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GilbertetGaillard

The GILBERT & GAILLARD International Magazine :
Make some room in your lounge foe WINE REGIONS from around the world

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PAGES 115-122 OUR AUTUMN SELECTIONS:

ITALY AND SOUTH AFRICA

L 19045 - 45 - F: 7,95 € - RD

Autumn 2021

Bruno Fina and his

children Marco,

Sergio and Federica.


14-16

FEB.

2022

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CONTENTS

– COLUMNS • REPORTS –

24

48 76

104

8 NEWS

10 MARKETS

Bordeaux devises ingenious ways to cope with a string of crises

24 FUTURE

Languedoc weathers the (climate) storm

31 IMPORTER

“People eat lighter food now and they drink lighter wines”

32 STYLES

Jura: An incredible fusion of vineyard sites and grape varieties

45 BRANDS

Roussillon sets its sights on the global market

48 VINEYARDS

Understanding the complexity of the Mâconnais

58 STYLES

The Loire Valley’s secret world of off-dry wines

66 GRAPES

Valencia: Fallas, paella… and Bobal

76 REGION

Oporto and Douro: The perfect combination for making great

wines

84 VINEYARDS

Italy’s mountain viticulture gets a boost from climate change

94 ORGANIC WINES

Sicily and Sardinia: The ‘green’ islands of Southern Italy.

104 SPIRITS

The Spirit of Cape Wine

112 STARS & WINE

Ana de Armas: “My first glass of wine was a Rioja”

114 CONTACT DETAILS

115 AUTUMN 2021 SELECTION

GILBERT & GAILLARD NEXT ISSUE WINTER 2021

Cover: Courtesy of the estates - © Sylvain Robin

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 3


EDITORIAL

– FRANÇOIS GILBERT –

Editorial Director

ITALY AND THE BENEFITS OF MOUNTAIN WINEGROWING

Heroic, steep, mountain viticulture – it comes with a range of monikers but

ultimately, they all share the same defining feature, which is the challenge

of growing vines on high elevation, steep vineyard sites. The vineyards only

represent approximately 7% of Europe’s area under vine but they cover a variety

of aspects, primarily historic, heritage and identity. Several regions around the

world are practitioners of heroic viticulture and to gain a better understanding of

this style of winegrowing the Centre for Research, Environmental Sustainability

and Advancement of Mountain Viticulture (CERVIM) was established. This

international organisation, based in the Aosta Valley, is charged specifically with

promoting and safeguarding heroic viticulture. To carry out its mission, a number

of criteria have been defined: the gradient of the land must be over 30%; the

elevation must be over 500 metres above sea level; and the vines must be grown

along terraces or steps. Italy is a leading proponent of this style of winegrowing,

mainly its northern provinces fanning out amongst the foothills of the Alps. Its

vineyards offer some very interesting features, as seen through the current lens

of climate change. The elevation allows the grapes to ripen more slowly and the

cooler climate reduces production of sugar whilst also increasing the overall level

of acidity. Good soil drainage prevents water from stagnating and constant wind

helps keep the grapes healthy. Despite the challenges of growing vines in these

conditions, and the costs involved, we will undoubtedly see a rise in the number

of vines planted at increasingly high elevations in years to come. And that’s

because the resultant wines resonate with the mood of the times.

4 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


EDITORIAL

– PHILIPPE GAILLARD –

Editorial Director

CAPE BRANDY – THE IMPRESSIVE SPIRIT OF SOUTH AFRICA

Are you not familiar with Cape brandies? That’s surprising considering they

date back to 1672 when they were first created on board a Dutch ship moored

off Cape Town. Like Cognac, Cape brandy – or brandewijn, literally meaning

burnt wine – was also developed by Dutch merchants. Thanks to campaigning

by the Cape Brandy Distillers Guild, established five years ago, the name Cape

brandy, more commercially appealing than potstill brandy, became an official

designation last August, even though it still only represents 5% of total brandy

production in South Africa.

As in Cognac, where the market is mostly dominated by Martell, Hennessy,

Rémy Martin and Courvoisier, production of Cape brandy is primarily cornered

by two leading players – Distell and KWV. More recently, they have been joined

by a third ‘accomplice’, Oude Molen, which not only produces its own brandies

but also owns other independent distilleries.

Also like Cognac, Cape brandies like a challenge and enter competitions

hosted across the globe in huge numbers. One such example is the Gilbert &

Gaillard International Challenge – see page 115 – where they have been pretty

successful. They have also garnered 16 victories in 20 years at the prestigious

Worldwide Brandy Trophy competition.

These common features are really no accident – they demonstrate the vitality of

the industry and its constant desire to excel, so that it can step out of Cognac’s

shadow.

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 5


EDITORIAL

– SYLVAIN PATARD –

Editor in Chief

BORDEAUX’S RESPONSE TO CRISES – MIXED, BUT FAIRLY HOPEFUL RESULTS

Why mixed results? Because the Bordeaux wine trade – which distributes

around three-quarters of the region’s wines – covers a very broad range of profiles.

Their customer portfolios, ranges, distribution channels and markets are extremely

varied. Firms working with the hospitality industry or airline companies suffered

serious setbacks. Other, more innovative companies with greater online presence

have witnessed an increase in their sales. Exporters, particularly those dealing

in Grands Crus, have also regained their upbeat mood. Despite the pandemic,

the end to Trump taxes in the United States has promoted a more favourable

environment for doing business. And finally, the winegrowers, who own their

own vineyards and are often also directly involved in sales, have had to show a

lot of inventiveness and rediscover the joys of marketing and benefits of directto-consumer

sales, and even wine tourism. Generally speaking, French wine

and spirits exports in the first half of 2021 recovered, a trend that is particularly

tangible for the Bordeaux wine industry which sells half of its wines overseas.

Although no export markets have returned to their pre-Covid levels as yet, they are

all growing at a faster rate than predicted, despite external pressures on recovery

such as the price and availability of some raw and dry materials including plastic,

paper, cardboard, metal for caps and labels. This is also creating longer delivery

times, a situation compounded by the shortage of shipping containers – most

of which have been cornered by China. This pretty much sums up the current

challenges facing Bordeaux, but they are unlikely to dampen the spirits of a wine

region producing such globally acclaimed wines. Or to discourage its businesses.

6 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


La_Marca_N°45_Mise en page 1 05/10/2021 17:42 Page 1

NEWS

PROSECCO

F

Make Everyday Sparkle

ounded in 1968, La Marca is a second-level cooperative, which represents

about 5000 winegrowers who tend around 15,000 hectares of vineyards,

owing to the Group’s 8 wineries all located in the province of Treviso.

Knowledge handed down the years, experience and professionalism, competence

in the field and commercial strategies are requisites that makes La Marca a

reference point and one of the most representatives companies in the Prosecco’s

field.

Territoriality, cooperation and sustainability are the main values of the company’s

philosophy, which includes several meanings: environmental, economic, social

and ethic.

https://www.lamarcaprosecco.com

Cavavin N°45_Mise en page 1 05/10/2021 11:39 Page 1

CHÂTEAU HAUT-TERRIER

2015

DOMAINE PRADELLE

Les Hirondelles 2017

Blaye-Côtes de Bordeaux

Crozes-Hermitage

€ 7*

€ 16.80*

FOUR

WINEMAKERS

FOR

AUTUMN

2021

Xavier ASNAR

CAVAVIN AUBAGNE

50, avenur Roger Salengro

13400 AUBAGNE

( +33 4 86 33 50 86

* aubagne@cavavin.fr

CHÂTEAU CAMBON

LA PELOUSE 2011

Haut-Médoc (Magnum)

€ 42.50*

Romain D’ANGELO PRADEL

CAVAVIN PONT DU CHÂTEAU

Chemin de la Lissandre

63430 PONT DU CHÂTEAU

( +33 4 73 68 89 29

* pont-du-chateau@cavavin.fr

Rudy JEULIN

CAVAVIN PITHIVIERS

33, place du Martroi

45300 PITHIVIERS

( +33 2 38 33 72 15

* pithiviers@cavavin.fr

DOMAINE CORNU

Vieilles Vignes 2018

Ladoix

€ 27.90*

Mathieu PINELLE

CAVAVIN COULOMMIERS

1, rue Bertrand Flornoy

77120 COULOMMIERS

( +33 9 82 29 85 12

* coulommiers@cavavin.fr

* Retail price including sales tax

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 7


NEWS

Gosset pays tribute to French heritage

Maison Gosset needs no introduction. It is one

of a very select group of houses producing the

very finest Champagne. The Gosset Celebris

Trophy, named for its outstanding label, was created

in 1995 to single out wine and gourmet food experts

for distinction. Over time, this prestigious award has

evolved, constantly adapting to changes in our culture

and lifestyle. Twenty-five awards later, and over 30

establishments and 50 French chefs and sommeliers

have become its recipients. In recent years, initiatives

focusing on children, women, disabled and vulnerable

people have been awarded. In 2021, the 26th Gosset

Trophy reached a new milestone by honouring Stéphane

Bern – a staunch advocate and key contributor to French

culture – and by turning the spotlight on France’s

incredible tangible and intangible heritage, the shared

legacy at the root of its diversity.

The awards ceremony also provided the opportunity to

Jean-Pierre Cointreau, CEO of Gosset with award recipient Stéphane Bern

and cellarmaster Odilon de Varine

discover the new 2008 Celebris Rosé, with its amazing

complexity, vinosity and length on the palate, which is

brimming with promise.

www.champagne-gosset.com

©Photoheart

7, parc des Fontenelles - 78870 Bailly - France

Tel.: +33 1 30 80 08 08 - Fax: +33 1 30 80 08 88

Editorial Directors: François Gilbert and Philippe Gaillard

Editor in chief: Sylvain Patard

Tasting committee: François Gilbert, Philippe Gaillard, Sylvain Patard,

François Bezuidenhout, Olivier Delorme, Matthieu Gaillard, Jamal Awni

Rayyis, James Turnbull

Editorial staff: Michèle Huyard

Contributors to this issue: Ellen Budge, Jean-Paul Burias, Alain Echalier, Joanne

Gibson, Santiago Jiménez, Sylvain Patard, Frank Rousseau, Francesco Saverio

Russo, Christelle Zamora.

Translation: Sharon Nagel, Rosa Almeida - CS Traduções, Marika Quarti

Sales and Marketing Director: Etienne Gaillard : +33 6 30 97 87 26

etienne@gilbertgaillard.com

Advertising France:

Bordeaux - Charentes:

Frédéric Comet: +33 6 27 58 47 06 - fcomet@gilbertgaillard.com

Corsica - Languedoc - Provence - Rhône Valley:

Nicolas Sanseigne: +33 6 46 86 80 01 - nsanseigne@gilbertgaillard.com

Jura - Loire Valley - Savoy - South West - Roussillon:

Caroline Gilbert: +33 6 84 92 57 61 - caroline@gilbertgaillard.com

Alsace -Beaujolais - Burgundy - Champagne:

Lucie Jeandel: +33 6 77 72 16 04 - ljeandel@gilbertgaillard.com

Advertising Italy:

Sandra Sirvente: (+33) 7 63 87 13 13 - ssirvente@gilbertgaillard.com

Advertising Spain, Portugal:

Thibault Leray: (+33) 6 84 01 57 24 - tleray@gilbertgaillard.com

Production: Isabelle Méjean-Plé - Tapioka Conseil: +33 1 34 62 89 30

Lay-out: Lise Delattre - Com l’Hirondelle: +33 9 81 47 75 25

Murielle Guégan - Impactea Concept: +33 6 59 32 08 65

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International Distribution:

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For more information, please contact Ana Gisbert:

ana@pineapple-media.com

Gilbert & Gaillard is published by Vinipresse, SARL with a capital of 35,500 euros • Head Office: 7 parc des Fontenelles, 78870 Bailly, France • Legal

representative and Editorial director: Sylvain Patard • Legal deposit: Third quarter 2021 • Legal publication n° pending • ISSN 2110-6762

Reproduction of part or all of the contents of this magazine in any form is expressly prohibited. Any company names that appear in the articles are given

for information only and have no publicity purpose.

8 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


THE GILBERT & GAILLARD INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE:

MAKE SOME ROOM IN YOUR LOUNGE FOR WINE

REGIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

FRANCE

SPAIN

ITALY

SOUTH AFRICA

ENERGISING THE WINE MARKET THROUGH

INNOVATION AND DIVERSITY

DISCOVER OUR SUMMER

SELECTIONS:

CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE

& SA CAP CLASSIQUE

ALVARINHO/ALBARIÑO

A TALE OF TWO COUNTRIES

MONTALCINO,

THE ‘PROMISED

LAND’ FOR

SANGIOVESE

IN TUSCANY

CAP CLASSIQUE

A 50-YEAR JOURNEY

TO PERFECTION

Mathilde Boulachin

founded Pierre Chavin

in Béziers in 2010

Mario Piccini, Managing

Director of Tenute Piccini

DISCOVER OUR SUMMER

SELECTIONS:

SA CAP CLASSIQUE &

CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE

L 19045 - 44 - F: 7,95 € - RD

Summer 2021

DISCOVER OUR SUMMER SELECTIONS:

CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE & SA CAP CLASSIQUE

Winegrower Baltasar Tirado

from Terras de Compostela

in Rias Baixas

L 19045 - 44 - F: 7,95 € - RD

Summer 2021

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Summer 2021

DISCOVER OUR SUMMER SELECTIONS:

CRÉMANT DE BOURGOGNE & SA CAP CLASSIQUE

L 19045 - 44 - F: 7,95 € - RD

Summer 2021

Stephan de Beer,

head winemaker of

Krone Cap Classique

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Château de Malleret

BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

Bordeaux devises ingenious

ways to cope with a string

of crises

Over the past few years, Bordeaux has had to contend with numerous challenges,

ranging from ‘Bordeaux bashing’ in France to climate change, Brexit, the political

crisis in Hong Kong, Trump taxes and the global pandemic. More than any other

wine region, Bordeaux is France’s vinous showcase around the world, so how

are markets performing in 2021 and what solutions have been devised to cope

with these issues? To find out the real consequences of this string of crises, we

interviewed a number of industry players. Here’s what they told us.

By Alain Echalier - Photographs: courtesy of the estates - ©Nicolas Claris - ©Serge Chapuis

©Mika-Boudot - ©Olivier Bolte - ©Sébastien Piedloup - ©Studio Tonelli

10 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

Vineyards at Château de Malleret

The oldest of its current woes is the ‘Bordeaux

bashing’ phenomenon, in other words, a

measure of disenchantment among some of the

French for what used to be by far their favourite

wine tipple. And yet, France accounts for 57%

of the Bordeaux wine market by value. The issue has four

main causes:

• Skyrocketing prices of the Grands Crus, which soared

by 700% between 1986 and 2012, though they often

hide a market reality where enjoyable wines can be

bought for just a few euros.

• A change in consumer habits, where imbibers are

increasingly less inclined to cellar wines. The trend works

to the disadvantage of ‘classic’ Bordeaux wines for laying

down, which are concentrated and tannic, and difficult

to enjoy when young.

• France’s largest wine region also frequently draws the

attention of the media, keen to spread the word about

the growing environmental expectations of consumers.

There is no getting away from the fact, though, that

Bordeaux has high rainfall which puts vines under a lot

of pressure.

• And finally, greater globalisation comes with increased

competition for Bordeaux wines, even in the domestic

market.

The trend seems to have gained traction over the last

10 years and is tarnishing the image of Bordeaux wines,

irrespective of their category.

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 11


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

A wine exhibition in Chongquing in 2019

The Bistro Vignerons pairs Tutiac wines with food in Bordeaux

THE LOWDOWN ON EXPORT MARKETS

Let’s start with China, the world’s second largest economy

which, when it does drink wine, has a preference for

Bordeaux and is receptive to its prestige. In 2017, the

market generated in excess of 700 million euros and

the country is Bordeaux’s leading export destination.

Traditionally, a significant share of these shipments

entered via the free port of Hong Kong. However, the

political crisis in the former British colony in 2019 and

2020 cannot alone explain the drop in exports. Other

explanations include the all-time low crop in 2017

(-39% compared to 2016), competition from Chilean

and Australian wines which were awarded preferential

customs duties, and also a reduction by almost half

of Chinese imports of still wines, irrespective of their

provenance...

Another major export destination for Bordeaux wines

is the United States, grossing over 300 million euros

in 2018. But following a trade dispute in the aviation

industry, the former president (Trump) introduced an

additional tax of 25% on French wines under 14% ABV

in October 2019. The tax remained in place until June

2021, resulting in a drop in sales of around €100 million

for Bordeaux alone!

The region’s third largest, and long-time importer, is

the UK. The never-ending time frame of Brexit and its

uncertainties obviously impacted the market negatively.

Despite this, Britain’s love of a wine it did so much to

promote was sustained, particularly in the high-end

categories. In 2020, 48% of top Bordeaux by volume

continued to be shipped across the Channel.

Finally, Covid had an impact on all Bordeaux markets.

Unlike a ‘normal’ crisis, the pandemic affected all

consumer countries: China, starting at the end of 2019,

then the West from March and April 2020. Successive

waves of lockdown, with the closure of bars and

restaurants, in France and in export markets, brought

consumption and orders to an immediate standstill.

China closed up completely. Although there were times

when at-home consumption delivered good performance

– with supermarkets and wine shops remaining open –

this did not offset all the losses. For instance, in France,

supermarket sales of Bordeaux fell by 5% in 2020, due

12 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

Laurent Dubois, owner of Château les Bertrands

to lower footfall caused by consumers favouring local

shops. Uncertainty about the recovery also put the brake

on most orders and logistics flows have undergone a seachange

due to the substantial fall in global volumes. This

economic tsunami has severely rocked Bordeaux’s boat

but the region is striving to stay on course. We review

the current situation with winegrowers from a variety of

backgrounds who show us that energy, determination

and creativity can often “move mountains”.

CHÂTEAU LES BERTRANDS:

FINDING ECONOMIC SOLUTIONS

This 140-hectare property is located in Reignac, on the

right bank of the Gironde. Its owner is Laurent Dubois,

and the château has been in the family for 9 generations.

The wines are Blaye Côte de Bordeaux, reds, whites and

rosés, sweet Bordeaux Supérieur and Clairet. Like many

other Bordeaux producers, the winery exports 60% of its

wines and sells 40% in France. China accounts for half

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 13


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

Château les Bertrands

its export sales, though the wines are also sold in Japan

and Cambodia. Covid caused a very sharp decline in

sales. “Over the first 8 months of 2020, we were down

50%. Then things started to improve from September

2020, but still did not revert to 2019 levels”, says Dubois.

Among his Chinese importers who cover Shanghai and

Beijing directly without transiting via Hong Kong, he

noticed that the ones who fared best were the large ones,

whilst the small ones suffered more. And as is often the

case in China, the wines are almost entirely red, with

fairly high alcohol content. The so-called Trump tax was

also devastating for their wines, which are shipped to

New York and California and generally retail for around

20 to 25 dollars. Dubois offered to absorb half of the

25% increase, and that the other half be absorbed by

his importers. One refused, the others accepted. But the

market struggled to bounce back. Maybe suppliers from

other countries took his place. Whatever the explanation,

there is no doubt that due to Covid, the reduction in

maritime freight has led to an increase in transport prices:

the cost of shipping a container to the USA has risen

three-fold, and two-fold to Asia.

In France, the winery markets a significant amount of wine

through trade fairs, attending 18 a year. Consequently,

exhibition cancellations made a major dent in its sales.

The Dubois therefore decided to keep up a constant

flow of newsletters to their customers. Free carriage

was reduced from the customary 48 bottles to 24, but

ultimately, they still sold less. Now the trade shows are

starting to resume so Laurent Dubois hopes to revert

to the pre-Covid situation. One thing the company has

understood is the importance of maintaining a customer

database. “Before, we didn’t always note their e-mail

address”, he says. “Now it’s automatic, and the impact

is huge!”

David Liorit, director of Château Petit Val

CHÂTEAU PETIT VAL: INCREDIBLE ENERGY

Château Petit Val, which is near Saint-Emilion, has

12 hectares of vines on a mix of sandy-clay and claylimestone

soils. Its flagship wine is Saint-Emilion Grand

Cru marketed under two labels: Château Petit Val and

Muse du Val (the 2016s were awarded 92 and 95/100

respectively). David Liorit is the chateau manager, after

14 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

joining owners Jean-Louis and Olivia Alloin in 2014. The

vision here is clearly to produce high-end wines – yields

average at around 35 hl/hectare – and the chateau has

unfailingly been headed north since the outset. Exports

account for 60% of sales and are bound for markets

painstakingly built up through widespread travel and

tastings across the globe. Liorit has put a considerable

amount of energy into achieving this and has travelled to

regions such as Florida, Japan and Morocco. Obviously,

the pandemic has had an impact, with the compound

effect of the closure of restaurants, the Trump tax and the

American election period. But resignation is not part of

the company’s genetic make-up and sales have already

picked up.

Nationwide, the Château has explored new avenues.

Examples include ‘wine merchant dating’ by video

where samples are sent out for tasting, and use of social

media, with new information put online every week.

There are so many things that could be said about the

range which, at the very least, is highly unique with

wines such as a single varietal Malbec and a Riesling,

along with amphora maturation to round out tannins.

“All of a sudden, we had time on our hands and were

able to sit down and think about different marketing

strategies”, explains Liorit. “Direct-to-consumer sales

are one of the alternatives and we are therefore going

to open a shop at the chateau, where we will sell

the estate’s products and provide a tasting tour. So

finally, wine enthusiasts from far and wide will get the

opportunity to discover this sensitively designed setting

with its unique vineyard sites.

Château Petit Val in Saint-Emilion

Cédric Coubris,

the Gironde representative

of the Independent

Winegrowers’ Federation

INDEPENDENT WINEGROWERS OFFER A

UNITED FRONT

Cédric Coubris represents the Gironde branch of

independent winegrowers, with its 550 members, rising

to 7,800 nationwide. He explains the challenges his

members have faced, and the solutions the organisation

has aimed to provide. Even before Covid or the Trump

taxes loomed on the horizon, Bordeaux bashing across

France – often fuelled by environmental issues – was

the first situation that had to be tackled. Whenever plant

protection products are mentioned in the media, he

Independent winegrowers’ engage personally with their clients

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 15


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

Exhibitors at the independent winegrowers’ exhibition

stresses that they should be referred to per hectare. “Otherwise”,

he says, “it is unfairly penalising for France’s largest wine region”.

