Adopt a Vine and Make Your Own Wine

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Archive from May 2014

Adopt vines in France for an original wedding gift

It's the height of wedding season, and with it comes the search for that original wedding present idea. If wine is a passion of the wedding couple, and you are looking for a personalised wine gift that lasts, adopt a plot of vines for them in France!

One of the Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience gifts will enable the newlyweds to understand all of the work that the winemaker undertakes in the vineyard and the cellar when making their personalised bottles of wine. They will follow all of the key stages via newsletters and photos as their vintage unfolds.


Wine making course as an orignal wedding gift

The newlyweds can roll up their sleeves and get involved themselves if you include in their Wine Experience one of the Discovery, Harvest or Vinification Experience Days. They'll get to visit one of our seven partner vineyards to participate in the pruning, de-budding, harvesting or discovering the art of ageing and blending wines in the cellar. The winemakers will be there to explain their work, share their passion, and of course to let you taste their wines during the winemakers meal.

All of our partner wineries are organically certified, and are chosen for the quality of their wines, and the enthusiasm of the winemakers in explaining the intricacies of their profession. This means that the newlyweds will embark on an unforgettable experience to follow the making of their wine, from the same year as their wedding.


Orginal wine making gift box for a wedding

The welcome gift packs are delivered in 2 to 4 working days depending on the country of delivery, and for any last minute gifts, we can email the adoption certificate ahead of the welcome pack.

The Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience is an original idea for a wedding present for wine lovers and those curious to learn the secrets behind making a quality wine. An original wine gift that will last long in the memory.

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De-budding at Domaine Stentz-Buecher in Alsace

The yield at Domaine Stentz-Buecher is voluntarily kept well below the maximum authorised levels, something that the adoptive vine owners at the winery learnt more about last Saturday by getting stuck into some serious de-budding.


Vineyard experience


The Gourmet Odyssey Discovery Experience days teach you about all the work carried out in the vineyard from pruning right up until the grapes are ripe enough to be harvested.  Following the introductions from the winemakers, Céline and Stéphane, we headed off to the "Rosenberg" vineyard, where we paid a visit to our adopted vines.



unique wine gifts


Jean-Jacques, Céline and Stéphane's Dad, explained in detail all of the various stages in working the vines.


Original wine gift in france


He particularly showed us how to de-bud the vines, which involves removing the double buds and excess shoots that grow on the trunks of the vines.  If left, these take away some of the plants energy which can be better used to produce nice ripe grapes.


wine experience in Alsace


With extra care as it is the plot of vines which will be used to make our wine, we got stuck into the de-budding!


Wine making experience in Alsace


We then walked through the vineyard a little to admire the fantastic views of the Alsace landscape and we could even see as far as the Alps.  Back at the winery, we tasted some of the wineries wines over lunch.


Rent a vine in Alsace


In the afternoon, Stéphane explained his philosophy of making wines, and took us on a tour of the fermentation halls to introduce us to the principal stages of vinification.


Wine gift packs in France


A full day, and very instructive thanks to the many questions and enthusiasm of our participants, and not forgetting our passionate winemakers of course!   

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Last of the de-budding in the Burgundy vineyard

You need good grapes to make good wine.  That's what the participants of the Wine Discovery Experience Day learnt last weekend at Domaine Chapelle.  Jean-François, the winemaker and owner of the winery, and his Technical Director, Yannick, welcomed us for the day to share their passion for their profession.

wine gift pack

During the Discovery Experience Days, we learn all about the key stages in working in the vineyard to get the best possible grapes come harvest time.  And the best way to learn is by having a go yourself!  So, after an introduction to the winery, its wines, and the Burgundy terroir, Jean-François led us out into the vineyard.

adopt a vine

We took a few minutes to find our adopted vines before Yannick explained all of the work that has been carried out in the vineyard since pruning.  We are now finishing the de-budding phase in the pinot noir vineyard plots, which involves removing any superfluous buds or shoots.  And we have just started to train the chardonnay vines; which involves ensuring that the shoots grow between the training wires and then clipping the wires together to help the vines support the weight of the foliage and fruit.

vineyard experience

Having learnt the theory from Jean-François and Yannick, we got stuck in and had a go ourselves.  A little hesitant at first in front of the vines as we didn't want to cause them any damage, but we soon got the hang of it.
A few hours later we were back at the winery, ready to taste some wine!  We tasted a Santenay white wine, before tasting a Burgundy red, a Santenay Clos des Cornières and a Santenay Premier Cru Les Gravières.

wine lover gifts

To finish the day, Yannick and Jean-François took us down into the fermentation hall and cellar, where they introduced us to the technical side of making and ageing wine, something that we will develop further during the Vinification Experience Days.
To sum up the day in the words of Jean-François: the work in the vineyard before the harvest is essential, because even a good winemaker finds it difficult to make a good wine with poor quality grapes.

personalised bottles of wine

A good winemaker is therefore a good farmer, and after their hard work and enthusiasm in the vineyard, our apprentice winemakers would wholeheartedly agree!  Many thanks to our participants for a very enjoyable weekend!

