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Wine-making day in the south of France at Domaine Allegria

We had a great first Vinification Experience Day of the 2015 vintage last weekend, and the wet weather that was announced by the weather forecasters did nothing to dampen the spirits. The winemaker is of course happy to receive some rain from time to time, especially as the winter has been far too dry this year, and if it’s good for the vines, it’s for a good cause!
Vineyard experience, Languedoc, France

We enjoyed a coffee in the warmth of the wine boutique whilst waiting for everyone to arrive, and then we ventured out into the vineyard to get the day started.

On the way, we explained the work that has been keeping us busy in the vineyard. We finished pruning 3 weeks ago. We’ve pulled the cut branches free, and put them in bundles between the vine rows to be crushed. This will help us return some nutrients to the soil. The day before, some organic animal manure had been spread amongst the vines, again to help nourish the earth.

Rent a vine, Languedoc, France

In the vineyard plot where the adopted vines are located, we took the time to take a few photos with our vines, and to check up on the loving care that Ghislain and Delphine had given them since the last Harvest and Discovery Experience Days.

Back from the vineyard, we visited the winery and cellar from top to bottom. The questions rattled off; what is a wine without sulphites, why used selected yeast, and many others. We learnt all about the vinification process and how it differs in making white and red wine.

Wine tasting gift, Languedoc, France

We then participated in a session to put our sense of smell to the test. In the first series we had to identify the primary aromas of fruit and flowers, and the second series contained aromas that are more associated with ageing of wine in oak barrels. We had a very talented group of participants who were able to correctly identify the different fragrances.

We had lunch in the warmth of the wine boutique. We tasted the Tribu d’A 2014 white wine with some dried sausage for the aperitif, followed by some warm pumpkin soup served with the Cinsault Abuelo 2013 and Tribu d’A 2010 red wines. To accompany the homemade quiche, we tasted the Carignan Gourmand 2012, and Cousu Main 2011 red wine from a magnum. We then finished the meal with La Belle Histoire 2013, a very good vintage in the Languedoc. And then just enough space was left for some coffee and profiteroles!

Original wine gift, Languedoc, France

After the meal, we returned to the cellar to taste 3 wines from the 2015 vintage. It was the first opportunity to see what this great vintage has in store for us, and to take the time to analyse its characteristics. We tasted the Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre wines that are still in the long process of ageing. We then had a go at blending them together to see how the wines interact with one another. It’s still way too soon to know what the final blend will be as the wines are too young, and full of carbon dioxide from the fermentation.

So the end of the day arrived, and our heads were spinning from the mass of new information we had learnt about wine, and we hopefully have a thing or two more to say about how it’s made now. Many thanks to all for coming!


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The Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience

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

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