Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Yesterday Henry, Lee (UK vineyard manager), James and I braved the cold and the terrible Bordeaux traffic to get to the exhibition halls to visit the biggest winemaking show in the world, ‘Vinitech’.

The show is held every two years and exhibits everything from tractors, vineyard posts, vines and corks to cellar products and gadgets – you name it someone has made it. There are designs that are pratical and those bordering on madness!

Henry and Lee went straight to the vineyard hall whilst James and I headed to see the barrel makers we buy the Chai barrels from. It is a fantastic opportunity to taste some experimental wines that have been aged or fermented in a huge range of oak barrel types.

My interest was to taste some northern Rhone white Roussanne and Marsanne the same grape varieties as we have in the Chai to check the competition and steal/learn a few tricks of the trade to help us make wines next year.

The show is also an opportunity for the various manufacturers to show off new ranges and experimental equipment. My favourite was the egg wooded vat which I am sure if Salvador Dali was alive he would love!

After walking the seemingly endless halls of the show we headed into Bordeaux for a bite to eat. I stumbled across a lovely 2006 Pessac-Leognan from Domaine de la Solitude on the wine list for dinner. Pessac-Leognan is a Cabernet Sauvignon based wine from the south side of Bordeaux city, and from my point of view a very underrated appellation, but delicious none the less; and yes we make one at the Chai so do try our very own Grand Chai Pessac-Leognan.

This morning was absolutely freezing, and as I stepped out of my house I was startled by a beret-wearing French man and his Jack Russell rummaging around my garden under the oak trees! I suddenly recognized him and quickly remembered the last time I saw him was December last year doing the same thing. He was the local truffle man, sniffing out for rare black truffles which grow only on the oak roots in certain soils and conditions. Fingers crossed, hopefully tonight I will have a couple of truffles to taste!


1 comment:

jaimeleliege said...

About Vinitech and cork :
And to follow cork news :