The organisation therefore fought for High Environmental

Value (HVE) certification, which endorses good practice, to be

officially recognised, just like organic farming. Consequently,

Gironde is France’s leading HVE-certified region.

The Trump tax was brought to the attention of French MPs and

plans for a solidarity fund materialised in January 2020. But

before any funds could be released, the pandemic occurred.

Restaurants became off-limits and none of the 12 annual shows

that the Independent Winegrowers’ Federation organises, and

which attract half a million visitors, could take place. The

organisation subsequently expanded its e-commerce website

considerably (vigneron-independant.com). Sales increased fourfold

and the website was available in 5 languages, ramping up

sales opportunities. It also helped its members improve their

e-mailing shots and set up click & collect facilities. “The purpose

is not just to grow sales but also to maintain engagement”,

explains Coubris. Failure to do so would have left a gap for

other platforms to develop. But for independent winegrowers,

direct-to-consumer sales are the obvious marketing channel. The

federation also made sure that the French State Guaranteed Loan

applied to their members. Offering 0% interest and up to 25%

of previous turnover, it prevented bankruptcies by providing

between €10K and €500K in loans per farm. 2020 also saw tax

16 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

Damien Sartorius of Château Léoville Barton

exemptions. Repayment of the loan, initially planned for

2021, was postponed until spring 2022 and is likely to

be spread over 7 years. On a positive note, Covid boosted

membership of the organisation by 10%. In times of

trouble, there is even greater strength in unity.

CHÂTEAU LÉOVILLE BARTON:

WAITING, AND NOT COMPROMISING

For the past two years, Damien Sartorius has been

running the celebrated Deuxième Grand Cru Classé,

with his mother. The family also owns Langoa-Barton,

with which it shares cellars. The famous Saint-Julien

wine is distributed solely through the Bordeaux trade,

i.e. local negociants. The American market is sizeable and

represents around 30% of the chateau’s sales (15% for

Langoa-Barton). For a bottle of Léoville, which sells for

around $150, a 25% increase is significant, particularly

when you consider that the tax was not levied on fine

Italian wines. On the right bank, where Merlot reigns

supreme, the wines often naturally weigh in at 14.5%

and therefore just managed to avoid the additional

duty. So wasn’t it tempting to tweak the alcohol content

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 17


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

The vineyards of Chateau Léoville Barton

in Léoville to avoid the duties too? “We like to retain a

little acidity in our wines”, says Sartorius. “Changing the

style is not an option”. However, the En Primeur buying

system, with its customary waiting period, allowed

customers to reserve the wines. Orders were placed in

the hope that the tax would disappear when the wines

were shipped. The gamble paid off, and the market has

picked up.

This great lull in sales provided time in which to

reorganise production and incorporate safety measures.

These include one worker per vineyard block, no sharing

of tools, pickers divided into small groups so that one

case of Covid does not require the entire team to selfisolate.

The spring 2021 En Primeurs, however, showed

genuine recovery. From a sales perspective, Sartorius has

been holding a series of video conferences with trading

companies and clients. Small samples of the famous

growth were sent out so that customers could taste it.

The experience has turned out to be positive because

people who can be a little shy chat more easily with the

winegrower by video conference. It involves less time,

less money and helps the winery’s carbon footprint – and

Sartorius is pleased with its efficiency.

But high-end restaurants are struggling to reopen, and

fine wines are often drunk over business lunches in

restaurants. Inventories are therefore increasing, but not

to excess. “Bothering restaurateurs is out of the question.

The wines are luxury goods and they sell thanks to

the work of my ancestors. The brands are very well

established”, says Sartorius, gratefully.

Damien Malejacq of the Vignerons de Tutiac winery

VIGNERONS DE TUTIAC:

ADJUSTING THE PORTFOLIO

This co-operative winery, founded in 1974, now has

520 member winegrowers. Originally located in the Côtes

de Bourg, Blaye and Côtes de Bordeaux appellation areas,

it now includes Fronsac, Graves and even Sauternes. The

vast majority of its members take their entire crop to the

winery. “That’s important”, explains communications

and marketing director Damien Malejacq. Gone are the

days when co-operative winegrowers kept their good

fruit... and took the rest to the winery. Also, a price scale

with 10 different levels is applied to incoming fruit, to

18 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

A group of young Tutiac winegrowers

encourage quality. The co-operative’s technicians also conduct visits

out on the ground before the harvest to check that the grapes meet the

set criteria.

55% of the winery’s sales are in France, 80% of them to supermarkets,

10% direct-to-consumer and 10% to wine merchants. Provided

you can be flexible, supermarkets are performing relatively well. In

response to environmental requirements, the winery now farms 88%

of its vineyards under the HVE scheme, but is also focusing on an even

more practical approach for 8 to 10% of its wines – Zero Pesticide

Residue. The trust mark, which originated in the vegetable industry, is

more restrictive than HVE for winegrowers, but it is also much clearer

for consumers because it offers the promise of results, as confirmed by

laboratory analyses of the wines. It requires a great deal of stringency

and dedicated presses and pipes. It therefore costs about 20% more to

produce than wine from conventional farming. However, it is more

affordable than organic, estimated to cost 40% more, and it can also be

obtained in 1 year, as compared with organic’s three-year switch-over.

In France, Covid led to a fall in average purchases as consumers

prioritised what they perceived as essential goods. The pesticide-free

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 19


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

Sirona Twist, enjoying Sauternes in a cocktail

wines were launched just in time to counter the decline.

In export markets, it was more of an opportunity to gain

market share. The winery didn’t close, it kept in touch with

its customers and the impact was minimal. The Japanese,

English and Canadian markets even showed growth.

The Sauternes market, which has been hampered by the

trend away from all things sweet, has been particularly

hard hit. Producing 10% of the appellation’s wines,

the co-operative has reacted and changed its profile

rationale, reducing sugar levels from 120 to 90 g/l. It also

suggests Sauternes be drunk as a cocktail with Crémant de

Bordeaux, a trend that is gaining traction in the American

and Chinese markets.

Anne and Hugues Mallet

HAUT MACÔ: SIMPLY WINEGROWERS

This chateau is fairly representative of many estates across

the region. Located on the right bank, it extends over

54 hectares, 58% of them planted to Merlot and 27% to

Cabernet-Sauvignon. A family-owned property, it is run

by brother and sister duo Anne & Hugues Mallet, with the

help of a trained winemaker.

The wines are mainly sold in France, via a network of

private customers, works committees and the hotel and

restaurant trade. Five to 10% are exported to Japan,

Malaysia, the United States, and sometimes a large order

comes in from China. “Our first challenge”, says Hugues

Mallet, “is the change in drinking patterns in France.

A glass of wine with every meal is tending to disappear

with this generation, and is being replaced by weekend

drinking. So we have to respond with an affordable range

for everyday drinking, and a more gourmet range around

€10 to 12 for weekends. We must also try to compensate

for this by targeting the restaurant trade”.

Initially, Covid led to a resurgence in sales. People who

were confined to their homes wanted to treat themselves

a little. But then, sales dropped away, so the Mallets

went the extra mile on deliveries, even offering to deliver

themselves on Saturdays and Sundays with their van – you

don’t go to the winegrower, he comes to you! Fortunately,

works committees are fairly loyal customers, and sales of

end-of-year gifts tend to be recurrent. The major difficulty

was more restaurant closures, and the timing of the various

lockdowns. Haut-Macô was unable to take advantage of

20 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

the ‘opening windows’ when restaurants reopened in

France in the summers of 2020 and 2021 – it mainly

produces red wine, which struggles to find an audience

when the mercury soars over the summer. Sales are now

picking up again, but orders are placed on a just-in-time

basis, to within a single box, even if that means placing

new orders and paying delivery charges again. In this way,

clients can avoid holding inventories, should there be

further lockdown measures.

In addition to its 4-5 annual newsletters, the chateau is

very mindful to nurture its relationship with its direct

customers and welcomes them to the chateau. Showing

off the vineyards and the winery, explaining pruning and

maturation, and tasting the range of wines, are all ways

of forging a much stronger bond. This is precisely how

Château Haut-Macô developed!

Grape picking at Château de Malleret

CHÂTEAU DE MALLERET:

FOCUSSING ON QUALITY

This chateau, which we wrote about in Gilbert & Gaillard

n°41, essentially produces Haut Médoc Cru Bourgeois

Exceptionnel, over a 46-hectare vineyard. “The wine

performs well in export markets, especially the United

States. But the Trump tax proved to be extremely

challenging”, explains Paul Bordes, the estate’s manager.

With a price tag of between €25 and €30, the wine is midrange

where customers still keep an eye on expenditure,

unlike high-end luxury goods. As for all winegrowers,

Covid has had a detrimental effect, with sales dropping

and inventories rising. So what are the most effective

strategies for tackling these difficulties? “Continue to

focus on improving quality”, is Bordes’ answer right

off the bat. Since 2013, he has transformed the estate

from top to bottom. The soils now benefit from natural

amendments, cereal crops are planted between the vine

rows to improve drainage, the grape harvest is entirely

done by hand and the vat room and cellar have been

completely revamped.

The switch-over to organic farming has begun. The first

certified vintage, after the 3 years without any treatments,

should be 2023. Fruit trees are now being introduced

to separate the blocks, and some beehives have been

installed. This virtuous circle will certainly pay off in the

An olive grove at Château de Malleret

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 21


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

Paul Bordes manages Château de Malleret

long run, but it is already giving the staff plenty to do. Paul Bordes,

who has worked in the Iberian Peninsula, has also had an olive grove

planted. Not only is it good for biodiversity, but the plan is to market

olive oil. Vines and olives are two long-standing companion crops,

and diversification will contribute to the economic stability of the

company.

Finally, in order to meet the needs of a market that increasingly uses

the Internet, Château de Malleret has an online e-commerce website.

Both modern and intuitive, it allows the wines to be sold direct-toconsumer.

VIGNOBLES ROUX: BUILDING LONG-TERM RELATIONS

WITH SUPERMARKETS

In addition to his four chateaux in the Médoc (Puy Castéra, Pontey,

Holden and Plagnac), Romain Roux owns 300 hectares of vines in

the Entre-deux-Mers region. A dyed-in-the-wool entrepreneur, he

insists on the importance of not becoming complacent and agrees

to share some of his expertise. Through his direct partnership with

supermarket buyers, he initially analysed the underlying trends, in

order to be able to respond to customers’ needs. First and foremost,

a tendency to buy just before drinking makes a range of instantly

drinkable wines a requisite. That implies moving away from the

dense and fairly muted style of traditional Bordeaux wines – they

now have to be good straight away. Another aspect is consumers’

growing awareness of environmental issues. Whereas 10 years ago,

22 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


BORDEAUX

– MARKETS –

Romain Roux, winegrower and entrepreneur

the price alone was a buying cue, it is no longer enough. Roux has

therefore made changes to his vineyard to secure High Environmental

Value certification. However, value for money is still fundamental

and requires cost control. For example, he co-designed the Château

Les Tuileries brand with Lidl, which retails for €2.95 per bottle. By

farming his own vines, the wines can be supplied all year round and

the high volumes can generate profitability.

Finally, Romain Roux has diversified by trading in wines from the

South of France. He supplies red, rosé and white wines under the

Provenance brand, labelled IGP Terres du Midi, to supermarkets

during in-store wine festivals. Consumers can find them in Auchan

stores. Zoom sur l’étiquette. The wines are sold in bottles, but also in

boxed formats and now in soft discount outlets, and are undeniably

successful.

THE END OF THE TUNNEL IS IN SIGHT

There is no denying that the Bordeaux wine industry has fallen

victim to a range of successive issues, but at the same time, its ability

to react and adapt is tremendous and often enables it to save the

fundamentals. Government aid is certainly a welcome life line, even

if not everyone will emerge unscathed. Despite this, the latest figures

are fairly encouraging and offer confirmation of economic recovery.

This ancient land of winegrowing has been through numerous

disasters and crises since its beginnings and has overcome them all.

There is no reason for that to change.

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 23


Agroforestry has been used since time immemorial at Mas de Daumas Gassac in Aniane, Hérault

LANGUEDOC

– FUTURE –

Languedoc weathers

the (climate) storm

Preserving biodiversity, saving water resources, prioritising agro-forestry, choosing

un-cloned vines and resistant varieties are all avenues being explored

for countering weather hazards and safeguarding the environment.

Winegrowers in Languedoc are experimenting with them all.

By Christelle Zamora - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

24 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


LANGUEDOC

– FUTURE –

“ Languedoc-Roussillon is rightly considered to be

the largest wine region in the world, not just for

its vineyard acreage, but also for its range of grape

varieties and styles of wine. No other region has

such a sustainable dynamic. The issue is knowing

how long it will last”, questions Alain Deloire, lecturer,

researcher and an expert on vine biology at Montpellier

SupAgro.

Languedoc wine growers are faced with the challenge of

adverse weather – the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 vintages

all offer examples. Covid aside, the 2020 vintage was

normal from a weather perspective, but on April 8, 2021,

the Twitter account of Languedoc’s iconic Mas de Daumas

Gassac winery posted this message: “The Gassac valley

has been combatting frost for two days and despite all the

measures taken, temperatures dropped to -4°C on April 7

and -6°C last night. The Mas’ white vines, despite all our

efforts, were affected”.

A little later, the chairman of the Hérault chamber of

agriculture, Jérôme Despey, recalled the hailstorm in August

2016, frost in April 2017 and the heatwave in 2019. On 7

and 8 April 2021, 40,000 hectares of vines – half the area’s

vineyard acreage – was impacted by frost in just two nights.

And scientists agree that it could happen again.

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 25


LANGUEDOC

– FUTURE –

From left to right, Samuel, Gael, Roman and Basile Guibert, the sons of Véronique and the late Aimé Guibert

PROMOTING AND SAFEGUARDING

BIODIVERSITY

At Mas de Daumas Gassac in Aniane, Hérault, Roman

Guibert would subsequently state that 70% of the

Cabernet-Sauvignon vines had gone unscathed. “On

the night of April 7, temperatures plummeted to

-8°C across Languedoc. We were prepared. The cold

snap affected the whole of France. We spent the night

lighting fires, but vines cannot withstand temperatures

of -8°C”, says Samuel Guibert at Mas de Daumas

Gassac regretfully. Like his brother, Samuel praises

work by his parents who were early adopters of massal

selection in the 1970s. They used the technique to plant

the estate’s vineyards in 60 small blocks surrounded by

glades and woodland to preserve biodiversity, rather

than clear the land to make way for an unbroken

expanse of vines.

“Actually, we have always been practitioners of agroforestry.

Cabernet-Sauvignon is a late-ripening variety

and it suffered less from frost than the white vineyards,

particularly the Sauvignon blanc. The micro-terroir in

26 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


LANGUEDOC

– FUTURE –

the Gassac valley was an advantage for us. We lost 50%

of the whites and just 10% of the reds, but without the

forests that surround the estate and our micro-climate,

we would have lost more, maybe as much as 75%”,

claimed Guibert, a week before harvesting.

It’s not just frost – weather hazards are affecting all of

France’s vineyards. By planting late-ripening varieties,

Mas de Daumas Gassac is better equipped to cope

with overripe fruit. “The profile of the wines has not

been seriously affected by the heat. Compared with

the 1980s, harvesting takes place one week earlier.

Although alcohol content borders on 14% ABV for

some red grape varieties, which was not the case thirty

years ago, we have not noticed any phenolic overripeness.

So, neither the flavour nor the profile of the

wines has changed, even though micro-changes occur

when there are unusual weather events”, explains

Guibert.

Another of the estate’s strengths is its cherry-picked

range of grape varieties, like the 0.25 hectares of Aréni

noir from Armenia, or another currently fashionable,

time-honoured cultivar, Nebbiolo. These varieties are

part of the property’s genetic make-up rather than

its desire to follow fashions. “Our parents’ ethos

was to plant grape varieties from across Europe. We

have around twenty grapes of differing nationalities.

Research has focused on their performance for the

past five years. Researchers have come to study our

Portuguese, Italian and Georgian varieties but we need

to wait for a decade until we have a reliable analysis of

their evolution”, concludes Guibert.

Daumas Gassac’s estate and farmhouse in Aniane are located amidst woodland

where the vineyards benefit from substantial biodiversity

SAVING WATER RESOURCES

In Cers, near the town of Béziers, the Alma Cersius

winery has received a shower of accolades for the range

and precision of its varietal wines produced under the

PGIs Pays d’Oc and Coteaux-de-Béziers. The group of

160 vine growers boasts 1,200 hectares under vine and

currently produces 6 million bottles of wine, 80% of

them bound for export markets. Through its singlevineyard

selections, Alma Cersius has a finely tuned

understanding of the aromatic profile of its wines.

Guillaume Bonzoms, managing director and winemaker at the Alma Cersius

winery

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 27


LANGUEDOC

– FUTURE –

At Alma Cersius, it is 100% team spirit

The winery’s director and winemaker, Guillaume

Bonzoms, is delighted by the progress made so

far. “Irrigation allows us to improve our resource

management and we have cut water usage by half. It

mitigates freak weather events. We also have a very

honed approach to varietals, with 8 types of Sauvignon

and 10 styles of Chardonnay. This allows us to cater to

a wide variety of markets”.

Although the choice of grape varieties is crucial,

the group also focuses on other assets. “We enjoy a

maritime influence which is very beneficial for the

freshness of our wines. But terroir is also an important

factor. Our strength lies in having clay-limestone soils,

pebbles and Villafranchian terraces”. To reduce the use

of pesticides, the winery has recruited an agricultural

engineer tasked with monitoring the vines from a

technical perspective. She constantly liaises with the

winery’s members to give them advice. “Over the past

two years, we have lowered our use of pesticides by

28 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


LANGUEDOC

– FUTURE –

introducing mating disruption, an alternative way of

combatting grapevine moths. We have been awarded

Level 3 High Environmental Value certification for all

of our vineyards”.

At the Foncalieu co-operative group, agronomist

Gabriel Ruetsch pursues the same objective:

“Prevention is better than cure. A network of weather

stations connected to sensors allows us to measure

the soil humidity rate for precision drip irrigation to

save water resources”. Not all the Languedoc wine

region, however, has equal access to irrigation. “I

don’t hold out much hope for the future of farming in

the Camargue. The Rhone is drying up, water is being

pumped upstream and soil salinity is increasing”,

laments one female Camargue winegrower. Among the

avenues being explored to alleviate the issue of lack of

water is treating and reusing wastewater. In Roquefortdes-Corbières,

in Aude, the Vignobles Cap Leucate

co-operative has fitted a wastewater treatment system

to irrigate its vines. The pilot project, which offers a

solution to the lack of water, has now set an example

for the vineyards of Narbonne and the surrounding

area, and co-operative groups are rolling out similar

schemes.

Team spirit prevails both in the winery and out in the vineyards at

Alma Cersius

CHOOSING MORE RESISTANT PLANT

MATERIAL

Provence is trialling a staggering 127 grape varieties

resistant to fungal diseases and better suited to climate

changes, but Languedoc is certainly not lagging behind

on the issue. The National Institute for Agronomic

Research (Inrae) and the French Vine & Wine Institute

(IFVV) have partnered with marketing boards in

Occitania and South-West France to launch the first

regional experimentation programmes for resistant

vine varieties. Grouping eighty regional winegrowing

bodies, they have volunteered to study the resistance

of vines requiring fewer plant protection products

through more resistant genes.

The INRAE Pech Rouge and Cazes experimental estate in

Aude offer resource facilities to support local wineries,

such as the co-operative group Vignobles Foncalieu,

whose commitment to sustainability already dates

So far, excellent vineyard sites have enabled the Alma Cersius winery to

withstand the vagaries of the weather

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 29


LANGUEDOC

– FUTURE –

Being a co-operative group does not prevent Vignobles

Foncalieu from promoting a sense of lifestyle

Vignobles Foncalieu are dyed-in-the-wool

innovators, as evidenced by the new varieties

Artaban and Vidoc that go into their Nu.Vo.Té.

label. Made organically, with no added sulphites,

the varieties are produced through pollination, or

sexual reproduction. They match the typicity of

Languedoc wines and tomorrow’s climate

back over a decade. Founded in 1967 in Arzens, Aude,

Vignobles Foncalieu posts turnover of €47 million

from its 7,850 hectares under vine, and embraces

Celliers du Nouveau Monde in Puichéric; Vignerons de

la Cité de Carcassonne; Vignerons du Pays d’Ensérune

near Béziers; the La Redorte & Castelnau d’Aude

winery; and the Montagnac co-operative in Hérault.

The group has swapped widespread use of pesticides

for alternative methods, whilst also choosing to

plant resistant varieties from 2007. After a period

of experimentation followed by conclusive trials,

Vignobles Foncalieu marketed 3,200 bottles of wines

from its first crop of resistant varieties in 2018. Called

NU.VO.TÉ, the wine is red and made from new French

varieties Artaban and Vidoc, which are still very much

under the radar.

Since 2020, the wine has been certified organic and

Vignobles Foncalieu expects to produce 15,000 bottles.

“The varieties have the ability to ward off the main

vine diseases and offer a response to challenging

weather. However, it is still difficult to find markets

for the wines, even if countries like Finland take an

open-minded approach to them. Vignobles Foncalieu

is delighted to have found an environmental solution,

but is also giving thought to the style of future labels.

“In 2021, we are focusing on rosé and are considering

producing fashionable styles such as Pet’Nat, a natural

sparkling wine”, reveals Gabriel Ruetsch, agronomic

manager at Vignobles Foncalieu.

With 62 ha of resistant vines, the group is ahead of

the curve for innovation. More importantly, it has

reduced sprays and secured organic status for all of

its resistant Artaban and Vidoc vines for the reds. For

the whites, the German (Souvigné gris) and Italian

(Soreli) varieties are already being grown, whilst the

winemaking process for Floréal is being examined.

“Depending on the vintage, no more than two or three

plant protection treatments are used, compared with

eight for vineyards farmed organically. Results with

the Nu.Vo.Té label are encouraging. The 12°5 red wine

shows a tight-knit texture and great natural acidity”,

comments Ruetsch.