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Working in the vineyard at Domaine la Cabotte

Last Saturday, we spent a lovely sunny day in the Rhone Valley at Domaine la Cabotte.  We were there for a Wine Discovery Experience Day to learn more about the work in the vineyard up to the harvest of the grapes.


wine gift packs


Accompanied by the winerys owners, Marie-Pierre and Eric, we started the day in the vineyard.  Eric showed us the differences between the grape varietals cultivated on the estate, and explained the different methods of pruning that are used.


wine making experience


It's currently the end of the de-budding period, a key stage in controlling the growth of the vines and in improving the quality of the harvest to come.  Eric and Marie-Pierre had left us a small plot to work on, and so after we had received our instructions, we spread out among the rows to remove the unwanted buds and shoots.


unique wine gift


The leaves are already well developed on the vines.  To better protect them and to help the plant support their weight, the training wires need to be raised and the branches placed between them.  In teams of three, we set to work.


personalised wine gifts


The vines are just beginning to flower, a critical moment in determining the potential quantity of this years harvest.  Eric showed us a vine in flower and we took in its delicate aroma.


wine tasting gift


Back at the winery, we had earned our aperitif! We tasted a white wine from the winery, followed by the "Garance" red, which is the wine chosen for the Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience.  We continued the wine tasting during the meal that we ate in the shade of the chai.


personalised wine gift


After lunch, we headed to the vineyard where the adopted vines are located.  From here we enjoyed the nice view of Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail.


wine tasting gift


Domaine la Cabotte is organically and biodynamically certified.  We finished the day with Eric explaining the philosophy behind biodynamic farming, and how the work in the vineyard is managed according to the lunar calendar.  It's a topic that leaves no one indifferent!
Many thanks to Marie-Pierre and Eric for having shared their passion for their profession with us, and to all of our participants for their good cheer.

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De-budding the vines in Bordeaux

We spent last weekend in the Bordeaux vineyard for a couple of Discovery Experience Days at Château Beau Rivage.  With Christine Nadalié at our side, we headed out into the vineyard to learn more about the profession and work of a winemaker.


Wine Experience Gift. Adopt a vine in Bordeaux, France, and follow the making of your own wine.


The winery grows five different grape varietals in the vineyard, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.  Christine showed us the difference between the vines and talked to us about grafting.


Rent-a-vine gift. Learn how to make wine with the winemaker


Before getting down to work, we took a few minutes to visit our adopted vines, and to encourage them to produce a good harvest!  It was also a good occasion to pose for a few pictures!


Original gift idea for a wine lover. Adopt your own plot of vines and get involved in making your own wine.


Christine told us about all of the work that has been done in the vineyard during the winter, notably pruning.  The buds have already burst and the first signs of the future grape bunches are forming on the vines.  It's now time to de-bud and remove any unwanted shoots that have sprouted from the trunk or roots of the vines.  This will help the vines to concentrate their energy on the future fruit-bearing branches.  Christine showed us how to do it, and then we rolled up our sleeves to get stuck in!

During the morning, Christine also answered a flow of questions on a range of topics including organic and biodynamic farming, harvesting and the appellation system to name a few.


Wine tasting gift in Bordeaux at the winery.


By lunchtime, we had earned our aperitif, and we started with a nice cold rosé before tasting a range of the winery's red wines during lunch.


Winery Tour gift in Bordeaux, France.


In the afternoon, we visited the fermentation hall and barrel room to get an introduction into the winemaking and ageing side of things.  Christine told us about the stages of fermentation and explained the influence that the barrels have on the taste and structure of the wine.

Many thanks to Christine and to Guillaume for sharing their passion for their profession, and to all our participants for their enthusiasm and good cheer.

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De-budding in Chablis

Last weekend, we spent an excellent wine Discovery Day in the vineyard at Domaine Brocard in Chablis.

The day started in the Boissonneuse vineyard, which was the first plot to be converted to organic and biodynamic farming. Here the head of one the vine teams, Arnaud, explained the differences between cultivating the vines traditionally, organically and biodynamically, and brought us up to speed on the work that has already been done in the vineyard since the harvest last year


unique wine gift

The vines are currently a couple of weeks ahead or a normal year, and the first leaves have already appeared.  This means that the work of de-budding can begin.  Arnaud showed us how to remove the double buds and the unwanted shoots.  De-budding is an important step in determining the quality of the harvest to come by concentrating the energy of the plant in the fruit-bearing branches.


wine making experience
It was then up to us to roll up our sleeves and to get stuck into the de-budding.  As our experience with pruning during the previous Discovery Experience day had shown us, it's more complicated than you would think!

wine making experience


Before heading back to the winery, we took a few minutes to find our adopted vines, giving us the opportunity to take a few photos with them, and to fuss over them a little!

Domaine Brocard makes an impressive range of Chablis wines, and we tasted several Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines before sitting down to lunch.


original gift


In the afternoon, we took some fresh air and went to visit a different vine plot before visiting the vinification hall that holds the large oak vats.  Here, Pierre introduced us to the vinification and ageing side of wine-making.
Many thanks to Pierre and Arnaud from Domaine Brocard, and to all of our participants for a thoroughly enjoyable day.

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The Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience

Adopt a Vine in France and Follow the Making of Your Own Wine !

From € 169


Adopt-a-Vine Biodynamic Blending Burgundy Cellar Experience Fermentation Gift Grapes Harvest Making Organic Tasting Vine Vines Vineyard Vinification Wine Winemaker Winery

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