

 

Wine experience gifts in Bordeaux

 

Christine used a mustimetre to measure the density of the grape juice that we had produced, which gives a good indication of the likely alcoholic volume, once all of the sugar has been transformed into alcohol.

 

Wine tasting gift in Bordeaux

 

We ended the day in the barrel room to see where the wines will rest during the ageing period. Many thanks to Christine, Guillaume and David from Château Beau Rivage for letting us get behind the scenes during the harvest, and to all of our participants for their hard work and enthusiasm!

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What to get the person that has everything ?

Adopt a Vine in France and Let Them Follow the Making of Their Own Wine !

From € 159

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