30 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


IMPORTERS

– POLAND –

WINE4YOU

“People eat lighter food now

and they drink lighter wines”

Roederer Champagne, Louis Jadot, Famille Perrin, André Lurton, Ramos Pinto,

Sassicaia, Marqués de Murrieta, Bodega Norton, Coppola… The impressive line-up

in the Wine4You portfolio makes it seem the perfect match for one of the world’s

more mature wine markets. Its founder, wine collector and expert Jaroslaw Cybulski,

describes how the Polish wine market has come on in leaps and bounds.

By Ellen Budge - Photographs: courtesy of WINE4YOU

Admittedly, per capita wine consumption in

Poland pales in comparison with many other

countries, but over the past five years, it has

moved up from 3.5 to 5 litres a year. The

market is also showing unmistakable signs of

maturity: “People who previously drank medium-sweet

wines, now drink off-dry or soft-dry wines and people

who were drinking medium-dry now drink more dry

wines. I now sell 95% dry wines”, explains Cybulski,

whose roles in the past have included wine advisor to

the Polish President. His company markets mainly to

the Horeca trade and private customers, though Covid

has led to a reshuffle in the marketing mix. “Before, we

used to sell 70% to Horeca, now it’s more 55%, although

ultimately our suppliers often do not lend themselves to

other channels. You cannot sell Roederer Champagne in

supermarkets”.

A series of lockdowns and the financial implications of

the pandemic have reduced his annual sales from around

650 000 to 500,000 bottles this year, but Cybulski is

already seeing signs of improvement. His portfolio

includes several categories that are trending well: “Perhaps

the best-selling wines today are Italian wines, like Pinot

grigio, Prosecco and Primitivo. Some Spanish wines

offering good value for money are also performing well,

as are easy-to-drink Chilean and Argentinian wines”.

France, positioned at the higher end of the market, caters

to good restaurants and its whites, such as Chablis, are

delivering good results. “People eat lighter food now

and they drink lighter wines. The climate is warming up

in Poland, so people are drinking more whites. Rosé is

growing but it’s still marginal, whereas sparkling wines

are selling very well”. With Wine4You strongly focusing

on enhancing knowledge among Polish imbibers, there is

every likelihood that, going forward, wine will continue

to gain traction in Poland.

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 31


The 13 th -century cellars at Domaine Tissot

JURA

– STYLES –

An incredible fusion of

vineyard sites and grape

varieties

Jura is one of only a handful of French wine regions where virtually all the grape

varieties are native, except for Pinot noir and Chardonnay from its prestigious

neighbour Burgundy. This perfect match between vineyard sites and grape

varieties is the region’s trump card for consumers looking for quality,

naturalness and subtle authenticity...

By Jean-Paul Burias - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

32 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


JURA

– STYLES –

Using a pickaxe in the vineyards of L’Etoile

The landscape reveals a small enclave of just

2,000 hectares wedged within a strip of land

6 kilometres wide and 80 kilometres long, along the

Revermont plateaus. Admittedly, Jura is not France’s

largest wine region by acreage. But its four appellations

– L’Étoile, Côtes-du-Jura, Arbois, Château-Chalon – and its

three product appellations Macvin, Crémant and Marc du Jura

feature among the flagships of France’s wine proposition. Here,

local grape varieties such as Savagnin, which according to the

2020 database accounts for 25% of vineyard area, Poulsard

(11%) and Trousseau (8%), grow alongside Pinot Noir (11%),

first recorded in the region in the 15 th century, and of course

Chardonnay, which now accounts for 43% of the crop,

having travelled from nearby Burgundy in the 19 th century;

the remaining varieties account for 2%. The region embraces

a wide range of products including still white and red wines,

sparkling wines, Macvin, ‘vin jaune’ and ‘vin de paille’. “Though

small in terms of footprint, it has made a name for itself for the

typicality of its vineyard sites, its production methods and the

products themselves”, explains Olivier Badoureaux, director

of the Jura wine marketing board (CIVJ) since 3 November

2020. “It attracts both new winegrowers and large groups

looking to invest. ‘Vin Jaune’ has left a major stamp on its

identity. However, this Jura speciality in fact only represents

a small percentage of sales. Our challenge is therefore to help

people discover the other wines”. The region has focused on

organic wines for several years, and it boasts unique weather

patterns and exceptional vineyard sites which fuse in their own

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 33


JURA

– STYLES –

distinctive way with the different grape varieties. From a

production perspective, Chardonnay-based whites lead the

way, particularly due to the growing success of Crémant

du Jura, which is becoming a significant market driver for

the region both in France and abroad. Savagnin and the

region’s novel, elegant reds also take pride of place.

A rototiller is used in the vineyards at Sous Roche de Château-Chalon

CONCLUSION

In a rapidly changing and increasingly international

marketplace, Jura wines are successfully making major

inroads. Exports are on the increase, representing 15%

of sales in the last marketing campaign from 1 August

2020 to 31 July 2021. This development is underpinned

by incremental progress in vineyard management and

winemaking techniques, but also by global warming which

allows certain grape varieties like Poulsard to ripen more

effortlessly. With typicity and diversity as its main calling

cards, the region’s wine industry has managed to rein in

cellar door prices and align them with quality. Chardonnay

promotes enjoyable, powerful white wines delivering a wide

range of floral aromas. Savagnin, the region’s distinctive

flagship grape, beguiles with its beautiful yellow colour and

offers complex and relatively powerful wines that can be

blended with Chardonnay. For the reds, Poulsard is pivotal

in producing delicate, fruity wines with beautiful aromatic

complexity that become richer with age and can be matured

for 4 to 8 years. With its deep red hue, Trousseau adds cherry

notes and light spices to produce powerful, tannic wines that

Pinot noir can counterbalance. Originating in Burgundy,

Pinot noir develops an extensive array of aromatics for

producing wines that combine power, intensity, finesse

and elegance depending on the different vineyard sites.

Obviously, the region’s limited acreage and the harshness

of the Jura climate limit output. But the subtle combination

of typical vineyard sites and quality grape varieties usher in

the ultimate taste experience for consumers who have now

become enthusiasts worldwide.

The Fruitière at the foot of the rock face

and the vineyards of Château-Chalon

FRUITIÈRE VINICOLE DE VOITEUR:

MAJESTIC WHITE WINES

Quality knows no boundaries. Between Switzerland

and Burgundy, vines grown by the Fruitière Vinicole de

Voiteur are blessed with outstanding sites. Located on

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JURA

– STYLES –

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 35

Chairman Jean Pernot (left) with director Bertrand Delannay of Fruitière Vinicole de Voiteur


JURA

– STYLES –

The board of the Fruitière Vinicole meets out in the vineyards

marly slopes near the lower foothills of Jura, this qualityfocused

co-operative markets 385,000 bottles annually.

Created in 1956, it has around 60 members farming

75 hectares, 23 of which are planted to Savagnin. “We

produce mostly white wines, which account for 90%

of sales, a third of them made from Savagnin”, says

Bertrand Delannay, the co-op’s director. “Despite limited

volumes, the reds have successfully carved out a place for

themselves because of their authentic, meritorious grape

varieties that yield light, fruity wines”. Some of the whites

follow a floral theme, with tank maturation to foster

finesse and freshness. The other whites from vines planted

on marl are matured in barrels under a veil of yeast that

produces an oxidative style. The winegrowers are driven

by extremely high standards. They have made a pledge to

farming organically and following High Environmental

Value (HVE) and Terra Vitis schemes, paying particular

attention to harvest dates and winemaking and

maturation techniques. Although global warming has

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JURA

– STYLES –

had little impact on harvesting, the main challenge is

repeated spring frosts in 2017, 2019 and 2021, which

have had a significant effect on production volumes.

“Our major assets are undoubtedly our exceptional

vineyard sites and our traditional maturation methods

which lend the wines their distinctive typicity”, says

Delannay. “On the flipside, this typicity can sometimes

take consumers aback. But the success of our wines stems

from their originality and their comprehensive, varied

range, underpinned by the region’s positive image”.

At the co-operative, the whites are the most popular,

particularly the highly distinctive, barrel-aged, floral

Chardonnay Côtes-du-Jura. In fact, the trend in export

markets clearly favours floral wines combining freshness

and finesse, both the whites and the reds.

DOMAINE JACQUES TISSOT:

JURA’S RELIABLE CHOICE

As it approaches its 60 th anniversary, Domaine Jacques

Tissot continues to reap awards with remarkable regularity,

and more importantly, new accolades in prestigious

competitions. This family estate is a Jura benchmark

and it was created in 1962 by Jacques Tissot, who chose

to continue farming a block of land inherited from

his father. After developing and improving the estate

with his wife Michelle, he left it to his two children,

Nathalie and Philippe Tissot, to continue his work,

drawing on their expertise and dynamism. Pinot Noir,

Chardonnay and Jura grape varieties are the mainstay of

this 30-hectare estate spread over the Arbois and Côtesdu-Jura

appellations. The estate is currently switching over

to HVE (High Environmental Value) certification. For

several years now, investments have been made in new

equipment for tillage in order to keep the use of plant

protection products to a minimum. The weather is causing

its own issues and indecision over harvest choices. “We

don’t have much hindsight about the global warming

that has occurred over the last few years and its possible

impact on our wines, in particular on alcohol content”,

says Nathalie Tissot. “Conversely, we are witnessing

more and more frequent frosts and heavy rainfall. These

exceptional and startling events are similar to patterns

that occurred in the 1950s”. The issue has to be factored

Philippe Tissot in his vineyards

Domaine Tissot

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 37


JURA

– STYLES –

Annie and Jean-Luc Mouillard

into requirements for vineyard management, harvesting

and the winemaking process, with conditions constantly

changing. “Exports represent 15% of our volumes”, points

out Philippe Tissot. “The market is tending to grow because

customers are beginning to get to know and enjoy our

region’s wines. International consumption has changed

with sustained demand for Chardonnay and in particular

for gourmet-style wines matured in barrels”. In addition

to the Crémants, which are a runaway success, the local

grape varieties Savagnin, Poulsard and Trousseau are the

linchpins of a comprehensive range – complemented by

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir - that captures all the unique

features and subtleties of Jura’s vineyards.

DOMAINE JEAN-LUC MOUILLARD:

A FLAIR FOR WINEGROWING

Thirty years down the line, Jean-Luc Mouillard can

measure how far he has come. His work in the vineyards

and his expertise have taken his business and the Jura

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JURA

– STYLES –

grape varieties to new heights. In 1991, he created his

own estate after graduating with an agricultural diploma

in viticulture and oenology and studying for a year in the

heart of Burgundy’s legendary vineyards in Beaune. “My

flair for winegrowing was passed on to me by my parents

who were also co-operative winegrowers and farmers in

Jura”, he recounts. “Over the years, the farm grew and

moved to Mantry, a village in the heart of Revermont”.

Now one of the region’s benchmark growers, he manages

11 hectares of vines spread over the three appellations

Château-Chalon, L’Etoile and Côtes-du-Jura along with

Macvin and Crémant du Jura, with his wife Annie and

son Mathieu. Currently converting over to organic, the

estate boasts 16th-century cellars and successfully blends

tradition and modernity in its 2005-built winery and

since 2013 a storage building. Its mosaic of vineyard

sites with their clay, marl and limestone ridge soils

is farmed with every other row planted to grass to

limit overproduction and avoid compaction. “We make

Crémants, floral or traditional whites, dry reds, ‘vins

jaunes’, ‘vin de paille’ and a mistelle, Macvin”, explains

Mathieu Mouillard. “Consumers can get confused over

the different floral or traditional winemaking methods

used for the whites, which requires a lot of explanation

from the winegrower”. The local grape varieties leave a

lasting impression. The estate has two Savagnin labels,

a Tradition and a ‘ouillé’ (or topped up) style called Le

Curieux, which offers another approach to this celebrated

grape variety. The Trousseau is made in stainless steel

tanks to retain its true authenticity. “We don’t produce

much Poulsard”, explains Jean-Luc Mouillard. “The only

exceptions are the ‘vin de paille’, a blend of Poulsard,

Chardonnay and Savagnin, and the Rubis label, a red

wine blended from 50% Pinot noir, 30% Trousseau

and 20% Poulsard”. These wines show strong character

and can be enjoyed on any occasion, especially with a

good meal. Novel, elegant and tannic, they align with

a consumer trend squarely focusing on discovery and

quality. And export markets, particularly Sweden, Japan

and the United States, are all-set to grow.

Sealing the bottles with wax at Château-Chalon

Jean-Luc Mouillard planting vines

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 39


The view from the estate’s vineyards at Clos de Paulilles,

in Paulilles bay between Collioure and Banyuls

ROUSSILLON

– BRANDS –

Roussillon sets its sights

on the global market

Pyrenees-Orientales is France’s fifteenth largest wine region. Its dry and sweet wines

draw on skills and an array of styles rarely seen elsewhere and they are the means by

which Roussillon aims to conquer high-value markets outside the EU,

whilst also remaining focused on trends.

By Christelle Zamora - Photographs: courtesy of the estates - ©Quiterie de Fenoyl - ®Aglyphoto66

40 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


ROUSSILLON

– BRANDS –

William Jonquères d’Oriola, owner and winemaker of the namesake estate

Boasting a potential area under vine of 25,000 hectares,

18,932 of them bearing, plus 24 main grape varieties,

Roussillon’s vineyards are eighty percent located on

hillsides, set between the sea and the mountains. “These

are the sun-filled lands where Arnaud de Villeneuve

invented fortification of wines in the 13th century. The diversity

of vineyard sites here has attracted investors such as Michel

Chapoutier, the Grier family from South Africa and Napa Valley

winemaker David Swift Phinney in Maury, which can open up

new markets for us”, explains Eric Aracil, export manager at the

Roussillon wine marketing board, CIVR.

AN HISTORIC VINEYARD WITH

A CONQUERING SPIRIT

“Our reputation stems from our long history. In the Jonquères

d’Oriola family, I represent the 27 th generation”, says William

Jonquères d’Oriola, owner of the estate in Corneilla del Vercol,

near Perpignan. He is proud to have an urban winery in the village

where he owns the impressive eponymous chateau.

The Jonquères d’Oriola family is extremely prominent in equestrian

and fencing circles and has won numerous medals, including

Olympic gold. William Jonquères d’Oriola, however, feels that in

the wine world, you have to stay low key and prove yourself. “After

working for France Boissons, a major on-trade distributor, and

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 41


ROUSSILLON

– BRANDS –

The entrance to Château de Corneilla in Corneilla del Vercol was built

in the 13 th century by the Knights Templar and is the historic family

estate of the Jonquères d’Oriola family

touring the vineyards of the world, I took over the reins

of the estate in 2010. I expanded it from 58 to 95 hectares

spanning 6 appellations south of Perpignan, in Collioure

and Roussillon”, he recounts.

Supporting him is his father, a trained winemaker who

pioneered use of refrigeration in the winery. William has

developed the estate’s range of wines, placing them in

strategic markets. “We had to modernise our production

facilities. Renovation work in the winery, to the tune

of €1 million, will be completed by 2023. My father

developed boxed wine sales. I am promoting bottled

sales in the hospitality industry and wine merchants. We

produce 700,000 bottles annually, 60% of them shipped

to export markets”.

This has been achieved by crafting a range of wine styles

and developing strong brands. William has prioritised

dry wines, producing only 100 hl of Muscat de Rivesaltes

‘tuilé’ in good vintages. His distribution is 80% geared

to hospitality outlets and 20% wine shops, though he

also sells 6 wines to local supermarkets. “With the Gris-

Gris brand created in 2011, a third of rosé output, I have

developed markets in the Benelux countries, Germany and

France in pubs and on private beaches”.

Stéphane Zanella, managing director of Vignerons Catalans

RUSSIA, A KEY MARKET FOR NEGOCIANTS

In Perpignan, Vignerons Catalans is one of the region’s

long-standing players. Founded in 1964, the co-operativestructured

company combines 8 large co-operative wineries.

Vignerons Catalans was responsible for marketing the first

bottled wines from Roussillon in French supermarkets. Its

managing director, Stéphane Zanella, says the group posts

turnover of €30 million, €11 million from exports. It is the

largest dry wine company in the area.

In collaboration with the wine and spirits trading company

La Martiniquaise, the business is divided into three areas.

“In the French market, we have long-standing ties with

super/hypermarkets. Recently, we have been expanding

our sales in the on-trade and wine merchants. The drop

in wine production in Roussillon has led us to start

promoting our wines to wholesalers, wine merchants and

key accounts”, explains Zanella.

The company’s second line of business is exports. For the

past year and a half, Vignerons Catalans has been ramping

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ROUSSILLON

– BRANDS –

William and his father Philippe who has passed over

the reins of the estate to him

up its presence in 40 countries, including the Benelux region,

Germany, the United Kingdom and China. “After Europe, we are

focusing increasingly on exports to Russia and Eastern Europe,

where we expect to sell 2 million bottles this year”. Here, Vignerons

Catalans markets significant volumes in all three colours in Russian

supermarkets, to key accounts and European companies. The

company entered the market ten years ago and has a permanent

Russian representative in the country, which is essential for working

with 20,000 shops nationwide.

A third focus of development is the United Kingdom, which has

been growing for two years. “The UK experiences cycles. The profile

of our wines has evolved and there is room for our PGI Côtes-

Catalanes and Côtes-Vermeille wines, which suit English tastes”,

says Zanella. The regional wines offer the kind of value of money

that allows them to compete with Spanish, Italian and New World

wines. “We still have to conquer Latin America, which is looking for

complementary ranges, and can clock up hundreds of thousands of

bottles for us”, believes Zanella.

THE HIGHLY SOUGHT-AFTER ASIAN

AND US MARKETS

The United States and China are the main growth drivers for

beverage alcohol, accounting for two-thirds of global consumption.

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 43


ROUSSILLON

– BRANDS –

Located near the fortified castle of Salses, the present-day winery

was founded in 2007 by the Salses and Rivesaltes co-operative group,

subsequently joined by Pézilla la Rivière and Corneilla la Rivière

The colossal winery at Arnaud de Villeneuve in Rivesaltes

The US market is mature and has a soft spot for the

Languedoc-Roussillon appellations, but it is dominated

by companies like Michel Chapoutier, Gérard Bertrand

and Domaine Lafage. “In the US, we launched sweet wine

sales two years ago. We market our entire Tradition Muscat

de Rivesaltes range (Garnet, Amber, Tuilé) in vintage-style

packaging in this market. We released a fashionable dry

rosé in Fresh Markets in Florida”, says Gaëtan Pierre, export

director at the Arnaud de Villeneuve winery in Rivesaltes.

In New York, William Jonquères d’Oriola’s Muscat de

Rivesaltes tuilé opened up a micro-market, paving the way

for him to introduce American consumers to his dry wines.

“The reason we are still here is because our sweet wines

are a defining feature. We sell them in the North American

market and in the Benelux countries”, says Guillaume

Arbus, head of sales at the Arnaud de Villeneuve winery.

Market demand in Japan and China focuses on mature

vintages, and the Arnaud de Villeneuve winery is a longstanding

producer. “In Singapore, I market an amber

1965 Rivesaltes, the Republic of Singapore’s date of

independence”, says Gaëtan Pierre. The winery now

directs the Asian market towards its Côtes du Roussillon

and Côtes du Roussillon Village offerings. “Through our

importer in Shanghai, we are able to promote our entire

range in the Chinese market, which absorbs 18,000 of the

40,000 bottles of our red RD 900 Côtes du Roussillon

Village label. In Japan, we distribute our Viognier and

Chardonnay wines through Seijo Ishii stores”, adds Pierre.

Recent research by the IWSR, a global expert in wine

and spirits consumption patterns, forecasts 43% growth

in 2021 in the ready-to-drink category, primarily due to

the United States, which is the segment’s leading market

worldwide. “At Vignerons Catalans, our development

strategy will focus on sparkling wines in cans. The format

is very widespread in the US, where 500 million cans were

sold in 2020. We are going to leverage growth in the readyto-drink

category with sweetened whites and rosés”, says

Stéphane Zanella.

This is a wise move considering that carbonated drinks

are in the process of becoming the second largest beverage

alcohol category in the US. The growth of cocktails in

cans was boosted by lockdown, corroborating Vignerons

Catalans’ decision to approach this test market.

44 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


Château de Corneilla in Corneilla del Vercol, Roussillon

ROUSSILLON

– BRANDS –

The Cavalcade label is a nod to the

family’s passion for horses and horse

riding, right up to Olympic level

Château de Corneilla in Corneilla del Vercol with its

distinctive red bricks

The estate cellars at Clos de Paulilles

Estate vineyards at Clos de Paulilles and views over the namesake

bay, between Collioure and Banyuls

The impressive large wooden tuns at Maison Cazes in Rivesaltes

A Mourvèdre vineyard on Aspres plateau


ROUSSILLON

– BRANDS –

Lionel Lavail, managing director

of Maison Cazes in Rivesaltes

FROM LEGENDARY AGE-WORTHY

POURS TO MIXOLOGY

Companies producing Muscat de Rivesaltes have available volumes

and mixology could open up new markets. “The Roussillon

marketing board is targeting this market with Muscat de Rivesaltes

and Rivesaltes ambré. We have launched two cocktails – a Muscat

Lemon, with 50% Muscat, lemonade and a dash of lemon at

7-8°ABV, which delivers genuine aromatic pleasure. And a Muscat

Ginger in the same vein as the Moscow Mule with a dash of lime”,

explains Éric Aracil.

The mature vintages help boost Roussillon’s dessert wine credentials

as legendary wines for laying down. The Arnaud de Villeneuve

winery has realised the potential of differentiating between the

two. The Rivesaltes co-operative hives off certain vintages like the

1936 for collectors. “This 85-year-old amber Rivesaltes attracts wine

merchants looking for real gems that offer competitive price points

for the quality”, points out Guillaume Arbus.

The winery has also reviewed its Tradition range of AOP Muscat de

Rivesaltes based on 1930s marketing cues that enable it to approach

fashionable pubs and cocktail bars. Back in Rivesaltes, 15% of its

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ROUSSILLON

– BRANDS –

production is sweet. At Domaine Cazes, managing director

Lionel Lavail says, “We have a collection of 74 vintages.

Dessert wines represent 20% of our production and it’s a

market we will never let go of”.

