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Biodynamic winemaking at Domaine la Cabotte


Last Saturday saw us visit the Domaine la Cabotte winery in the southern part of the Côtes du Rhône region for a Discovery Experience Day. The programme for the day was to better understand the work of the winemaker in the vineyard.

Vineyard experience in Rhône Valley, France

At 9:00 am, the first guests started to pass through the large iron gates at the entrance of the winery, and we were blessed with a very pure light and crisp colours. The winemakers, Eric and Marie-Pierre, welcomed us with a cup of coffee and some croissants, whilst we waited for everyone to arrive.

Marie-Pierre told us the history of the winery before passing over to her husband, Eric, who took us out to spend the morning in the vineyard, and help him train the vines, which is the work of the moment.

Unique wine gifts in Rhône Valley, France

As we walked through the different vine plots, Eric took care to explain the differences of each grape varietal, and the work that has already been carried out in the vineyard this year. We learnt about the growth of the vines, their strength, how they create the grapes, and how grafting is used when replanting the vines.

Adopt a vine in Rhône Valley, France

To best understand the work of a winemaker, it's always best to roll up your sleeves and get involved, so we each found ourselves in front of a row of vines. We started by:

1- taking off the clips that were already keeping the training wires together,

2- raising the two wires and making sure that the vine branches were supported between them,

3- tightening the two wires together again by replacing the clips...

Original wine gift in Rhône Valley, France

There was lots of wind blowing from the Mistral, but everyone got stuck in and enjoyed this physical activity.

Once we had finished, Marie-Pierre replenished us with some chilled water, and we headed back to the chai to taste some of the rosé and white wines produced at the winery, accompanied by some freshly picked radish and a goats cheese cake.

We tasted the delicious fruity red wines with the meal, which we enjoyed inside the chai to keep us sheltered from the wind blowing outside.

Wine lover gift in Rhône Valley, France 

A coffee to end lunch, and then back out into the vineyard to visit our adopted vines.

Rent a vine in France, Rhône Valley

Once we had immortalised the moment with our cameras, we grouped around Eric who recounted passionately the local geology and how the Massif d'Uchaux appellation came to be.

We finished the day with a demonstration of how to prepare a biodynamic tisane. Eric explained the differences between organic and biodynamic methods, and talked in depth about sulphites. We made an tisane from stinging nettles, horsetail, and carpenter's weed, which we then tasted!

Personnalised bottles of red wine in Rhône Valley, France

Our winemakers showed us how to dynamise the preparation using the dynamiser, and then we realised that it was already 4pm. How the time had flown!

Wine gift packs, biodynamic, Rhône Valley, France

We thanked Eric and Marie-Pierre for the time that they had shared with us, and for their dedication to their profession.

And then we headed back through the gates, a few cases of wine safely stored in the boot of the car. Safe trip and see you again soon for the "Harvest Experience Day".

Other articles relating to the work in the vineyard

A review of the work in the vineyard for the 2015 vintage

A good 2015 harvest for the Cotes du Rhone

Comments

  • It was indeed a very interesting day in this magnificent biodynamic winery. Our only regret is that we arrived a little late and therefore missed the welcome and introduction to the winery. Listening to Eric was very enjoyable, to hear him talk simply about nature and how to better engage with it. It was great to drink the "envigorating" treatment that he treats his vines with, and to walk among the vines, and to touch them without worrying about your health.

    Many thanks for defending these values which are dear to me.

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