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Make your own organic Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet wine at Chateau Cohola


We’re delighted to present the wine-makers at the latest partner winery to join the Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience.  Cheli and Jerome are the owners and wine-makers at Château Cohola in Sablet and you can now adopt some organic vines in the Cotes du Rhone in the stunning setting next to the Dentelles de Montmirail.

Chateau Cohola is located on the slopes that make up the great terroir of the AOC Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet.  This boutique winery is organically certified and has 4 hectares of vines planted on 15 terraces, made up of Syrah and Grenache Noir for the red and rosé wines, and Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Marsanne for the white wines.  The vines take up half of the winery, the other half being used for the olive, truffle, and cherry trees, and the bee hives for producing the winery’s honey.

We met up with Cheli & Jerome to ask them a few questions for our wine-maker profile series and to get to know them better. 

Discover how to make organic wine in the Cotes du Rhone

Cheli and Jerome, how long have you been wine-makers?

Our journey has always been intimately linked to wine.  We studied wine related courses at university and then pursued careers with Bordeaux and Burgundy wine merchants before finally ending up in the Rhone Valley. After creating our wine merchant business in 2002, we decided to buy a winery in Sablet in 2013, and so Château Cohola was born.

What has been your journey since you took over the winery?

Since taking over the winery in 2013, we have developed the organic methods used, drawing on the natural habitat that surround us.  Over the years, we have painstakingly restored the 15 terraces of the vineyards.  Our other passion is beekeeping.  We have around a hundred bee hives that produce delicious lavender and wild flower honey. We also have olive and cherry trees.

What is your best memory so far concerning the winery?

A few instantly come to mind.  Perhaps the strongest memory, and one that was a turning point for the winery was meeting an exceptional shepherd which in turn led to us welcoming his flock of sheep to graze on the grass in our vineyards.  The complicity between the animal and the vegetal showed us that nature was in equilibrium.

We also get a thrill at the end of June when the vegetation is in full development and the photosynthesis in full flow as the cicadas sing.

The harvest period is also a very exciting time in the year, a physical period, but also very motivating as it’s the result of a whole year’s work.  It symbolises the unfaltering effort and diligence of each of us in nurturing the vines through to harvest time.

And more recently, welcoming the actor Jean Dujradin to film a scene in the vineyard for his latest film was an unforgettable experience.  We were very happy to have been able to share some time with him on the set of “Les Chemins de Pierre”.  One of the scenes was filmed just next to the plot where the adopted vines of the Gourmet Odyssey apprentice wine-makers are located.

What are your principal projects or challenges for the coming months?

The main challenge that our wine-making region is facing is how to adapt to the changing climate and the chronic water shortage that is setting in.  Our organic vines are better prepared in periods of drought, but we need to go further in the research of the farming and wine-making techniques that we use.  We have had very little rain since the beginning of the year, and that has repercussions that can delay the bud burst and reduce the yield.  We need to study the use of irrigation, not to boost production, but to support the vines.  By evaluating the humidity, the water storing capacity of our soil, and studying weather patterns, we will be able to determine the irrigation system that is best adapted to supporting our vines.

On the wine-making side of things, we are very happy with the launch of our new, limited series, “TBF” wine.  It is a blend of our three types of ageing methods used.  T for “Terre” (earth) because some of the wine is aged in an earthenware amphora.  B for “Bois” (wood) and the 500 litre oak barrels from the Seguin-Moreau cooperage used for some of the wine.  And F for “Fer” (iron), and the stainless steel barrel used to age the remaining wine.  After blending and bottling, the bottles are sealed using the bees wax from our hives.

A question that our clients often ask. What do winemakers do when they have a little time to themselves?

Time is always short, but rest is always necessary.  To keep in touch with nature I do Nordic walking, and as a couple we regularly do pilates and yoga.  We also like to cook and receive guests.  Whether its family or friends, it’s essential for us to share our experiences and slices of life.

Learn more about adopting vines at Château Cohola

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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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