Roussillon has the lowest yields in France and its wines

are exported to 85 countries. “Roussillon offers one of the

broadest arrays of styles in the world. Muscat de Rivesaltes

could capitalise on opportunities in the mixology industry,

export markets included”, concludes Aracil.

FOCUSING ON ORGANIC WINES

AND WINE TOURISM

Maison Cazes, which belongs to international group

Advini, is rightly deemed to be one of Roussillon’s driving

forces, pioneering wine tourism and biodynamics in

France. Its dry and sweet wines are served at Michelinstarred

tables around the world. With 330 hectares of

vines farmed organically, biodynamically and according

to HVE 3 standards, Cazes estates own Clos de Paulilles

near Collioure, Domaine du Chêne in the Aspres and Mas

Latour Lavail along the terraces of the river Têt.

A leading light for organic wine, at the cutting edge of

innovation, the company has both Ecocert and Biodivin

certification, and is also certified in Switzerland, the

United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil, South Korea and

China.

“We are the leading Roussillon company in the restaurant

and travel retail sectors. We are due to launch the Cap

au Sud brand in supermarkets, which is a range of three

dry organic and biodynamic Pays d’Oc wines, and Grand

Cap, a Côtes du Roussillon Village. These are sun-filled,

full-bodied, Catalan wines, with a consumer-focused app

inspired by the lunar calendar”, says Domaine Cazes’

managing director.

The company aims to showcase Catalan lifestyle at its

organic ‘canteen’ La Table d’Aimé in Rivesaltes and its

guest rooms at Mas Latour Lavail. “At Domaine du Grand

Chêne, a 35-hectare property at the foot of Mount Canigou,

we are converting the vineyards over to biodynamic and

plan to make natural wines under the Côtes du Roussillon

Village Les Aspres appellation”, says Lavail. And that’s an

offer the Chinese are not likely to pass up on.

The entrance to Maison Cazes in Rivesaltes,

where wine enthusiasts meet up at La Table d’Aimé

for lunch

The setting for the iconic AOP Côtes du Roussillon Villages

Le Credo label by Maison Cazes

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 47


The Rock of Vergisson

BURGUNDY

– VINEYARDS –

Understanding the complexity

of the Mâconnais

In the far South of Burgundy, between the Chalonnais and Beaujolais, is an area

home to 43 appellations, including 5 Crus and 1 er Crus. Renowned for offering the

best value for money among Burgundy whites, there is an endless range of styles,

extending to reds and Crémants. Alain Echalier explains more.

By Alain Echalier - Photographs: courtesy of the estates - ©Aurélien Ibanez

48 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


BURGUNDY

– VINEYARDS –

The Rocks of Solutré and Vergisson

Geographically, the Mâconnais is situated between the Grosne

valley in the West and the Saône valley in the East. Fifty

kilometres long and 15 wide, the area boasts 6 hill chains

peaking at 400 m above sea level, rising to 500 m for

the Rocks of Solutré and Vergisson. These two limestone

escarpments, used by mankind since prehistoric times, often encapsulate

the region’s picture-postcard image.

AN AREA WITH A COMPLEX TOPOGRAPHY

The soils where the vines grow are limestone, sand or clay, with stony

scree of varying sizes. At the bottom of the slopes are silt or marly soils,

and in the far southern tip, near Beaujolais, the soils are clayey-siliceous.

The climate is temperate, with an oceanic and southern influence.

Although there is a general trend towards global warming, farming’s

main stumbling blocks over the past few years have been the sudden

weather events. Even though vines are also exposed, they remain the

region’s primary activity.

DOMAINE RAPHAEL SALLET:

THE NUANCES OF MÂCON-VILLAGE

Along with his wife Marylène, Raphaël Sallet runs an estate he created

35 years ago. Starting with 0.6 hectares, he explains how he has

gradually planted vines and now manages 30 hectares. His modest

explanation is, “land was available”. The farm is located in Uchizy, in

the North of the area, near Tournus and a village called... Chardonnay.

Although the area’s viticulture is based on its namesake grape variety,

Sallet smiles when asked if it was named after the village. “We now

know that the grape variety may have more distant origins, and the

name of the village apparently means places with thistles. But the

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 49


BURGUNDY

– VINEYARDS –

Raphaël Sallet

ambiguity is amusing, so why put a stop to it?” Most of the wines

are Mâcon-Villages. Sallet explains the nuances: this northerly area

produces a white wine called Mâcon blanc or Mâcon Chardonnay.

But when the juice comes from one of the 27 villages where the

soils are a little more interesting, a complementary geographical

designation is added. These include Mâcon-Azé and Mâcon-Bray,

through to Mâcon-Vinzelles. He produces primarily Mâcon-Uchizy.

Production specifications, which are slightly more restrictive in

terms of yield, add to the intensity of the wines with a geographical

designation. And if ever juice from several of the listed villages is

used, it is referred to as Mâcon-Villages (in the plural).

Sallet likes energetic wines, with a good acid-alcohol balance.

Due to climate change, he harvests very early in the morning. In

just 2 hours the grapes are in the press, and the metal tanks are

temperature-controlled. But what is the difference between his

wines and Chablis? “A Mâcon generally features more fruit, but

more importantly, it is now much more affordable”.

DOMAINE PERRAUD:

CONVERTING TO ORGANIC

A little farther South, at the aptly-named ‘La Roche Vineuse’, is Jean-

Christophe Perraud’s estate. Created in 2005 from family vineyards

passed down through 4 generations, it currently covers 37 hectares.

Perraud sells a lot of Mâcon-Villages. He explains that in the past,

most winegrowers sold in bulk under the appellation, enabling

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BURGUNDY

– VINEYARDS –

Jean-Christophe Perraud

shippers to use wines from several villages. The use of village names

is concurrent with the advent of bottling by the growers themselves.

Perraud bottles almost everything on his farm, but Mâcon-Villages

is more renowned among his trade-only clientele than Mâcon-La

Roche Vineuse. Conversely, he also has vines in Fuissé, which is

better known and he thus produces a Mâcon-Fuissé.

Perraud uses new barrels to mature some of his wines for 12 to

24 months. However, the aim is not to produce heavily oaked

wines, as the format is the 600-litre demi-muid JP3 which provides

less wine-wood contact surface. “Tastes are changing”, he says.

“Gone are the days when there was high demand for very oaky

wines among the English-speaking world”. Neither does he stir his

wines to develop fat. Quite the opposite, in fact. Leaving them to

rest guarantees that their acidity will be preserved. “You have to be

able to smell the wine”, he says with disarming simplicity.

The estate is being converted to organic. In 2021, despite very

challenging conditions, with rain and often cold weather, they

managed to cope and forego the use of chemicals. And that was no

mean feat.

VIGNERONS DES TERRES SECRÈTES:

120 FAMILIES UNITED IN PRISSÉ

Charles Lambolley is the marketing director of this co-operative

whose membership embraces 120 families. The winery is based

in Prissé, in the northern part of the Saint-Véran appellation.

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BURGUNDY

– VINEYARDS –

Charles Lambolley from the Terres Secrètes winery

The cooperative’s vineyards cover a total 900 hectares,

spanning a range of appellations such as Mâcon-Villages

and Pouilly-Fuissé. However, alone it accounts for 40%

of Saint-Véran production. The co-operative supplies

60 single-vineyard labels, representing 45% of output.

“It’s a growing trend”, says Lambolley, “but not a new

one. We have been making single-vineyard wines since

the 1990s”.

The Saint-Véran appellation was created in 1971, well

after Mâcon. It’s a Cru, so you can expect a little more

noticeable intensity than with a Mâcon-Villages. But the

appellation covers two areas, on either side of Pouilly

and Fuissé. To the North, where the winery is located,

the soils are chalkier, and therefore offer up tension

and minerality. To the South are the first pockets of

granite and the wines show a little more fat. The market

recognises the Cru classification – a straightforward

Mâcon-Villages sells for around €7 to 8, whereas a Saint-

Véran ranges from €8 to 15, depending on the age of

the vines and the complexity of the wine. In some of the

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BURGUNDY

– VINEYARDS –

top-ranking blocks, 1 er Cru classification is ongoing, and

Lambolley hopes it will reach completion in maybe 2 to

3 years’ time.

In 2016, the co-operative winery brought together a

group of 20 young winegrowers to create an iconic label,

the winery’s ultimate offering. Blocks from 5 different

vineyard sites are selected for the strong minerality and

structure they instil in the wines. The soils are ploughed

by horse, excess grapes are removed by cluster thinning,

the fruit is picked by hand, and the wines are neither

fined nor filtered. The overriding ambition here is to do

everything to perfection. The resultant label has been

named Révélis, a micro-batch of 1,500 bottles. The

producers’ pride is tangible.

A group of young winegrowers presenting the Révélis label

DOMAINE DE LA FEUILLARDE:

AN ALMOST UNBROKEN EXPANSE OF VINES

Also in Prissé is Domaine de la Feuillarde. Owned by the

same family for four generations, 18 of its 20 hectares

under vine are in a single block surrounding the buildings.

The Thomases, who mainly produce Saint-Véran with

a little Pouilly-Fuissé, point out that the reason Saint-

Véran is generally finer than a Mâcon, even a Villages, is

because the soils are slightly shallower – the bedrock is

not far below the surface. Grass cover is deliberately used

in every other vineyard row to manage water resources

and the soils are mainly hoed to limit the use of weed

killers. Although the property is not organic, it is not far

off. For the last five years, green harvesting has not been

necessary because yields are naturally low. 2021 proved to

be a particularly difficult year, with frost, hail and mildew!

They’ll be happy if they make 20% of the usual volume,

and they may not even have enough wine to tide them

over until 2022.

Low yields do not preclude a variety of labels. The

Thomases make three: ‘Tradition’, which is bottled early;

Vieilles Vignes, where the wines are matured for 9 months

on the lees; and ‘Prestige’, matured in 500-litre barrels

made from Allier oak, which leaves less of a stamp on

the wines. The Thomases, who take part in numerous

exhibitions, sell a lot directly to private customers and

the restaurant trade. The market positioning of the Saint-

Thomas family

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BURGUNDY

– VINEYARDS –

Véran appellation is perfect for many restaurants. On the

whole, they say, every winegrower here has their own

distribution network. Unlike neighbouring Pouilly-Fuissé,

where negociants are very active, as a young appellation

Saint-Véran has allowed winegrowers to establish their

own, individual customer base.

M. Mollard, the cellar master at the Vigne Blanche winery in Viré Cléssé

In Viré Cléssé, Chardonnay is best appreciated when fully ripe

CAVE DE LA VIGNE BLANCHE:

BOUTIQUE-SCALE VIRÉ CLÉSSÉ

The village of Cléssé is home to a small co-operative

winery with around fifteen grape suppliers, who harvest

fruit from 90 hectares of vines. Located in the middle

of the Mâconnais, the villages of Viré and Cléssé, which

have long been close allies, secured their own stand-alone

appellation in 1999. The area is very small and produces

only 25,000 hl a year. But it does have a micro-climate

and some specific features, explains the cellar master

Mr. Mollard.

The rainfall regime, for example, is different. Also, the local

custom is to harvest a little later than in the surrounding

villages. Consequently, the wines are a little rounder,

weigh in at 14% ABV and have around 4 g/l of residual

sugar, whereas a classic Mâcon is more 1 g/l. Although

acidity is slightly less pronounced because of this, and

winemakers who buy for the trade often require tartaric

acid to be added, the winery’s cellar master deliberately

takes a more hands-off approach. The appellation style

is at stake! The difference between a Mâcon and a Viré-

Cléssé is all the more marked in cool vintages, which

will likely be the case for the 2021s. Also, some blocks

are planted with a particular grape variety – Chardonnay

Muscaté. The heirloom cultivar is very fragile at flowering,

but if this coincides with good weather, the juice lends the

wines a faint Muscat-touch on the palate, making them

incredibly aromatic. In recent years, the warm spring of

2018 reproduced these sensory characters well.

Some areas promote the onset of noble rot, allowing sweet

Chardonnays to be produced. Overripe grapes affected by

botrytis are locally referred to as ‘levroutés’, because their

skin is similar to that of a hare’s coat. Use of the term has

now spread and it designates sweet wines with up to 18 g/l

of residual sugar, even when there is no noble rot.

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BURGUNDY

– VINEYARDS –

Clémence Vandenbroucke sells wines for Domaine Sangouard-Guyot

DOMAINE SANGOUARD-GUYOT:

POUILLY-FUISSÉ, THE STAR APPELLATION

Clémence Vandenbroucke, who markets Pierre-Emmanuel

and Catherine Sangouard-Guyot’s wines, tells us about

the estate. Located in Vergisson, it has 15 hectares of

Chardonnay. Eleven of them are set in Pouilly-Fuissé, in

some ways the region’s star appellation area. The claylimestone

soil, as encapsulated by the Rocks of Solutré and

Vergisson, lends the wines their specific minerality. They

enjoy a long-standing reputation, promoted by negociants

who were quick to successfully market the wines abroad,

particularly in the United States. The style is generally

slightly oakier than Mâconnais wines, and it went down

well with English-speaking imbibers when barrels were

very much in vogue.

Vandenbroucke explains that the estate makes three

different labels. ‘Authentique’ is made in tanks while

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BURGUNDY

– VINEYARDS –

Domaine Sangouard-Guyot

Patrick Luquet

Ancestrale comes from grapes grown on the grandfather’s

block of vines. It is matured in 3 to 5 year-old barrels,

hence the very soft oakiness on the palate. ‘Quintessence’,

conversely, is made in barrels under three years old

SG4. Demand is high. 60% of the wines are shipped to

America and depletion rates are high. A Pouilly-Fuissé

typically keeps longer than a Mâcon, reaching its peak

after around 3 to 5 years, slightly more for Quintessence;

a Mâcon peaks at around 2 to 4 years. And although

Pouilly-Fuissé has a price tag of about €20, slightly higher

than a Mâcon or even a Saint-Véran, it is still much less

expensive than wines from the Côte de Beaune, quips

Vandenbroucke.

DOMAINE LUQUET IN FUISSÉ:

THE TERROIR FOCUS

In the heart of the village of Fuissé is the Luquet family

estate. Founded in 1878, it now covers 30 hectares and

the family produces all the region’s appellations, with the

exception of Viré-Cléssé. Among its 7 hectares of Pouilly-

Fuissé, Patrick Luquet explains that about 1 hectare has

just been classified as 1 er Cru. After 13 years of studies,

INAO awarded 1 er Cru status to some of the appellation’s

prime sites in 2020. Obviously specifications are also

more restrictive – yields, for example, must be lower to

concentrate the juice. It is also a source of pride and peer

recognition for the winegrowers in the Mâconnais, says

Luquet. The prices of the wines show consistency, and

some of the estate’s customers have been coming for

several generations. The Luquets also make some Pouilly-

Loché, a diminutive appellation which, like its neighbour

Pouilly-Vinzelles, lies to the far East of Pouilly-Fuissé.

The trend for oaked wines emerged in the 1990s to meet

demand from America, but neither Patrick’s grandfather

nor his father went down that route. He personally did,

but in moderation, for just 6 of his 17 labels. Oak may

make life easier, but it sometimes masks terroir effect.

Although they are not certified organic, Luquet wines are

all but. Lucquet uses only a modicum of inputs, with no

yeast, no enzymes or tartaric acid. He supports the idea of

displaying this on the labels, and has not even recruited

the help of a winemaking laboratory.

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Harvesting by hand in the vineyards of Domaine Perraud

The winery for Révélis

Casks of Pouilly Fuissé at Domaine Sangouard-Guyot

A tasting truck at Domaine Luquet

HOW ABOUT THE REDS?

Prior to the phylloxera crisis, the entire Mâconnais region was

mainly planted to Gamay, but red wine is virtually non-existent

nowadays. In fact, the best wines are to be found in the North and

South of the area. In the North, the soils and climate that are most

similar to the rest of Burgundy are suitable for growing Pinot Noir,

spawning a regional appellation – Bourgogne Pinot Noir. Even

though the Mâcon appellation allows red wine to be made from

Pinot Noir, the global reputation of Burgundy and its iconic grape

variety take commercial precedence.

To the South, the soil, which is starting to morph into granite –

Beaujolais is not far away – is suitable for growing Gamay. In this

case, growers append the red Mâcon appellation. But few of them

actually make it and many admit that when their vines are too old,

they will replace them with... Chardonnay.

The main takeaway from this under-the-radar region is that it

offers a complete range of Chardonnays, from very simple pours

to the most complex. All of them, though, share the same great

freshness and some of them have unique aromas, bearing little

or no resemblance to the classic whites of the Côte de Beaune.

Also, the wines here are still affordable, but that’s one piece of

information we should keep to ourselves!

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A panoramic vista of the village of Montjean-sur-Loire,

the vineyards and Pincourt, a former lime elevator

LOIRE VALLEY

– STYLES –

The Loire Valley’s secret

world of off-dry wines

Vouvray is one of the brightest stars in the constellation of Loire Valley wines.

However, one of the defining features of this extensive region is its ability to

produce wines with residual sugar that have become popular with today’s

consumers. The highly fashionable Cabernet and Rosé d’Anjou have carved out

a place for themselves as the region’s largest rosé exports, validating

the success of three outstanding off-dry wines.

By Jean-Paul Burias - Photographs: courtesy of the estates - ©Jean-Yves Bardin - ©Christophe Gagneux

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LOIRE VALLEY

– STYLES –

The untamed, sometimes treacherous Loire River

forms a visual focal point. When it breaks

its banks, floods the surrounding areas and

reveals its amazing sandbanks, it creates a

lasting impression. Meandering through

landscapes bathed in almost perfect light, past chateaux

and magnificent historic monuments, some of the

1,006 kilometres of France’s longest river lie at the heart

of a wine region which can produce over 80 appellations

of red, rosé, dry white, sweet, semi-sparkling and Crémant

wines due to its outstanding diversity of vineyard sites.

The list also includes more under-the-radar off-dry wines

which have garnered incredible success in France and

abroad, both white and rosé. Their popularity stems

from the distinctive features of their vineyard sites and

grape varieties, ranging from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet-

Sauvignon, Côt, Gamay, Grolleau, Grolleau Gris and

Pineau d’Aunis for Rosé d’Anjou and Cabernet Franc and

Cabernet-Sauvignon for the Cabernet d’Anjou to Chenin

for the Vouvray. These prime assets are coupled with

expertise and proficiency in winemaking. Fine-tuning

balance in a wine marked by the natural sweetness of the

grape requires freshness and acidity. Without this acidity,

the sweetness would dominate and the wine would lose

its palatability. Cabernet Franc preserves this acidity. For

off-dry white wines, Chenin is characterised by remarkable

acidity and freshness. “The wine region is located in the

northern part of France, which from a weather perspective

implies cool nights and cooler summers”, says Pierre-Jean

Sauvion, chairman of the communications committee at

the Loire Valley wine marketing board (InterLoire) and

winemaker at Maison Sauvion. “The weather makes it

possible to produce wines with inherent freshness because

high temperatures tend to strip wines of their acidity”.

The following are some of the Loire Valley gems that

effortlessly demonstrate how residual sugar can be an

invaluable asset.

A glass amidst Coteaux-du-Layon

FAMILLE BOUGRIER: A LEGACY OF HISTORY

The Bougrier family is the affectionate custodian of an

estate which perfectly epitomises a business handed

down over the years with passion and talent. Since 1885,

through 6 generations, the Bougrier family has displayed

Nicolas Bougrier and Lionel Métaireau, the cellar master at

Caves de la Nantaise

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LOIRE VALLEY

– STYLES –

Nicolas, Sophie and Noël Bougrier

its commitment to stringency and excellence in its vineyards and

its business making and selling wines. In 1988, fifth-generation

winegrower Noël Bougrier took over the family firm and gave it a

new dimension. He extended the estate’s coverage to embrace the

entire Loire Valley, successively creating three wineries – in Touraine

in 1995, in Anjou in 2000 and in Muscadet in 2008. The winemaking

facilities promote production of top appellations, particularly off-dry

wines showing intense freshness and substantial aromatic finesse.

Bougrier was joined by his son Nicolas in 2015 for the winemaking

side, followed by his daughter Sophie, tasked with marketing and

communications. “We are fortunate in the Loire Valley to be able to

offer a wide variety of wines, whites, rosés, reds and quality sparkling

wines, ranging from dry to sweet”, says Nicolas Bougrier. “Our

strength is our terroir, which lends a common thread to all our wines

and a freshness that gives us our identity”. The Vouvray appellation

is one of the estate’s mainstays, fuelling the success of its still wines

in export markets with its soft style just below the off-dry profile

in terms of residual sugar. The estate has developed new labels to

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LOIRE VALLEY

– STYLES –

embrace every style of Chenin blanc, from dry, off-dry,

soft and sweet wines to a boutique label of sparkling

Vouvray in recent years. “Momentum increased for our

rosés and Cabernet d’Anjou in 2000 when we created our

Caves de l’Angevine grape harvesting facility”, adds Sophie

Bougrier. “With our team, we worked vintage after vintage

to develop our styles offering the best balance between

acidity, freshness and fruit. There is still a long-standing

and very sizeable French market, but in export markets

we are also witnessing genuine legitimacy for the Anjou

identity which has successfully carved out a place for itself

internationally”.

DOMAINE DELAUNAY:

IN ROSÉ D’ANJOU HEAVEN

Life in Montjean-sur-Loire has long followed the tempo

set by the river and of an activity that made it the

leading port on the Loire in the 19th century. At that

time, growing hemp and producing some twenty lime

kilns required sustained transportation by boat. For four

generations, this typical village along the banks of the

Loire has been home to Domaine Delaunay which boasts

57 hectares of outstanding vineyard sites over a mosaic of

soils and landforms, underpinned by a felicitous ocean

climate. Good sunshine and low temperature variations

promote a broad range of wines. These natural assets lend

the off-dry wines remarkable freshness, fruitiness and

roundness. “For our off-dry wines, we aim for fruitiness

with slight acidity to produce a fresh, soft rosé that is not

overly sweet”, stresses Marie-Céline Boré-Delaunay, one of

the estate’s three partners alongside her brothers Alain and

Pascal Delaunay. “Harvesting before the fruit over-ripens

allows us to retain freshness and fruit, while temperaturecontrolled

winemaking preserves the fruit and avoids

oxidation”. For the varietal range, the Cabernet Franc used

for the Cabernet d’Anjou is coupled with Grolleau and

Gamay for the Rosé d’Anjou.

Pascal and Marie-Céline and Alain, the partners at Domaine Delaunay,

a family-run farm for four generations

VIGNOBLE PIN:

WHERE CHENIN TAKES CENTRE STAGE

In the heart of Anjou, the sloping hillsides unfurl the

purity of this superb 50-hectare vineyard. Here, a family

of winegrowers has been nurturing the art of excellence

Ludovic Pin of the eponymous estate

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LOIRE VALLEY

– STYLES –

for four generations. “The defining feature of the Cheninbased

off-dry wines is not their substantial minerality”,

comments Ludovic Pin. “The harvest date is key to

producing wines with aromatic finesse and a hue that lends

them beautiful freshness, revolving around the Cabernet-

Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc varieties for the rosés and

Chenin for the off-dry whites. Although consumers shy

away from sweet wines, rounded, fruity wines with lovely

freshness are in great demand”. Their popularity is stoked

by the location of the vineyard, which reduces the high

temperatures that lessen acidity, and by the clay and schist

soil that instils freshness.

David Grellier with Jérémie Papin (right), the cellar master

at Château La Varière

CHÂTEAU LA VARIÈRE: THE ANJOU FLAGSHIP

Nestled in France’s ‘Valley of the Kings’, Château La

Varière has been demonstrating the excellence of one

of the oldest properties in Anjou since the 15 th century.

This extensive 150-hectare vineyard belongs to Orchidées

Maisons de Vin, whose estates, chateaux and companies

boast a presence throughout the Loire. Château La Varière

produces wonderful wines under the Anjou, Anjou-Villages

Brissac, Cabernet and Rosé d’Anjou, Rosé de Loire, Coteaux

de l’Aubance, Coteaux du Layon, Bonnezeaux and Quarts

de Chaume appellations. “Our challenge is to promote

and boost recognition of Loire Valley wines in France

and abroad, by developing a high-end range with off-dry

wines at its core”, explains the chateau’s technical director

David Grellier. “The main grape varieties, Cabernet Franc,

Cabernet-Sauvignon and Chenin, are key components

of the typical and remarkably appealing off-dry wines”.

Certified High Environmental Value Level 3, this excellent

estate is one of the cornerstones of the reputation of Anjou

wines in France and globally, whose success stems from a

famous Cabernet planted on Anjou gravel soils.

The vineyards at Château La Varière

DOMAINE BOUTET-SAULNIER:

HISTORIC OFF-DRY WINES

In the heart of the Chartier valley to the East of Vouvray,

this property covers 13 hectares. Christophe Boutet has

been at the estate’s helm since 1997 and was joined by his

wife Astrid in 2012. In their third year of conversion to

organic farming, the two passionate winegrowers produce

two off-dry wines – Harmonie and Le Clos Dubois – on

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LOIRE VALLEY

– STYLES –

Christophe Boutet of Domaine Boutet Saulnier

one of the estate’s iconic plots where the soils have been tilled with

a draught horse for the past 9 years. “Off-dry wines are one of the

Vouvray appellation’s long-standing offerings”, says Christophe

Boutet. “Generating 15% of total turnover, it is an interesting way

of approaching Chenin with ease. Residual sugars vary depending

on the vintage from 16 to 23 grammes, the aim being to achieve a

balance between sweetness and acidity”. Astrid Boutet adds, “Offdry

wines are particularly interesting from a culinary perspective,

as there are so many possible combinations with cold meats, white

meats, cheeses or even spicy and sweet and sour dishes”.

DOMAINE DU BUISSON: THE CHARM OF ANJOU

Along the Anjou wine and village route, the hillsides overlooking

the Loire are home to Cabernet Franc and Cabernet-Sauvignon

vines belonging to Domaine du Buisson. For a century, the estate

has been producing a subtle yet compelling rendition of Anjou

Cabernet. At the cutting edge of technology, the estate has a

winery fitted with temperature-controlled tanks that optimise

the winemaking process and offer thermal inertia that facilitates

ageing. “At Domaine du Buisson, we produce two rosé wines”,

says Nicolas Sécher. “Grown on clay-limestone soil, the Anjou rosé

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LOIRE VALLEY

– STYLES –

Nicolas Sécher in his vineyard

is a Gamay with fine floral notes and strawberry and blackberry aromas.

The Cabernet d’Anjou, with its deep colour and lovely salmon hues, shows

distinctive citrus and raspberry notes. The two wines are in great demand,

especially in export markets”.

DOMAINE DES AUBUISIÈRES, BERNARD FOUQUET:

SUPPLE AND SILKY OFF-DRY WINES

A new chapter full of promise opened this year at Domaine des Aubuisières.

Since he arrived in 1983, Bernard Fouquet has made this beautiful 30-hectare

family estate a Vouvray benchmark. On August 1, Charles Lesaffre partnered

with Bernard Fouquet. “Chenin gives us supple, silky balance between the

sweetness in our wines and the acidity stemming from the grape variety and the

clay-siliceous soils”, he explains. “This combination yields fresh, fruity wines

with great tension”. The estate has taken on board new drinking habits focusing

more on wines with a little less sugar than the previously fashionable off-dry

offerings. “The trend for healthy eating is encouraging consumers to pay more

attention to sugar concentration”, continues Lesaffre. “So we now market dry,

soft Vouvray with a little residual sugar. The fat naturally occurring in Chenin

allows us to soften the lower sugar levels”. This new, tenser balance is very

popular in export markets, where sales have been increasing apace, particularly

in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

DOMAINE LOIZEAU-CLAIN: A WINNING TRIO

Thierry and Dominique Loizeau and Anthony Clain are the three managers of

Domaine Loizeau-Clain. They combine their efforts and expertise to promote

the wines of the Loire Valley, particularly the off-dry offerings. Nestled on

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LOIRE VALLEY

– STYLES –

the border of the Anjou-Villages-Brissac and Saumur

appellations, the estate is a key player in the region and

produces a superb Cabernet d’Anjou Les Jauraux. “This

is a Cabernet Franc with a pale copper pink colour”,

describes Thierry Loizeau. “It has a distinctive lively nose

of ripe red berry fruits and fine spices”. On the palate, the

appeal of this well-balanced, crisp rosé is its compelling,

fruit-forward attack and its lively, fresh and fairly light

mouthfeel. Capturing today’s zeitgeist, this outstanding

label is perfect for an aperitif with friends but also pairs

with many dishes on a gourmet menu.

IN THE SPIRIT OF THE TIMES

The Loire Valley’s off-dry wines may well have a longstanding

history, they are also perfectly suited to the

expectations of modern-day consumers who have a thirst

for generous, user-friendly wines that are pleasant to

drink. According to OpinionWay, exports continue to

grow, accounting for 20% of sales, particularly in the

three main markets that are the United States, the United

Kingdom and Germany. The perceived quality of the

wines goes hand in hand with good knowledge of the

three appellations – Vouvray, Cabernet and Rosé d’Anjou

– by the foreign trade. “Originally, the French market was

mainly familiar with Vouvray’s quality sparkling wines,

whereas still wines were shipped overseas”, comments

Nicolas Bougrier, managing director of Domaine Bougrier.

“Now, we sell both categories in France and abroad.

Chenin Blanc has been a very fashionable grape variety

for the last ten years and I don’t think that will change”.

These advantages should allow the region’s off-dry wines

to develop even more in export markets. “Their success

can be ascribed to the quality of Loire businesses, who

are talented winegrowers and winemakers”, sums up

Pierre-Jean Sauvion. “Over the years, a significant amount

of work has been done to achieve balance and we now

refer more to fruitiness and satisfying flavours and less to

sweetness”. Also, good value for money and accessibility

mean that the wines can be enjoyed on any occasion –

they work well as an aperitif, for impromptu occasions,

with spicy or elaborate dishes, or with gourmet platters in

wine bars. And that level of flexibility is priceless in this

day and age!

Charles Lesaffre, the partner winegrower at Domaine des Aubuisières

Bernard Fouquet, tasting wines as they mature in barrels

Thierry Loizeau at an exhibition

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SPAIN

– GRAPES –

Valencia: Fallas, paella…

and Bobal

Anyone with even a scant knowledge of the world and is familiar with the

Valencia region in Spain, knows that it faces the Mediterranean Sea.

Its main defining features are the ‘Fallas’ celebration and paella.

But perhaps many who know or have visited the region, heavily influenced

by ‘Riojitis’ or ‘Riberitis’, may be unaware of the grape variety native

to this eastern Levante region with which many of its wines are made.

Read on to find out more about Bobal.

By Santiago Jimenez - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

Finca San Blas boasts some

incredible old vines

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SPAIN

– GRAPES –

A beautiful bunch of Bobal grapes grown by Coviñas

Bobal is a native grape variety grown in Spain’s

Levante region. It is the star variety of the Utiel-

Requena Designation of Origin where it makes

up an estimated 70% of total production.

According to the designation’s figures, 47% of

the 21,876 hectares planted to Bobal are old vines, over

40 years old.

The climate and soil in this Mediterranean region offer

perfect conditions for growing Bobal, which shows a

preference for soils at a certain elevation. That’s exactly

what the area has to offer.

Bobal is also known as Provechón, Requena, Canonao,

Boal, Boral, Bogal, Requeno or Bovatí depending on the

town where it is grown.

According to the designation of origin, “wines made

with Bobal usually have an intense colour, full body and

complex flavours. They are wines with potent volume and

structure, and on the palate and nose, are reminiscent of

ripe fruit, with tones of dried fruit, liquorice and spices.

The young red wines are intense with very striking purple

tones. Over time, they very slowly evolve, becoming

vivid red wines reminiscent of ripe cherry.”

Rosé wines made from Bobal “have a very attractive colour

and aromas of red fruit, with intense deep violet tones.

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SPAIN

– GRAPES –

In the mouth, they achieve a unique balance, bringing

great freshness and fullness to the palate. They are very

harmonious wines,” typical of this designation of origin.

This variety has great winemaking potential. In recent

years, wineries have made incremental progress in

winemaking and viticulture with Bobal. The result is that

new, quality wines are appearing in the market, and they

show site-expressive characters.

Below are 4 wineries where Bobal is a pivotal ingredient

in the winemaking process.

An aerial view of the Coviñas co-operative winery

Unloading grapes during the harvest

COVIÑAS: IN UNITY THERE IS STRENGTH

This winery was created in 1965 in the town of Requena,

when 10 of the major winegrowers in the region of Utiel-

Requena came together. Their initial intention was to

create a distillery, but two years later, the group bought a

winery near the distillery. It is here that the first quality

wine in the region was made, called ‘Vino de la Reina’.

Over time, it became known as ‘Enterizo’, a brand that

still exists today and is one of the winery’s flagships.

Around 1994, the company expanded internationally

with the brand ‘Monte Mayor’, and from then on, it has

been growing steadily.

In 2003, activity in the distillery came to an end, and

the members of the group decided to focus on creating

still wines. In 2008, they adapted their facilities to make

Cava, following specifications for the designation of

origin primarily located in Catalonia.

According to Coviñas, sales volumes “have quadrupled in

the last decade.” The winery has increased its portfolio

and made high quality wines, including some limited

edition bottlings, “always taking on board the needs of

the market and consumers.”

Coviñas owns over 10,000 hectares of land. A large part

of the on-stream vineyards are home to some of the

oldest vines in Spain, over 100 years of age. 80% of the

vineyards are planted to Bobal.

In addition to the ‘Reina de Requena’, other varieties such

as Tempranillo, Grenache, Macabeo and cultivars in far

lower quantities (Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon,…)

are grown, but Bobal is special “for its resistance to

lack of water and high temperatures, which makes it

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SPAIN

– GRAPES –

ideal for growing here. Very little treatment on the

vines is required, making it a good option for growing

organically.”

Given the characteristics of this type of grape, and the

challenge of climate change, “for its robustness, its

resistance to drought and its ability to adapt to drastic

climate changes, this variety could have a very promising

future in the advent of such changes.”

Currently, the average yearly volume of bottles produced

totals 16 million, with exports to over 30 countries around

the world. Overseas sales represent approximately 80%

of total volume, with the remaining 20% for domestic

consumption.

With a commitment to quality and respect for the land,

to the farmers and the environment, Coviñas continues

to be a co-operative with over 3,000 members. It is the

primary producer of Bobal wines.

Coviñas vineyards paint a multi-coloured picture after the harvest

FINCA SAN BLAS: SETTING NEW CHALLENGES

Two kilometres to the South-West of Requena (some

80 km inland to the West of Valencia) is the location

for this winery. Here, olives, almonds, cereals and

vines are grown, alongside the local flora including

pines, juniper bushes and trees, rosemary and aromatic

plants like saffron. “The land is imbued with flavour

which, in return, conveys its essence to the wine to give

it uniqueness, personality and character”, is how the

symbiosis is presented at the winery.

Finca San Blas maintains a very close connection with

nature and a very special relationship with wine. On this

extensive 585-hectare farm in Requena, for the most part

made up of woodland, Bobal, Tempranillo, Cabernet-

Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Merseguera,

Xarello and Chenin Blanc are grown, with only the best

grapes selected to promote terroir-driven wines with

character, that are also extremely elegant.

The winery is situated in the same location as the farm,

in the most traditional style reminiscent of the classic

French chateau. In this way, “the pronounced artisanal

character of the wines is retained and the winemaking

process becomes something that is natural and organic,

with the winery its harmonising and balancing centre.”

Nicolás Sánchez is the winemaker at Finca

San Blas

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SPAIN

– GRAPES –

Spring flowers at Finca San Blas

“20 years ago, we were among the first to invest in the

quality of Bobal and to believe that we could make great

bottled wines from it. Being so rural, wineries at first

only made wine in bulk. It is a significant grape and

represents a firm investment for the winery since, as a

native grape, it has adapted very well to the conditions of

our farm”, a spokesperson explained.

The winemaker and professor of viticulture at the

Requena School of Viticulture and Oenology at the

Valencia Polytechnic University, Nicolás Sánchez, is a

Bobal specialist. “Nicolás has set himself challenges and

made innovations here, which no other winery has done

before, planting new grape varieties unknown to the area,

implementing new winemaking methods never used

before in the region, for example not removing shade or

importing techniques from the Tokaj region [Hungary]

for his latest creation, a sweet white botrytised wine”.

The result of these investments is an “elegant terroir

wine with great character, encapsulating its environment

and heir to a unique natural richness. It expresses the

personality of a farm which is much more than just

its vineyards.”

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Views out over the Bobal vineyards belonging to Coviñas

An abundance of clusters about to be harvested

A typical setting for Finca San Blas

Inside the barrel room at Finca San Blas

Bobal, Valencia’s star grape variety, ripens on the vine at the Pasiego winery

The winters can be cold

at Finca San Blas

Inside the winery at Torre Oria


SPAIN

– GRAPES –

The winery makes two single varietals from Bobal: “La

Senda del Caballo and Finca San Blas Bobal which

can be considered as small-batch wines. The wines are

matured in large wooden casks (fudres) or barrels, with

clear Bobal expression at its most potent and expressive,

but also very refined and elegant.” Other wines, red and

rosé, have Bobal as the main variety, but are blended with

other grape varieties grown on the farm.

According to the staff at the Finca San Blas, Bobal “is

a variety that has become more and more famous over

the last decade in the national and international market,

and is undoubtedly one of the Spanish varieties with

the greatest international future in decades to come.

Importers already know that Spain is much more than

Tempranillo, and Bobal is a grape that is generating

great interest abroad and even within our own borders

because of its excellent ability to make great wines that

are complex and elegant, but at the same time, easy to

understand.”

Pasiego is a family-run winery located in Sinarcas

The barrel room at the Pasiego winery

PASSIEGO: FROM A HOBBY TO A PROFESSION

The first steps of this project were taken in 1997, with

13 barrels in a basement in Utiel, when three friends

and wine enthusiasts decided to set up a winery as a

hobby, without any economic expectations, with the sole

purpose of enjoying the process of making the best wine

possible.

At that time, they were not yet creating wines. Instead,

they started by comparing a lot of wine samples and

choosing which they liked best in order to age them in

barrels, as good artisans do, patiently and perseveringly,

and without rushing the process.

As time went on, they kept growing in size and receiving

awards. The hobby was becoming something more

serious. Two of the founding members jumped ship and

the new company remained under the control of brothers

Julio, José Luís and David Salón Pérez, who moved their

facilities to Sinarcas with the intention of making wines

from their own grapes.

Since then, the project has become a family-run winery

located in Sinarcas, in the inland area of the province of

Valencia, within the Utiel-Requena D.O.

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An autumnal view of the vineyards at the Pasiego winery

SPAIN

– GRAPES –

José Luis Salón, one of the brothers who owns the winery

and its technical director, said that unlike other grape

varieties currently grown locally, Bobal “is the variety

that has always been grown here. As it is native to this

area, it is perfectly suited to our climate.”

Concurring with opinions expressed by the previous

two wineries, Salón believes Bobal “is a variety with

great potential, as we have seen in recent years through

the development of different wines in the region – rosé,

young and mature wines (garnering high ratings in guides,

awards, etc.). Perhaps it needs greater international

exposure, since it is not as well-known elsewhere.”

Like the majority of grape varieties, Bobal is being

affected by climate change with “harvests occurring

earlier, ultimately shortening the growing cycle. For the

quality of the grape, slow ripening is vital. Therefore, in

the higher and cooler areas in our region, climate change

has so far been favourable for us. Years ago, we were at

the outer limit of vine growing, producing grapes with a

low level of ripeness.”

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SPAIN

– GRAPES –

An aerial view of Torre Oria

TORRE ORIA: LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

The origins of this winery date back to the end of the 19 th century.

The Oria de Rueda family had been successful in the silk industry in

Valencia, but over time, the family decided to move their business

to the city of Requena, 60 km away in the inland parts of Valencia.

With the decline of the silk industry, they decided to convert their

business to wine, although legend has it that a great storm in

around 1897, which destroyed mulberry trees and ruined their silk

business, was the determining factor in building the winery.

Around 1925, after 25 years of making still wines, José Oria de

Rueda made the decision to buy his first 500 barrels with which to

age wines. The winery has now been producing wines matured in

oak for decades.

Since 1970, sparkling wines have been crafted at Torre Oria, using

the traditional method. After years of legal wrangling, in 1993

it became the first winery with the Cava designation outside the

Penedés region, the original location of the Cava designation

of origin.

In 2012, Eloy Bautista became the principal shareholder at Bodegas

Torre Oria, after a long career in the wine industry. He decided to

start a new project with a clear strategy focused on the international

marketplace.

Bodegas Torre Oria is aware of the competitiveness of the wine

sector in international markets, where it is not only competing with

Spanish suppliers, but also with international producers.

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SPAIN

– GRAPES –

The impressive buildings at Torre Oria

The company has several objectives, but one of them is “to satisfy

consumers with traditional and innovative wines, through good

value for money and a 5-star delivery service.”

Like other wineries mentioned here, Bobal is a key grape with

which Torre Oria makes various red wines, but it also grows

other varieties such as Merlot, Tempranillo, Cabernet-Sauvignon

and Syrah. For white wines, it uses Macabeo, Chardonnay and

Sauvignon Blanc.

The winery’s Bobal wines “are normally robust with a great ability

to age. They are very fresh, fruity wines that mature well where

there is good balance between the fruit and the toasted, elegant

notes from the ageing process in the barrel.”

“Bobal epitomises personality and distinctiveness for our winery.

Occasionally, we use it in small amounts to make our wines

unique. Our single-variety bottled wines made from this grape

enable us to break into new markets. Exclusivity and native

varieties are important pillars of our strategy.”

According to Diego Morcillo, technical director of Torre Oria, “the

future is clearly bright for this variety, especially since it is a grape

with high total acidity, moderate pH and is late ripening, which

in the past was a handicap; 20 years ago, it was difficult to ripen

the fruit well. With regard to the climate in our region, the fact

that summers end in October guarantees good ripening with more

moderate alcohol levels but still enough acidity to last over time.”

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The views out over Quinta do Saião in the Douro

PORTUGAL

– REGION –

OPORTO AND DOURO:

The perfect combination

for making great wines

Port wine is one of Portugal’s oldest global ambassadors. There are few places

in the world where wine has had such a remarkable influence as in the Douro.

Consumer tastes have shifted though, from sweet to drier offerings.

Santiago Jimenez goes on a journey along the region’s iconic river,

seeking out, not its storied fortified wines, but the more recent addition

to its present-day portfolio – still wines.

By Santiago Jimenez - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

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PORTUGAL

– REGION –

Vineyards belonging to Quinta Nova

Wine has been grown in the region for over

2,000 years. Originally, wines leaving the area,

destined mainly for England, were unfortified.

However, they failed to reach English shores

in good condition so producers found a

suitable way of ‘fortifying them’ and allowing them to reach

their destination in perfect condition. This technique has

continued and ‘fortified’ wines long enjoyed great popularity.

In recent years, however, consumer tastes have changed and

unfortified Douro wines have returned to the fore. The still

wines grown across the region have gained a strong presence in

the marketplace because modern technology has promoted the

advent of top Douro wines.

QUINTA NOVA –

OBJECTIVE: PERFECTION

Located in the middle of the Douro valley is one of the oldest

and most emblematic farms in the region: Quinta Nova de Nossa

Senhora do Carmo. Its wines are iconic and highly valued by the

trade and consumers. These are wines that faithfully reflect, in an

extraordinary way, the exclusive character of the micro-terroirs

– the farm, which is over 250 years old, has 41 vineyard plots.

It covers 120 hectares, stretching along 1.5 km on the right bank

of the river Douro, almost 80 of them planted to vines, nestled

in a setting listed as World Heritage by UNESCO.

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PORTUGAL

– REGION –

- Jorge Alves is the winemaker at Quinta Nova

The name, ‘Nossa Senhora do Carmo’ has its origins in the

17 th century, in a small chapel constructed on the bank of the river

Douro to protect the sailors of the ships transporting Port wine.

In 1999, the history of the winery took an important turn

when the Amorim family – who in 2020 celebrated the 150 th

anniversary of their first business, making cork stoppers for

Bodegas de Oporto in Vila Nova de Gaia – purchased Quinta

Nova, consolidating their long-standing relationship with the

world of wine.

Luisa Amorim joined the company. She saw a great similarity

between the wine and cork businesses: proximity to nature,

international relations and patience were aspects to which she

was already accustomed in her professional life. In two decades

under her leadership, the ‘new’ Quinta Nova was redesigned.

Important contributions to this renaissance included the

planting of 50 hectares of vineyards with a view to adding value

to the excellence of the wine region and bringing present-day

hectareage of planted vineyards up to 85.

The focus and objective of Luisa and the five winemakers at

the winery is achieving perfection in the wines. They travel

throughout the world and welcome winemakers from across

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PORTUGAL

– REGION –

Quinta Nova vineyards

the globe to glean information. They rigorously analyse the

grapes from the vineyard’s 41 different plots. They observe

every stage of the winemaking process to try and understand

what is best for their grapes as this is the means by which they

intend to achieve perfection.

There are 100-year old terraces at Quinta Nova, divided into

two extraordinary plots: a 2.5-hectare plot and another covering

4.5 hectares. The vineyards are a unique genetic heritage, given

their enormous size. All the vines were planted immediately

after phylloxera (some 80 different grape varieties) which have

lasted until now to produce high quality wines. Yielding very

low output, the vines are tended using traditional methods,

where the soil is farmed using time-honoured techniques – a

horse and plough – and fertilized organically with the objective

of preserving Douro history and safeguarding tradition.

In the vineyards, in addition to the 80 native varieties which

are preserved with great care and represent some 12% of total

vineyard acreage, there is also Touriga Nacional (20% of total

acreage), Touriga Franca (24%), Tinta Barroca (11%), Tinto

Cão (6%), Tinta Roriz (17%), Tinta Amarela (%), Souzão (3%)

and Tinta Francisca (3%).

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 79


The namesake owner of the Rui Roboredo winery

PORTUGAL

– REGION –

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PORTUGAL

– REGION –

To add one last noteworthy detail, Quinta Nova is the

11 th largest winery for Port wine sales by volume in

the world. Its wines can be found in 27 international

markets, mainly in Brazil, Switzerland, Canada and the

United States. There are plans to remodel the winery

in 2022.

In addition to its commitment to the environment and to

its consumers, Quinta Nova is closely involved with the

community through foundations like Associação Bagos

d´Ouro, an institution which supports the education

of 150 underprivileged children and young people. It

is jointly run with 21 recognized wine producers in the

area, creating a more balanced and, above all, a more

inclusive Douro.

RUI ROBOREDO MADEIRA –

A LIFETIME’S PASSION

This winery was founded in 1999 under the name of

Vinhos do Douro Superior VDS (Wines of the Upper

Douro) and in 2000, at the turn of the 21 st century, the

brand Castello d’Alba was launched. The overriding aim

from the start has been to produce top quality wines,

showing Douro character and an international profile,

by combining native grape varieties with cutting-edge

winemaking techniques.

Since then and up until now, the winery has been

acquiring new vineyards, and launching new wines

until 2013 when the winery changed its name to

‘Rui Roboredo Madeira - Vinhos do Vale do Douro’.

This change was intended to “reflect the dedication

and personal hallmark on the project created by Rui

Roboredo Madeira and to which he has dedicated a great

part of his life, thereby achieving a broader positioning

with signature wines.”

One year later, the winery launched wines carrying his

name ‘Rui Roboredo Madeira’ and since then, it has been

investing and remodelling.

The winery is synonymous with fine wines from the

Douro Valley. Constant investment in pioneering

concepts and the purity of its wines have set it apart.

It sets great store by the vineyards in the Upper Douro

Valley and in mountain wines. As a spokesperson from

the winery says, “Each wine bearing the signature Rui

Cement eggs at the Rui Roboredo winery

A delightful view of the vineyards belonging to Rui Roboredo

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PORTUGAL

– REGION –

Harvest season at Barão de Vilar

Roboredo Madeira has a story to tell, marking the best

moments in life.”

Rui Roboredo worked in various wine regions before

settling down in the area where he really wanted to be.

As he says himself, “Having travelled through many of

the winemaking regions of the world and learned about

their practices, I returned to the Upper Douro, convinced

of its great potential to make world class wines. Showing

respect for nature in the way we grow our vines, my wines

reflect my experiences, and their aroma and taste are

those of my land. It is in my winery that I create wines

with the character of our terroir, expressed through native

grape varieties, on which I put my imprint and instil

international character. This is my life’s passion: the wine

of the great Douro Valley.”

The winery covers a total 107 hectares of owned vineyards,

27 of them farmed organically. It sells some 1.6 million

bottles annually and exports to 17 countries. In reality,

however, exports represent 25% of total sales, so the

domestic market holds an impressive share.

Ancient techniques, like horse-drawn tillage,

are used at Quinta do Saião

BARAO DEL VILAR –

STRENGTH THROUGH COMMITMENT

Located 50 km South of Lisbon, Barao del Vilar is a

company where the team is wholly committed to the

creation of value. The staff is motivated, competent and

innovative, and its mission is to make wines that live up

to customer expectations at a competitive price, while

still preserving the highest standards of quality and food

safety – the ultimate aim is to establish a relationship

based on trust and loyalty.

The company’s institutional name goes back to a title of

nobility conferred by the Queen of Portugal Maria II on

Cristiano Nicolau Kopke, the first Baron of Vilar, in 1836.

Through inheritance, the title remains the legitimate

possession of the family heirs.

The winemaker here is Alvaro Van Zeller who studied

agronomy in Brazil, followed by post-graduate studies in

Bordeaux, where he obtained a DEA in Viticulture and

Oenology. Subsequently, he joined Quinta do Noval

where, at an early age, he took over total responsibility

for blending, wine tasting and all winemaking duties.

Later, he was recruited as the head of wine tasting at the

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PORTUGAL

– REGION –

Alvaro van Zeller, master blender and winemaker at Barão de Vilar

IVDP (Porto and Douro Institute of Wine) where all Port

and Douro wines are approved and certified. During

his career, he had a varied range of experience in other

wineries in the region before making a complete change

and assuming total responsibility for all wines made by

Barão de Vilar, S.A.

The wines are made from Touriga Nacional, one of the

most famous grapes in Portugal, but other grape varieties

such as Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Francisca,

Tinto Cão, Alicante Bouschet, Sousão and Tinta Amarela

are also used. This combination, coupled with the

region’s climate, which is strongly influenced by the

Atlantic, has allowed the winery to produce consistently

structured and balanced wines.

The vineyards, both Quinta de ZOM and Quinta do

Saião, are located in the sub-region of the Upper Douro,

which is drier and warmer than other sub-regions in the

Douro (Baixo Corgo and Cima Corgo).

Wine production here is mainly sustainable, with

10 hectares of vineyards classified as organic.

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ITALY

– VINEYARDS –

Elena Walch’s Castel Ringberg vineyard is a very special,

unique location home to a variety of soil types dating back to

the Ice Age and subsequent periods

Italy’s mountain viticulture

gets a boost from

climate change

Italy has a very particular orographic conformation, in the shape of a ‘T’ formed

by the Alpine arc that traces a horizontal line to the North and the Apennines that

run longitudinally from North to South. Mountain viticulture has a fundamental

impact on the general picture of Italian winegrowing.

By Francesco Saverio Russo - Photographs: courtesy of the estates

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ITALY

– VINEYARDS –

The majestic castle of Saint Pierre, a symbol of the Aosta Valley

From Mont Blanc to Mount Etna, via the mountain vineyards

of the central regions and islands, high-altitude viticulture

has distinctive features which make it very interesting,

especially for its response to current climate change.

The most important effect of altitude is the progressive

drop in temperature, which allows the grapes to ripen more

slowly and, through careful vineyard management, produce greater

consistency in the fruit. The cooler climate reduces the production

of sugars and raises the total level of acidity, paving the way for

more contemporary and less ‘overripe’ wines. These are also very

interesting parameters for the production of sparkling wines.

Although producing ripe sugars is no longer an issue, diurnal shift

plays a fundamental role in aromatic ripening, giving mountain

wines a fresher and more defined flavour and aroma profile. The

key to the success of mountain wines is therefore the cooler climate;

vineyards with optimal exposures promoting ideal radiation for

the canopy and clusters; well-drained soils which avoid water

stagnation; and constant wind which helps keep the grapes healthy.

Although these are the distinctive and positive factors of Italian

mountain winegrowing, it must also be said that a good part of

mountain vineyards can be defined as ‘heroic’, i.e. very challenging

to work with. Heroic viticulture, in fact, climbs up very steep slopes

(often made more manageable by terraces) forcing growers to work

manually and incur much higher management costs.

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ITALY

– VINEYARDS –

As examples of quality mountain winegrowing, we have

chosen 7 representative wineries in northern Italy.

The modern Nals Margreid winery, renovated in 2011, combines art,

sustainability and technology

NALS MARGREID

The history of Nals Margreid dates back to 1764, when

the Von Campi estate was built on the exact site where

the winery stands today. In 1932, the Nalles Winery was

founded and in 1985 it merged with Magrè to form Nals

Margreid.

The winery is in South Tyrol, at the point where

Tyrolean and Mediterranean cultures meet. The peaks

of the Alps and the Dolomites frame a landscape which

bears witness to a winegrowing tradition dating back

thousands of years. The roughly 160-hectare vineyard is

farmed by 138 families who have 14 vineyards between

Nalles, in the Adige Valley, and Magrè. The vineyards

are located between 200 and 900 metres above sea level,

on soils with differing characteristics, microclimate and

exposure.

The winery has always aimed to produce wines

encapsulating Alpine freshness, the symbiosis with the

terroir, an international flavour and elegance. Mountain

viticulture is characterised by historic vineyards at

high altitudes which, combined with the experience of

vineyard technicians and winemakers, means that the

wines are not affected by global warming.

The average annual production is 1,000,000 bottles and

the domestic market is very important, although wine is

exported to 36 countries worldwide.

Biodiversity in the area where Elena Walch’s vineyards

are situated has been sensitively preserved

ELENA WALCH

Elena Walch is one of South Tyrol’s leading wineries. A

promoter of quality and innovation, it has helped lead

the South Tyrolean wine revolution. An architect by

profession, Elena married the heir to one of the oldest

winemaking families in South Tyrol and today her

daughters Julia and Karoline Walch, (educated in France

and Australia) run the company.

The winery produces terroir-driven wines. To achieve this,

it takes an uncompromising approach, showing respect

for the characteristics of each individual vineyard site.

Among its 60 bearing hectares, the two ‘Cru’ vineyards,

Vigna Castel Ringberg in Kaltern and Vigna Kastelaz in

Tramin, are noteworthy.

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ITALY

– VINEYARDS –

Elena Walch with her daughters Julia and Karoline Walch,

who are in charge of the winery

The area is home to a succession of sun-kissed land, impervious

terraces and undulating vineyards, as well as high-altitude plots

exposed to the cooler air and the short but warm summer months.

The difference in altitude between the various plots is almost

800 metres - a feature that is virtually unique in the world of wine.

Such differing elevations provide the scope to ‘play around’ with the

production of wines showing unique characteristics.

In order to cope with climate change, the winery has extended its

high-altitude plots between 250 and 1,000 metres above sea level,

where climate change opens up new avenues for positive challenges.

Currently more than 15 hectares of vineyards are above 600 m

above sea level, mostly planted to Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir.

Five hectares have just been planted in Aldino, a mountain village

on the East side of the valley, at about 1,000 m above sea level. A

further vineyard at 600 metres above sea level has been purchased

in Altenburg, on the side of the Mendola that runs alongside

Termeno. This is the mosaic in which Elena Walch is a practitioner

of mountain winegrowing.

Climate change has also seen increased risks of damage due to

spring frost, as well as more frequent hailstorms. However, the latter

remain very limited locally, as the mountains with their valleys stem

the air currents and moderate the clouds.

At the Elena Walch winery, mountain winegrowing is perceived as

interesting insofar as it provides the opportunity to produce wines

of the highest quality from a wide variety of sensitively interpreted

vineyard sites. Elena Walch produces approximately 550,000 bottles

annually, 50% of them exported to a total of 70 countries.

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ITALY

– VINEYARDS –

Villa Corniole harvests all the grapes from its celebrated vineyards

in Val di Cembra by hand

VILLA CORNIOLE

Villa Corniole is a family-run winery located in Valle di Cembra,

Trentino. Between the Cembra Valley and the Rotaliana plain,

Villa Corniole has a total of around 10 hectares of vineyards.

The Cembra Valley is characterised by an Alpine climate: the

cold currents off the Dolomites influence the temperatures in

the valley, generating large temperature swings between day and

night and causing the grapes to ripen slowly but at the same time

enhancing acidity, perfumes and aromas.

The 708 km of dry-stone walls are unique: a symbol of heroic

viticulture, they represent a heritage of great value for the valley

and are recognised by UNESCO. They offer support for the

vineyards on extreme slopes and at the same time preserve

biodiversity.

The aim of Villa Corniole is to express the region by respecting

its richness and healthiness and by keeping its natural resources

and ecosystem in balance. Winegrowing in the Cembra Valley

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is extremely labour-intensive. It is estimated that it takes

about 1,000 hours a year to farm a single hectare of

vines. This combines with the effects of climate change,

which brings ever more frequent heavy downpours and

hailstorms. Rising temperatures are, in fact, the least of

their worries, as the microclimate and elevations help

to produce quality grapes with excellent ripeness, full

acidity and clear aromas.

Villa Corniole has noticed that in recent years, consumers

have also been showing greater awareness and recognising

the added value of mountain wines.

The company produces around 90,000 bottles/year,

divided between several labels of whites, reds and Trento

Doc classic method sparkling wines. 50% of production

is sold in Italy and the remaining 50% is exported to

Asia, Europe, Canada and the United States. The winery’s

clientele is solely the hospitality industry and private

customers.

Villa Corniole stems from a time-honoured family tradition – a project revolving

around a shared passion which starts in the vineyard and continues in the

winery, boosted by the younger generations

WEGER HOF

Founded in 1820 by Josef Weger (grandfather of the

current owner), the Weger Hof winery is a historical

pioneer in producing and selling wines in South Tyrol.

The hills of Cornaiano are home to the Wegers, their

wine estate and their ancient cellars. Their aim has

always been to produce clear, clean and easy-drinking

wines in the pure South Tyrolean style. To do this, they

devote great respect and sensitivity to the vineyards,

aware that they are less affected than other areas by

climate change and can make the most of the uniqueness

of their mountain terroir.

The significant temperature variations promote more

consistent ripening. “After all, all mountain fruits have

better aroma and flavour characteristics than those

that grow on the plains”, comments Johannes Weger.

“Unfortunately, the general warming of the climate is

forcing us to look for higher and higher altitudes and

work in the vineyard is becoming more demanding and

totally manual”.

As Johannes Weger points out, the real problems caused

by climate change are not only related to global warming,

but also to the increase in severe weather events such as

storms with strong winds, flash flooding and hailstorms,

against which little can be done.

Johannes Weger

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The vintners of the Tirolensis Ars Vini (TAV) association

The Laimburg historical archive is known throughout the region

However, mountain winegrowing is an important

commercial lever thanks to the perceived value of the

heroic work of mountain winegrowers and the quality

achieved by wines from these areas.

Annual production is around 80,000 bottles. The wines

are mostly bound for the domestic market, along with

exports to Germany, Austria, Belgium and England.

LAIMBURG

The Laimburg Winery is a model for South Tyrolean

winegrowing and therefore mountain winegrowing. It

is part of the Experimentation Centre of the same name

and supports its strong commitment to research and

experimentation in the field of winegrowing with its

own production of high-quality wines. All of the grapes

used for the winery’s production are grown on its own

20 hectares of vineyards located in various areas with

differing microclimates and elevations in the Province of

Bolzano, between 200 and 900 metres above sea level.

One of the focuses of Laimburg’s research over the last

15 years has been to find the right microclimate area for

each grape variety, with plots ranging from the plains to

the hills and steep mountain slopes, home to different

soils. Choices are aimed at ensuring careful and stringent

vineyard management, with utmost attention paid to

each phase in order to offer the vines a balanced and

clean habitat.

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According to Laimburg, climate change poses constant

challenges for winegrowing. Cultivation at higher and

cooler altitudes is being tested and offers the promise of

enhanced hallmark characteristics, particularly for the

white wines. The ERDF Pinot Blanc project carried out by

the Laimburg Research Centre showed that Pinot blanc

at 600 m above sea level developed fresher aromas than

Pinot blanc at 300 m above sea level.

Additionally, at the initiative of the South Tyrolean

Winegrowers’ Association Ars Vini (TAV), a 1,000 m²

vineyard at an altitude of 1,330 m above sea level was

planted in 2013 at Geyrerhof in Soprabolzano with

Solaris, a hardy vine suitable for these altitudes.

In terms of its range of wines, Laimburg produces three

collections: ‘Vini del Podere’, fermented in steel tanks or

in large oak barrels; ‘Selezione Maniero’, mainly aged in

barriques and selected; and ‘Vini Particolari’ made from

vines that are resistant to downy mildew and oidium, or

from special winegrowing and winemaking techni ques.

Annual production is between 90,000 and

100,000 bottles, most of which are sold in South Tyrol.

Exports are mainly to Germany, Austria, Switzerland,

Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Albania and

exotic destinatioons such as Trinidad.

The impressive underground ageing cellar at Laimburg

LA SOURCE

La Source was founded in 2003 by young, experienced

farmers with deep-rooted winemaking traditions.

Currently, the company is owned by the Celi-Cuc family

and Stefano Celi is its current incumbent. Born in

1971, he is a qualified agronomist and descendant of a

family of farmers in the Aosta Valley. Since 2005, he has

dedicated himself full-time to farming and particularly to

wine production.

The company has 9.5 hectares of vineyards, located

between 650 and 900 m above sea level, planted to native

and non-native vines such as Petite Arvine, Petit Rouge,

Fumin, Premetta, Cornalin and Vien de Nus, Syrah,

Chardonnay, Müller-Thurgau, Muscat and Traminer. The

vineyards are all located in the vicinity of the winery, in

one of the most wine-focused areas of the Aosta Valley.

This is mountain viticulture where most of the vineyard

management is done by hand due to the high slopes

and terraces. The absence of machines certainly entails

La Source is located in Saint-Pierre, a village in the centre of the Aosta Valley

famous for its castles and vineyards

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The vineyards at La Source in the Aosta valley

higher production costs, but it preserves the land,

reducing the risk of hydrogeological disruption caused

by abandonment.

Climate change has had a relatively important impact

on production in the Valle d’Aosta but the current

effects are certainly positive for ripening. If the rise

in temperature continues over the next few decades,

the solution here, as elsewhere, is to plant vineyards

at higher altitudes. Mountain viticulture, and even

more so that of the tiny Valle d’Aosta, is unique

from a marketing perspective in that production

is naturally very limited, allowing producers to

concentrate exclusively on product quality.

Also, this region, and in particular the Torrette area,

is characterised by morainic/sandy soils, where the

international cultivars can express themselves in

a unique way. Annual production at La Source is

around 40,000 bottles. Its most prominent outlets

are the local market and the domestic market with

a small percentage shipped abroad, in particular

to Japan.

Il Rifugio del Vino has a footprint of around 170 m 2 and is built

next to the winery’s historic cellar. This ambitious project is a fusion of wine,

mountain culture and architecture

LES CRETES

Les Cretes was founded by Costantino Charrère in

1989 in Aymavilles, Valle d’Aosta. Charrère’s presence

revolutionised winemaking in the region as he made

local winegrowers aware of its unique features, creating

a real movement.

Today the Les Cretes estate is run by the family,

who have focused their efforts on tending the land

and making wine for five generations. The rugged,

rocky mountains are often inhospitable, but with the

right experience and innate sensitivity, Les Cretes has

been able to nurture genuine Crus in this majestic

landscape. The vineyards range from 300 to 900m

above sea level. Rows, terraces, stone posts and

centuries-old vines of different local varieties alternate

with international varieties in great harmony. Climate

change has made its mark here in a positive way,

facilitating ripening while maintaining an Alpine

climate that emphasises aromatic precursors due to

the considerable temperature changes, and preserves

the acidity needed to produce fine, vertical and longlived

wines.

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– VINEYARDS –

Constantine Charrère with his wife and daughters.

The family is dedicated to vine growing, wines and wine tourism at Les Cretes

The range of wines produced by the Les Cretes winery

is considerable, ranging from international varieties to

local grapes such as Cornalin and Premetta, and from

extremely elegant, refined whites to fruity, fresh reds,

and even passito. Average production in recent years

has been in the range of 225,000 bottles. COVID-19

completely wiped out the winter season and therefore

sales in the ski resorts which are among the best in the

Alps. This is no mean challenge for a company that

views the local region as its main market. However,

Italy and a clutch of export markets secured by the

company have held up well.

How far will mountain viticulture go in Italy? This

is impossible to predict, but we will certainly see

vineyards planted at increasingly high elevations

over the coming years due to climate change and the

desire by growers to produce vertical, elegant wines,

the hallmarks of this style of winegrowing. The hope

is that the mountain landscape will not be disfigured,

but there is every likelihood that the sensitivity of the

winegrowers will prevent this from happening.

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– ORGANIC WINES –

A view from above the vineyards on Mount Etna

belonging to the Palmento Costanzo winery

SICILY AND SARDINIA

The ‘green’ islands

of Southern Italy

Island viticulture has always been judged separately from regions which have not

been ‘isolated’ by the sea. Italy has two very important islands which represent two

of the most interesting regions from a national winegrowing perspective –

Sicily and Sardinia.

By Francesco Saverio Russo - Photographs: courtesy of the estates - ©Benedetto Tarantino

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Mount Etna is a volcano, recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2013.

Palmento Costanzo’s vineyards are planted at its foot

Recent DNA analyses of more than 2,000 grape varieties

have traced the beginning of Sicilian viticulture back

to the Copper Age (6,000-5,000 years ago!), while

archaeological findings in Sardinia prove that the island’s

populations were already cultivating vitis vinifera in the

Nuragic period (1800 BC to the 2nd century AD). These are two

of the oldest winegrowing areas in the world which, thanks in part

to their ‘isolation’, have been able to maintain truly indigenous

varietal genetics. Combined with vines brought to the islands by

other populations over the centuries, they now form two very

varied and distinctive ampelographic bases.

Due to their particular soil and climate conditions, the two regions

can pride themselves on a winegrowing approach geared towards

sustainability, with Sicily holding the record for the largest area

of organic vineyards (36% of its 100,000 hectares of vineyards,

putting it in first place for total area of vines - more than the whole

of South Africa!). In Sardinia, certified hectares are still low (less

than 10% of the total), but traditional viticulture has always been

respectful and sustainable, and the growth of organic vineyards

has accelerated in recent years. In 2020, the region also launched

a project that will involve the entire agri-food sector, including

wineries, in the creation of Europe’s largest organic district.

As evidence of the different approaches to sustainable winegrowing

in Sicily and Sardinia, we have selected the following excellent

wineries.

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Valeria Agosta Costanzo is the heart and soul of Palmento Costanzo

SICILY

PALMENTO COSTANZO

Palmento Costanzo is located in Contrada Santo Spirito, in the

hamlet of Passopisciaro, on the northern side of Mount Etna.

Here, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Carricante and

Catarratto have always been grown organically. More than a

hundred terraces, with dry lava stone walls, guard a vineyard

grown using the alberello system, which climbs the slopes

of the volcano from 600 to 800 metres above sea level. With

this system, all the vines, even those over a century old, are

supported by chestnut-wood poles. Both the construction of

the new winery and the restoration of the original structure

adhered to the principles of bio-architecture.

The use of natural light, thick lava stone walls which provide

optimal thermal insulation, and a thermal labyrinth system

running through the cellar under the floor, all combine to

minimise the energy footprint. In fact, the company’s aim is

to showcase the natural richness of the area with minimal

environmental impact.

The winery produces 100,000,000 bottles a year, 50% of them

exported (USA, Japan, Sweden, Germany, Canada, France,

Australia, etc.), thanks in part to its organic certification, which

is increasingly in demand.

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Winemaker Bruno Fina and his children Marco,

Sergio and Federica, all play a part in managing the company

ITALY

– ORGANIC WINES –

CANTINE FINA

Cantine Fina, located in Marsala, is a family business run by

Bruno Fina – who was the right-hand man of the renowned

oenologist and father of Sassicaia, Giacomo Tachis – and his

children Marco, Sergio and Federica. Fina uses his extensive

knowledge of Sicily to select the best grapes from across the

island with an ever-increasing focus on sustainability, so much

so that today over 65% of the grapes come from organic vines.

In addition to this, the company is committed to sustainability,

with 70% of its energy coming from renewable sources. In 2021,

the Fina family also decided to use local suppliers for bottles and

labels, to minimise the environmental impact of transportation

and support the local economy.

For Cantine Fina, the choice of organic was initially driven by

the obvious commercial benefits, but over time it has become a

matter of pride to respect the land which, fortunately, lends itself

well to this type of sustainable approach.

In addition to Italy, the countries that have been most receptive to

the winery’s ‘green’ approach are Japan and the United States, with

a significant volume of the 650,000 bottles produced exported

there, albeit with slightly different certification procedures.

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In Francesco Lirosi’s vineyards all the work is done manually

BARBADORO

The Barbadoro company belonging to the Lirosi family

is located in Caltagirone, in the province of Catania,

around 500 metres above sea level. It has been a family

farm for more than three generations, producing wheat,

olives, oranges and, of course, wine. “The company’s

vineyards”, explains Francesco Lirosi, “are all bushtrained,

non-irrigated and, in keeping with tradition, all

field work is done by hand”. The focus on sustainability

can be seen through their 1999 organic certification,

and their photovoltaic system, which produces all

the energy required by the vineyard, thereby reducing

CO2 emissions. Francesco inherited this attention to

sustainability from his parents, who based their lifestyle

around respect for the environment and the importance

of natural products.

The company produces about 6,000 bottles of high

quality wine a year, while new vineyards have recently

been planted, offering bright hopes for the future. Due to

the size of the company and its niche production, there

is very close attention to detail, and the principles of

organic viticulture represent very significant added value.

At present, the company, as well as selling within Sicily

and to the rest of Italy, exports to Canada and Vietnam,

two countries which are at very different stages in their

organic wine journey. While the organic wine market is

larger and well-established in Canada, Vietnam is much

newer to the scene, but it too is showing growing demand

for organic wines.

The vineyards of Cantina Ferreri, cultivated with respect for biodiversity

CANTINA FERRERI

Cantina Ferreri, owned by the three partners Rosario

Ferreri, Mario Ferreri and Vincenzo Bianco, was founded

in 2003 in a corner of Sicilian paradise between Selinunte

and Segesta, at 290m above sea level. The 50 hectares are

located on different hills, ranging from 250 to 500 metres

above sea level, allowing the winery to reap the benefits

of different microclimates.

The winery’s objective has always been to make wine from

pure grapes, favouring indigenous varieties which express

the varied identity of the region. Since its inception, the

winery has maintained a conventional agronomic regime

which is not organic but is focused on respect for the

environment and the consumer. Techniques used include

mechanical weeding by ploughing (no glyphosate!), the

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use of green manure with leguminous crops in the interrows,

and natural nitrogen fertilization. This method of

production is supported by the soil and climate of an

area which is characterised by excellent wind flow, low

rainfall, high levels of sunlight and a good temperature

range. These factors make it possible to use few (if any)

systemic treatments with only a few essential uses of

copper, sulphur, lime or gypsum. Although this method

is not classified as organic, it respects the environment

and biodiversity, guaranteeing the genuine characters

and wholesomeness of the wines produced.

Moreover, the winery completes the quality control

process by overseeing the entire production cycle, from

the vineyard to bottling and packaging. For the tartaric

stabilisation phase, it uses cold temperature control,

bringing the temperature down to minus 6-8 degrees

and allowing natural precipitation of the solids, without

using other products which, although authorised, do not

guarantee the same results.

Annual production is about 100,000 bottles and the

wines’ focus is on typicality, genuine characters and

sincerity. Over the years, they have been enjoyed in areas

such as the USA, Canada and the EU, where they are

valued for their tradition rather than their certification.

La Contralta is a visionary project to support the land,

traditional vines and the men and women who live there

and care passionately about their land

SARDINIA

LA CONTRALTA

La Contralta is a young company established in 2019

which has around 30 hectares of land divided into

2 farms. The farm to the south of Olbia is in the Enas

area in the municipality of Loiri Porto san Paolo and has

5 hectares of espalier vines that are around 18 years old;

a new winery is being built here. The farm in Palau starts

on the hill and goes all the way down to the beach, where

there is the original building used to receive guests, and

where alberello vines have been planted at a density of

10,000 plants per hectare. The aim is to produce wines

that are identity-driven, minimalist, elegant, vertical and

long-lived.

Agronomist Maurizio Saettini ensured the principles

of integrated pest management and the protection of

biodiversity were implemented, using an approach based

on integration and balance between history, culture,

knowledge and intuition.

Roberto Gariup, co-founder and winemaker at La Contralta

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– ORGANIC WINES –

Nicola Dettori and Roberto Gariup are the founders

of the La Contralta project

In order to limit CO2 emissions due to the mineralisation

of organic matter, La Contralta only carries out essential

work, using non-destructive tools. It restores organic

matter to the soil by green manuring. The vineyards

are grassed over for most of the year in order to limit

soil loss. It preserves soil biocoenosis by limiting the

use of copper to about half that allowed by the organic

regulations. It fights harmful insects by setting up

mating disruption strategies and freeing their natural

antagonists. It combats pathogenic fungi and bacteria by

stimulating the plant to produce endogenous defences

and by distributing useful fungi.

The company currently produces 22,000 bottles per year

with a potential of 60,000 bottles per year. The current

set-up has not affected production as, being a new

winery, there has been no need for a real conversion

except for the 18-year-old vineyards purchased.

“Being an organic winery is fundamental, says technical

manager and winemaker Roberto Gariup. The future is

green. In the next 10 to 15 years, in our opinion, either

you produce sustainably or you’re out. In the 18 months

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Antonella Corda and her husband Christian Puecher in their vineyards in Sardinia

that we have been on the market, we have seen a

great deal of interest in the issues around sustainable

production”. The key markets are the UK, Switzerland

and the USA, as well as Italy, of course.

ANTONELLA CORDA

The Azienda Agricola Antonella Corda was established

in 2010, when Antonella inherited the winemaking

tradition of her branch of the well-known Sardinian

wine family Argiolas. The company has a total of 40

hectares, 16 of them planted to vines, 13 home to olive

groves and the rest arable land.

Love and respect for the land have led to the use of an

eco-sustainable approach. The choice of integral organic

farming was made, not only to blend human activity

into the characteristics of the land, but also to be able to

return it intact to future generations. Consequently, this

approach is followed from the vineyard to the bottle.

The glass is lighter and for about a year now, the corks

have been made of cork and beeswax. These are all

natural products that have a reduced environmental

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Antonella Corda’s vineyards with the new winery in the background

impact in terms of disposal and recycling. “Organic is

not a synonym for sustainable, but it is a very important

part of it” claims owner Antonella Corda.

Equally important are the choices linked to the use

of irrigation water and agronomic techniques such as

green manure and grassing, which reduce tillage but

above all preserve the organic substance and microbial

biodiversity of the soil. Even the washing water from the

cellar can be recovered and reused for irrigation.

In order to pursue the company’s main objective, which

is to produce wines of the highest quality, the path

taken since the first vintage has been squarely set on

organic winegrowing.

Annual production is around 60,000 bottles, a volume

impacted by the choice of organic farming, but less

quantity does not worry the likes of Antonella Corda,

who is seeking to achieve quality. Speaking purely in

economic terms, in the medium term the vineyard will

have a longer average lifespan, whilst in the long term

this style of vineyard management will lead to a lower

environmental impact.

The wines are sent to a range of markets currently,

including Italy, the United States, Australia, Belgium,

Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark,

Sweden, England, Japan, Brazil and Canada.

Some markets such as the United States, Denmark, Sweden

and Germany are more attentive to production methods

and require information on vineyard management.

Antonio Berritta at work in his vineyards in Dorgali

CANTINA BERRITTA

The Berritta family’s business is family-run and focuses

on promoting the indigenous grape varieties of the

Dorgali area, though it also has a passion for Syrah,

which thrives in the Oddoene Valley.

The vines cover about 10 hectares, with a further three

hectares planted to olive groves which are set aside

for family consumption. The Berritta family’s focus

on sustainability is patent both in the vineyard and in

the winery. Even the choice of packaging and all the

materials used for packaging were made from recycled

materials.

Cantina Berritta’s vineyards have always been farmed

using traditional methods and agronomic techniques

aimed at respecting the environment and biodiversity,

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in order to produce wines with a strong identity in a

healthy environment. Since 2019, the company has

been certified organic.

Although it was already working under the organic

system, certification has opened up fast track access to

northern European markets where it exports a large part

of its production of between 35,000 and 50,000 bottles.

GIOGANTINU CANTINA SOCIALE

The Cantina Sociale Giogantinu was founded in 1955

and has grown over time to its current 250 members.

It boasts 320 hectares of vineyards managed by its

members, who bring their precious grapes to the

modern winery. The company always looks to the

future, devoting great attention to innovation and

training, and feels that evolving means growing and

improving while respecting tradition. The area covered

by Giogantinu’s winegrowers is located in the northeast

of Sardinia, an enchanting hilly region with a

strong vocation for wine production. It has a strong

regional identity and clear stylistic precision, all with an

increasing focus on sustainability. In fact, in recent years

Giogantinu has been experimenting with the principles

of organic winemaking. In collaboration with partners,

it supports the conversion of Vermentino vineyards

from traditional farming techniques to organic. In

2018, it switched to the renewable energy source of the

sun, installing a photovoltaic system to the roof of its

buildings – the system now produces 136775.31 kWh

annually from 497.46 m 2 of panels. Its new approach

is epitomised by its organic Vermentino di Gallura

DOCG and an IGT Isola dei Nuraghi Rosso without

added sulphites. This is a very important milestone for

this historic Sardinian company, which has a processing

capacity of 25,000 quintals of grapes per year.

The young generation at the Berritta winery who epitomise the

sustainable future of Sardinian viticulture

Sicily and Sardinia are two benchmark regions for

organic winegrowing in Italy, not only due to their

predisposition from a soil and climate perspective,

but also due to the determination of sensitive and farsighted

producers, from small, young wineries right

through to the large, long-standing co-operative. Their

approach encapsulates a high level of respect and

heralds an increasingly organic future.

Cantina Giogantinu’s agronomic approach favours the

lack of chemicals for growing vines, showing complete

respect for nature

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SOUTH AFRICA

– SPIRITS –

Creating magic at Oude Molen Distillers, brandy blending specialist Lara Patrick

The Spirit of Cape Wine

Boasting a 350-year history of brandy production and a wealth of award-winning

brands, South Africa’s premium distillers are confident that Cape Brandy can

finally emerge from the shadow of Cognac.

By Joanne Gibson - Photographs: courtesy of the producers

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SOUTH AFRICA

– SPIRITS –

Master distiller Pieter de Bod is KWV’s spirits manager

Next year will mark exactly 350 years since the first

documented distillation of brandy took place in

South Africa (SA). On 19 May 1672, the assistant

cook aboard a Dutch ship anchored in Table

Bay succeeded in transforming two half leggers

(575 litres) of Cape wine into three ankers (126 litres) of ‘very

delicious brandy’.

Just as Dutch merchants played a key role in the development

of Cognac during the 17 th century, discovering that the doubledistillation

of wine followed by its storage and/or transport in

wooden casks not only preserved it but made it smoother and

more delicious, so too did they encourage the production of

brandewijn at the Cape, their refreshment station en route to

and from the East.

Fast forward to modern times and there can be no doubt

that SA produces a world-beating spirit. ‘We win the major

international trophies most of the time,’ claims the Cape

Brandy Distillers Guild, which was established five years ago

to provide a provenance-driven platform for SA’s finest potstill

brandies. Although these currently make up only a fraction of

SA’s total brandy production – about 5% – it’s no exaggeration

about the trophies. At the annual International Wine & Spirit

Competition, SA producers have won the coveted Worldwide

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SOUTH AFRICA

– SPIRITS –

Oude Molen master distiller Danie Pretorius

Brandy Trophy no fewer than 16 times in two decades. At the

International Spirits Challenge, one producer alone – KWV –

has been named Brandy/Cognac Producer of the Year four

times since 2015.

‘I believe what differentiates our brandies from other brandies

are our world-class production methods,’ says KWV spirits

manager Pieter de Bod. ‘Our production regulations are

among the strictest in the world.’

CAPE BRANDY BASICS

SA’s finest potstill brandies, which now have the exclusive

right to be labelled as Cape Brandy, are produced in exactly

the same manner as Cognac, which is to say they are 100%

double distilled in copper potstills, then aged for a number

of years in oak barrels (these may be no larger than 340 litres

for at least the first three years). However, SA’s minimum age

terms are longer than those in France. ‘Our minimum three

years’ maturation is more than the two-year minimum for

entry-level Cognac,’ says Christelle Reade-Jahn, director of the

SA Brandy Foundation.

106 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


SOUTH AFRICA

– SPIRITS –

While Cape Brandy mirrors Cognac in its production

techniques, however, it is proudly unique. ‘The difference

lies in the base wines,’ says Danie Pretorius, master

distiller at Oude Molen. ‘Cape Brandies are predominantly

Colombard- and Chenin Blanc-based, while the main

varietal in Cognac is Ugni Blanc, which yields a very

neutral wine. Cognac generally gains its complexity from

maturation, which is why they tend to use more new

wood than we do in SA. Cape Brandies tend to be distilled

and matured to preserve and enhance the complex fruit

characteristics present in the base varieties. I believe that

the sweet spot for a Cape Brandy is achieved at the point

where these fresh fruit characteristics are complemented

by maturation-derived aromas and flavours. This is usually

achieved after 8-12 years of maturation.’

The generally warmer and drier SA climate plays a role,

too, resulting in base wines with slightly more alcohol than

in Cognac (10 to 12% versus about 8%). ‘We use fuller,

fruitier base wines in the production of our brandies,’ says

Marlene Bester, distillery manager at Van Ryn’s, which

is Distell’s flagship and another consistent winner of

prestigious international awards. ‘As a result, our brandies

are much more fruity and complex in character, and this

you find on the nose as well as on the palate.’

Lower humidity than in France can cause the alcoholic

strength of the spirit to rise further during barrel maturation

due to higher evaporation. ‘Maturation of the distillate is

sped up, thus giving us a smooth, well-balanced product,’

says De Bod. ‘We get the aged character a bit faster than

producers in France or even Stellenbosch,’ says Andre

Landman, winemaker at Die Mas van Kakamas, located in

the hot, dry Northern Cape.

Van Ryn’s distillery manager Marlene Bester

MAJOR PLAYERS

Just as Cognac is dominated by the likes of Martell,

Hennessy, Rémy Martin and Courvoisier, SA brandy

production is dominated by two companies: Distell (which

produces several brands of blended brandies in addition to

its flagship Van Ryn’s range of 10, 12, 15 and 20 Year Single

Potstill Brandies) and KWV (whose core range consists of

the 3 and 5 Year blended brandies and 10, 12, 15 and XXO

20 Year Potstill Brandies, in addition to Imoya VSOP).

However, Oude Molen has emerged as a third major player,

Distell’s Van Ryn’s distillery is housed in a chateau-like complex in

Vlottenburg, Stellenbosch

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 107


SOUTH AFRICA

– SPIRITS –

KWV’s brandy portfolio is showcased at The House of Fire, a

multifaceted venue at the KWV Wine Emporium in Paarl

Oude Molen boasts the largest copper potstill in the Southern Hemisphere,

nicknamed Big Bertha, with a capacity of 23,000 litres

not only producing its own three-year-old VS, five-year-old

VSOP and 10-year-old XO potstill brandies but also owning

the independently operated Ladismith and Joseph Barry

distilleries.

Oude Molen was started by René Santhagens, widely

considered the Father of SA Brandy, a Dutch-born

distiller who first established the Golden Lion Distillery

at Vlottenburg in Stellenbosch in 1903 (today home to

Van Ryn’s) before buying the Oude Molen farm under

Stellenbosch’s Papegaaiberg in 1909. Here he embraced

Cognac methods and produced fine brandy until his death

in 1937, but in 2003 Oude Molen moved to much bigger

and more modern premises in Elgin, where column stills sit

opposite the beautiful copper potstills – including two of

the largest copper potstills in the Southern Hemisphere (Big

Bertha and Long Tom).

Oude Molen master distiller Danie Pretorius is proud to

have received a double gold medal from Gilbert & Gaillard

not only for the ‘elegant and refined’ Oude Molen VSOP,

but also for the XO Royal Cape Brandy that Oude Molen

distils by appointment to the Zulu king as part of a range

of products offered by Bayede! (a majority black-owned,

women-managed company based in Paarl that provides

employment opportunities). ‘The late King Goodwill

Zwelithini wanted a spirit that was bold, textured and

above all distinctive,’ says Pretorius. ‘We submitted a few

samples and the one which was selected really is a standout.

The Bayede! XO Royal Cape Brandy shows a distinctive

hint of cloves and curry leaf on the nose, which I’ve never

encountered in another brandy. The king loved it!’

Now owned by Oude Molen, the Ladismith Distillery

founded in 1851 produces vast amounts of column-distilled

brandy, but once a year a small potstill is fired up to distil

just enough of the highest quality base wine that will

eventually become the ‘classic’ Ladismith 8 Year Old Cape

Brandy rated 90 by Gilbert & Gaillard.

Then there’s the Joseph Barry Distillery in Barrydale, which

owes its name to a liquor tradesman who settled in the

Swellendam area of the Klein Karoo in the 1820s. Frustrated

that overland travel to the Cape was so slow, Barry deployed

a fleet of riverboats to transport goods (including wine and

brandy) along the Breede River. ‘Finely crafted in traditional

Woudberg copper stills, each Cape Brandy in the range is

108 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


SOUTH AFRICA

– SPIRITS –

Third-generation owner of Backsberg, Michael Back

a dedication to Barry’s maverick ways and ongoing quest

for perfection,’ says Pretorius, delighted about double gold

ratings for the ‘lengthy and layered’ VSOP (92) and the

‘delicate and refined’ XO (96).

CRAFT ARM

Big as it may be, Oude Molen has joined the Cape Brandy

Distillers Guild which mostly represents producers crafting

small-volume potstill brandies – an exciting development

in recent decades, spearheaded by the late Sydney Back of

Paarl wine estate Backsberg, who in the early 1990s lobbied

for legislative change surrounding the production of estate

potstill brandy. Determined to produce a spirit equivalent

to the great Cognacs, Back sought advice from Rémy Martin

and imported an alembic potstill – and in 1995 he scooped

the IWSC trophy for the Best Brandy in the World.

Along with winemaker Alicia Rechner, Back’s son Michael

and grandson Simon have kept the brandy flame burning

ever since, using early-picked Paarl Chenin to produce a

base wine that is double-distilled and then matured in

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 109


SOUTH AFRICA

– SPIRITS –

Tokara viticulturist Aidan Morton and winemaker Stuart Botha have

state-of-the-art equipment at their disposal

Charles Withington of Withington Wines is a trustee of the

Cape Brandy Distillers Guild

small Limousin barriques – the ‘excellent’ Sydney Back

10 scoring an impressive 94 points. ‘The pioneering spirit of

Sydney well and truly shines through in each and every sip,’

says marketing manager Bianca-Joy Lenhardt, revealing that

production will move to Franschhoek following producerwholesaler

DGB’s acquisition of a major stake in Backsberg.

DGB also owns historic Franschhoek estate Boschendal,

where the development of a 10 Year Old Potstill Brandy

(88 points) was seen as ‘a natural evolution’. Similarly,

Distell-owned Durbanville Hills says its unusual Merlot

Potstill Brandy (aged 10 years in French oak and finished

in Merlot barrels) came about when cellarmaster Martin

Moore was having lunch with spirits connoisseur Johan

Venter, 11 years ago, and they suddenly wished they could

finish the meal with a Durbanville Hills brandy (a good

idea now validated by a 90-point rating).

Meanwhile, family-owned Tokara in Stellenbosch has

released an XO Potstill Brandy made from Chenin Blanc,

double distilled in a Pruhlo alembic potstill, then aged

in 300-litre Limousin oak casks for up to 16 years

(91 points). ‘Being a small operation and having such

incredible equipment at our disposal allows us to keep

small batches of fine spirits separate,’ says winemaker

Stuart Botha. ‘These batches are then selected to make a

rich and distinctive blend.’

Blaauwklippen, Groot Constantia, Windfall and Withington

Wines are just a few other wine producers that have joined

the Cape Brandy Distillers Guild, not to mention organic

producer Upland whose brandy range includes a 10-yearold,

12-year-old, two limited-release 15-year-olds and SA’s

first undiluted cask-strength (62%) brandy. ‘Working with

such a committed bunch of distillers, knowing that with

each and every one of them uncompromising excellence is

part of their DNA, makes me feel both proud and privileged

to be a custodian of Cape Brandy,’ says Charles Withington,

a trustee of the Guild who produces his own seven-year-old

potstill brandy named Voorkamer.

Another trustee of the Guild is Kobus Gelderblom, formerly

the KWV’s chief brandy master and now an independent

consultant to Oude Molen and several smaller distillers

through his own company, Mountain Spirit: ‘The big guys

– KWV and Distell – buy in most of their wines and they

can select the best wines. The smaller wineries have only

110 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


SOUTH AFRICA

– SPIRITS –

that certain cultivar that’s available. That’s their biggest

challenge. A few years ago you could have differentiated a

lot between the two, but now there is hardly any difference.

The smaller guys are catching up.’

NEW FRONTIERS

It’s interesting to note that excellent quality is also coming

from the Northern Cape, a vast thirstland where thousands

of hectares of vines grow along the Orange River, running

through the so-called Green Kalahari. Sourcing grapes from

580 grape producers, Orange River Cellars has achieved

an impressive 90-point rating for its Bontstaan VSOP,

aged in French and American oak for five years and

proudly stating 100% Potketel/Handgemaak (Afrikaans for

Potstill/Handmade). Kobus Gelderblom is involved in the

blending of Bontstaan, as he is with Die Kalahari Truffel,

the potketelbrandewyn produced by another Orange River

wine farm, Die Mas van Kakamas, owned by the Hanekom

family. ‘Kobus is one of the best in the industry and we are

very glad to have him as part of our brandy journey,’ says

Die Mas winemaker Andre Landman. ‘We have a great team

that works very hard to create and bottle the best. Anyone

can follow a recipe but if you don’t have passion for what

you do, you’ll never get to the top.’

‘The passion that our producers have definitely plays a role

in constantly producing very high quality brandies,’ says

Marlene Bester (Van Ryn’s). ‘I always say that when you

taste an SA potstill brandy, you can taste the SA sunshine

and the passion of our producers.’

United in this ‘passion’ for Cape Brandy, defined by

centuries-old techniques combined with the perfect

marriage of terroir and craftsmanship, members of the

Guild have spent five years lobbying the term ‘Cape Brandy’

to be legally recognised as a permissible alternative to

‘Potstill Brandy’, which describes the process but doesn’t

necessarily sound very premium. In August 2021 they

finally succeeded, with Danie Pretorius commenting:

‘We are very happy that the term Cape Brandy has

now been taken up in the Liquor Products Act as an

official descriptor for pot-distilled brandies from the Cape

provinces. Legal recognition is the first step in building a

premium, provenance-driven category for Cape Brandy,

which is literally the best in the world.’

Guild trustee Kobus Gelderblom is now an independent,

highly sought-after brandy consultant

Northern Cape brandy producer Die Mas van Kakamas is owned by the

Hanekom family: Vlok Senior (centre) with sons Vlok Junior and Coetzer

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 111


STARS

– & WINE –

Ana de Armas:

“My first glass of wine

was a Rioja”

Four years ago, nobody had heard of her, except in Spain where her career began.

Now, she is on the cover of the leading women’s magazines across the globe.

After achieving international success with the films ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and ‘Knives Out’,

she was chosen to play a James Bond girl in ‘No Time To Die’, and will also star in the

torrid erotic thriller ‘Deep Water’. Her name? Ana. Ana de Armas. She’s 31 years old,

Cuban-Spanish and you haven’t heard the last of her!

Interview by Frank Rousseau, our correspondent in the United States

Photographs: all rights reserved

Ana de Armas with Frank Rousseau

When was the first time you took a sip of this

wonderful beverage we call wine?

Before I was 18, I lived in Cuba. There were no luxuries,

but that didn’t stop me from dreaming of a better

future. The problem was that we didn’t have much

access to the outside world. When I was 18, I was able to

leave for Spain. My maternal grandparents were Spanish

citizens, so I was able to obtain a European passport. I

moved to Madrid to pursue my acting career. I started

in a series called ‘El Internado’ and I left Cuba and its

hardships behind! Though I love my country and my

people deeply! Anyway, once in Spain, I was able to

eat things I enjoyed eating. Most importantly, there was

variety. One day, a group of friends took me to a tapas

bar. That’s where I had my first glass of wine. It was a

Rioja you served yourself from a large oak barrel. It was

great fun! Since then, not a day goes by without me

enjoying some wine.

What kind of wine?

I don’t drink fine wines every day. Sometimes it can be a

simple table wine. I keep an open mind when someone

112 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


suggests I taste a wine I’m not familiar with. But there’s

one thing I can’t stand, and that’s when a man imposes his

tastes on me. As if I wasn’t old enough to choose what I like

myself!

Do you think that the world of wine is still maledominated?

I think that mentalities are changing. The custom where the

father figure, the man, the males choose the wine is still - I

think - very deep-seated. But in the cities, I read recently in a

magazine that more than 60% of people who buy wine are

women. I don’t know if they are shopping for their husbands

or boyfriends, but the fact is that by doing so, they are bound

to become more familiar with wine! I also read in the same

article that more and more women are starting to produce

wine. And often successfully so. I think it’s great that wine is

becoming more feminine at all levels. Just like men, we have

enjoyed wine for centuries and I don’t see why we should

be excluded. Besides, as I often say, when you look closely

at a wine bottle or a wine glass, you realise that their curves

definitely remind you of women.

AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 113


CONTACT

– DETAILS –

BORDEAUX – PAGES 10 – 23

• Château Les Bertrands: Tel. +33 5 57 32 40 27 -

www.chateaulesbertrands.com

• Château Petit Val: Tel. +33 5 57 24 70 86 -

www.chateaupetitval.com

• Coubris JLC: Tel. +33 5 56 17 13 17 -

www.chateaulamouline.com

• Château Haut Macô: Tel. +33 5 57 68 81 26 -

www.hautmaco.com

• Vignobles Roux: Tel. +33 5 56 61 98 93 -

www.vignobles-roux.com

• Les Vignerons de Tutiac: Tel. +33 5 57 32 48 33 -

www.tutiac.com

• Château de Malleret: Tel. +33 5 56 35 05 36 -

www.chateau-malleret.fr

• Château Léoville Barton: Tel. +33 5 56 59 06 05 -

www.leoville-barton.com

LANGUEDOC – PAGES 24 – 30

• Mas de Daumas Gassac: Tél. +33 4 67 57 88 45 -

www.daumas-gassac.com

• Vignobles Foncalieu: Tel. +33 4 68 76 21 68 -

www.foncalieu.com

• Cave Alma Cersius: Tel. +33 4 67 39 31 79 -

www.almacersius.com

IMPORTER – PAGE 31

• Wine4You : www.wine4you.club

JURA – PAGES 32 – 39

• Fruitière Vinicole de Voiteur: Tel. + 3 84 85 21 29 -

www.fvv.fr

• Domaine Jacques Tissot : Tel. + 3 84 66 24 54 -

www.domaine-jacques-tissot.fr

• Domaine Jean-Luc Mouillard: Tel. + 3 84 25 94 30 -

www.domainemouillard.com

ROUSSILLON – PAGES 40 – 47

• Jonquères d’Oriola: Tel. +33 4 68 22 73 22 -

https://jonqueresdoriola.fr/en/

• Vignerons Catalans: Tel. +33 4 68 85 04 51 -

www.vigneronscatalans.com

• Domaine Lafage: Tel. +33 4 68 80 35 82 -

https://domaine-lafage.com

• Arnaud de Villeneuve winery:

Tel. +33 4 68 64 06 63 -

http://arnauddevilleneuve.com

• Domaine Cazes: Tel. +33 4 68 64 08 26 -

www.cazes-rivesaltes.com

BURGUNDY – PAGES 48 – 57

• Domaine Raphael Sallet: Tel. +33 3 85 40 50 45 -

www.raphaelsallet.fr/en/

• Domaine Perraud: Tel. +33 3 85 32 95 12 -

http://domaineperraud.fr/

• Vignerons des Terres Secrètes:

Tel. +33 3 85 37 64 89 -

https://terres-secretes.com/en/

• Domaine de la Feuillarde: Tel. +33 3 85 34 54 45 -

www.domaine-feuillarde.com

• Domaine Sangouard-Guyot:

Tel. +33 3 85 35 89 45 -

www.domaine-sangouard-guyot.com

• Domaine Luquet in Fuissé: Tel. +33 3 85 35 60 91 -

www.domaine-luquet.com

LOIRE VALLEY – PAGES 58 – 65

• Famille Bougrier: Tel. + 33 2 54 71 31 02 -

www.famille-bougrier.fr

• Domaine Delaunay: Tel. + 33 2 41 39 08 39 -

www.domaine-delaunay.com

• Vignoble Pin: Tel. + 33 2 41 78 35 26 -

www.vignoblepin.com

• Château La Varière: Tel. + 33 2 41 91 22 64 -

ww.chateaulavariere.fr

• Domaine Boutet Saulnier:

Tel. : + 33 2 47 52 73 61

• Domaine du Buisson: Tel. +33 2 41 72 73 91 -

www.domaine-du-buisson.com

• Domaine des Aubuisières Bernard Fouquet:

Tel. : +33 2 47 52 67 82 -

www.vouvrayfouquet.com

• Domaine Loizeau Clain: Tel. + 33 2 41 91 29 79 -

www.domaineloizeauclain.com

SPAIN – PAGES 66 – 75

• Coviñas: Tel. +34 96 230 06 80 -

https://covinas.com

• Finca San Blas: Tel. +34 963 375 617 -

https://fincasanblas.com

• Passiego: Tel. +34 609 076 575 -

https://bodegaspasiego.com

• Torre Oria: Tel. +34 962 320 289 -

www.torreoria.com

PORTUGAL – PAGES 76 – 83

• Quinta Nova: Tel. +351 254 730 420 -

www.quintanova.com

• Rui Roboredo Madeira: Tel. +351 220 160 541 -

http://ruimadeira.pt

• Barao Del Vilar: Tel. +351 22 3773330 -

www.baraodevilar.com

ITALY – PAGES 84 – 93

• Nals Margreid: Tel. +39 0471 678 626 -

www.kellerei.it

• Elena Walch: Tel. +39 0471 860 172 -

www.elenawalch.com

• Villa Corniole: Tel. +39 0461 695067 -

www.villacorniole.com

• Weger Hof: Tel. +39 0471 66 24 16 -

www.wegerhof.it

• Laimburg: www.facebook.com/Laimburg.Wein

• La Source: Tel. +39 0165 904038 -

www.lasource.it

• Les Cretes: Tel. + 39 0165 90 22 74 -

www.lescretes.it

ITALY – PAGES 94 – 103

SICILY

• Palmento Costanzo: Tel. +39 0942 983239 -

www.palmentocostanzo.com

• Cantine Fina: Tel. +39 0923 733 070 -

https://cantinefina.it

• Barbadoro: Tel. +39 0571 674051 -

www.tenutabarbadoro.it

• Cantina Ferreri: Tel. +39 333 2143255 -

www.ferrerivini.com

SARDINIA

• La Contralta: Tel. +39 349 6806547 -

https://lacontraltavini.it

• Antonella Corda: Tel. +39 070 796 63 00 -

www.antonellacorda.it

• Cantina Berritta: Tel. +39 0784 95372 -

www.cantinaberritta.it

• Giogantinu Cantina Sociale: Tel. +39 079704163 -

www.giogantinu.it

SOUTH AFRICA – PAGES 104 – 111

• Cape Brandy Distillers Guild: www.capebrandy.org

• SA Brandy Foundation: Tel. +27 64 754 6552 -

www.sabrandy.co.za

• Backsberg: Tel. +27 21 875 5141 -

www.backsberg.co.za

• Bayede!: Tel. +27 21 863 3406 -

www.bayede.co.za

• Boschendal: Tel. +27-21-870-4200 -

www.boschendalwines.com

• Blaauwklippen: Tel. 27 21 880 0133 -

www.blaauwklippen.com

• Die Mas van Kakamas: Tel. +27 71 015 7131 -

www.diemas.co.za

• Durbanville Hills: Tel. +27 21 558 1300 -

www.durbanvillehills.co.za

• Groot Constantia: Tel. +27 21 794-5128 -

www.grootconstantia.co.za

• Joseph Barry: Tel. +27 21 859 2517 -

www.josephbarry.co.za

• KWV: Tel. +27 21 807 3911 - www.kwv.co.za

• Ladismith: Tel. +27 21 859 2517 -

www.ladismithcapebrandy.co.za

• Mountain Spirit: Tel. +27 82 802 5248 -

www.mountainspirit.co.za

• Orange River Wines: Tel. +27 54 337 8800 -

www.orangeriverwines.com

• Oude Molen: Tel. +27 21 859 2517 -

www.oudemolen.co.za

• Tokara: Tel. +27 21 808 5900 - www.tokara.com

• Upland: Tel. +27 21 864 1184 -

www.organicwine.co.za

• Van Ryn’s: Tel. +27 21 881 3875 -

www.vanryn.co.za

• Windfall: Tel. +27 83 320 8473 -

www.windfallwine.co.za

• Withington Wines: Tel. +27 22 492 3971 -

www.withington.co.za

114 AUTUMN 2021 GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


Pages 116 to 122

TOP WINES

AND BRANDIES

OUR SELECTION

— SARDINIA-SICILY-CAPE BRANDIES-MEDAL-WINNING WINES —

The best OF AUTUMN 2021

Our Autumn 2021 selection, tasted and rated by our tasting panel, is featured on pages 116 to 122. We

have chosen to present wines by region (SARDINIA, CAPE BRANDIES...), then by appellation in each region,

with each company or chateau listed in alphabetical order, and finally by tasting scores in descending order.

THE TASTING PANEL

FRANCE

FRANCE

FRANCE

Philippe Gaillard

Olivier Delorme

James Turnbull

François Gilbert

SOUTH AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA

Sylvain Patard

Matthieu Gaillard

François Bezuidenhout

Wine scores

Our tasting notes are scored on a 100 point scale, which gives

enough range to evaluate every characteristic that we taste in a

wine. Below are the different levels that make up this scoring:

95-100/100: an outstanding wine, when a great “terroir” meets

exceptional winemaking expertise.

90-94/100: a superlative wine combining finesse, complexity and

remarkable winemaking.

85-89100: a wine of extremely high standard, which we enjoyed for its

typicity and character.

80-84/100: a quality wine combining balance, structure and neatness for

a pleasurable wine drinking experience.

75-79/100: a wine deemed acceptable.

70-74/100: a wine with defects, unacceptable.

65-69/100: a wine with major defects, inadmissible.

50-64/100: unacceptable wine, not worthy for sale.

Note: wines scoring less than 75/100 are not included in our publications.

■ RED WINE

Wine characteristics

■ DRY WHITE WINE

■ ROSE WINE

■ SWEET WHITE WINE

ORG : Organic Wine.

CONV : In the process of converting to organic

production.

CR : This statement refers to sensible farming

methods where use of inputs or agri-chemicals are

restricted. These include fertilisers or other crop

protection products, the aim being to limit their

impact on the environment to a minimum.

AGEABILITY

■ SPARKLING BRUT

■ SPARKLING EXTRA-BRUT

■ SPARKLING BRUT ROSE

■ BRANDIES

D= DRINK NOW D= DRINK NOW OR KEEP D= KEEP

AUTUMN 2021 - GILBERT & GAILLARD - THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 115


ITALY - Sardinia and Sicily

ITALY

OUR AUTUMN

SELECTION

Sardinia and Sicily

Our selection of organic wines from

the Italian islands, naturally blessed for

growing this type of wine.

CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA D.O.C.

ANTONELLA CORDA 92/100

CONV n D 2018 : Light red. Crisp, focused and

endearing nose of ripe red fruits. The palate introduces

a subtle oaky tone which adds depth and length. This is

a wine combining good palate weight and freshness.

Uncork for festive foods.

Price: € 16.50

http://www.antonellacorda.it

Azienda Agricola Antonella Corda

+39 328 591 14 30

LA CONTRALTA 92/100

CR n D L’Ora Grande 2019 : Brilliant ruby with

bricking. Enticing nose marrying raspberry, morello

cherry, ivy and a floral touch. Nervy, rich, robust palate

with complex, intense aromas entwining touches of

maquis, spice and chalk. Its delicacy and precision are

beguiling.

Price: € 30

https://lacontraltavini.it/en

La Contralta

+39 34 96 80 65 47

NURAGUS DI CAGLIARI D.O.C.

ANTONELLA CORDA 90/100

CONV n D 2019 : Very pale yellow. Intense, floral

nose accented by meadow aromas with a faint saline

tone. The palate is very expressive and fleshy and offers

up more of the same heady aromas whilst staying very

harmonious. A novel wine well worth discovering.

Price: € 12

http://www.antonellacorda.it

Azienda Agricola Antonella Corda

+39 328 591 14 30

VERMENTINO DI GALLURA D.O.C.G.

LA CONTRALTA 91/100

CR n D Fiore del Sasso 2019 : Light straw-yellow.

Pleasant nose marrying citrus fruits, infusion notes and

a floral touch. Indulgent fleshy, concentrated and tense

palate exuding generous, elegant aromas of fine spices

and jasmine. Great finesse. Certainly won us over.

Price: € 30

https://lacontraltavini.it/en

La Contralta

+39 34 96 80 65 47

CANTINA DEL GIOGANTINU 88/100

ORG n D Lughente 2019 : Pale gold with green tints.

Spring-like nose of wild flowers and bush peach. Very

fresh palate with mouth-watering exuberance and

satisfying flavours. This is a very refreshing, invigorating

wine revealing clean, pure, juicy fruit. A wine for

Antonella Corda’s vines, near Cagliari in southern Sardinia

sharing with someone special.

Price: € 7

http://www.giogantinu.it

Cantina del Giogantinu

+39 07 97 04 163

ANTONELLA CORDA 90/100

CONV n D 2019 : Brilliant pale yellow. Expressive,

delicate nose showing floral and mineral tones.

Beautifully textured, fresh palate with remarkable

aromatic precision and persistency.

Price: € 12.50

http://www.antonellacorda.it

Azienda Agricola Antonella Corda

+39 328 591 14 30

CERASUOLO DI VITTORIA D.O.C.G.

SOCIETÀ AGRICOLA SANTA TRESA 91/100

ORG n D 2018 : Intense garnet with bricking. Rich

nose revealing black fruits, gunflint, mixed spices and a

touch of maquis. Silky attack followed by a structured,

ample palate delivering a complex array of tropical

aromatics. Superb sense of place.

Price: € 10

http://www.twpwines.com

The Wine People

+39 046 196 10 10

ETNA D.O.C.

PALMENTO COSTENZO 92/100

ORG n D Contrada Santo Spirito 2017 : Light red

with brown-like highlights. ripe nose marrying sweet

spices, leather, undergrowth, stewed red and black

fruits and smoky oakiness. Rich, full palate supported

by fat tannins and supple oak influence. A generous,

ambitious and nicely settled wine.

Price: € 40

https://www.palmentocostanzo.com/en/

Palmento Costanzo

+39 392 138 00 66

PALMENTO COSTENZO 90/100

ORG n D Mofete 2018 : Light red with orangybrown

tints. Mature nose showing jammy red berries,

undergrowth, leather and exotic wood aromas. Supple,

mature palate with complex fruitiness tinged with noble

herbal aromatics. Smooth tannins and a fairly warm

finish. Pairs with game.

Price: € 15

https://www.palmentocostanzo.com/en/

Palmento Costanzo

+39 392 138 00 66

MOFETE 89/100

ORG n D 2019 : Light red. Endearing, focused nose

of ripe red fruits. More of the same, quite mature, fruit

profile on the palate. A light-bodied, yet very wellbalanced

red wine for enjoying with all local cold cuts.

Price: € 15

https://www.palmentocostanzo.com/en/

Palmento Costanzo

+39 392 138 00 66

MOFETE 88/100

ORG n D 2020 : Pale orangy hue. Subtle nose with a

faint touch of citrus fruits and gunflint. The palate is ripe,

fleshy and very fruity with a tense finish that stays nicely

perfumed. A very refreshing rosé.

Price: € 15

https://www.palmentocostanzo.com/en/

Palmento Costanzo

+39 392 138 00 66

SICILIA D.O.C.

CORTE IBLA 91/100

ORG n D 1697 - Grillo 2019 : Vibrant pale yellow

with green tints. Enticing nose intermixing lime, flint,

greengages and a floral tone. A silky attack flows

into a sleek, concentrated, tense palate which delivers

precise, persistent expression. Everything is clear and

without artifice. Superb.

Price: € 7

http://www.twpwines.com

116

AUTUMN 2021– GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


ITALY - Sardinia and Sicily

The Wine People

+39 046 196 10 10

MIRAL 91/100

ORG n D Nero d’Avola 2020 : Deep crimson tinged

with dark purple. Expressive nose combining plum,

morello cherry, mineral and smoke notes. Concentrated,

ample palate laden with freshness. Great intensity

coupled with saltiness. Nothing surplus to requirements.

Splendid site-expressiveness.

Price: € 10

http://www.cantinefina.it

Fina Vini

+39 092 373 30 70

DI GIOVANNA 90/100

ORG n D Helios Grillo 2019 : Brilliant light yellow

with green tints. Racy nose driven by smoky, vanilla

and mineral notes with a touch of ripe fruits and citrus in

the background. Full-bodied palate suffused with great

exuberance, fat and delicious mouth-filling aromas.

Articulate sense of place.

Price: € 10.60

http://www.di-giovanna.com

Di Giovanna

+39 09 251 955 675

IL BALZI 90/100

ORG n D Nero d’Avola Bio 2019 : Deep ruby.

Expressive, compelling and very endearing nose

showing prune and cacao tones. The palate delivers

more of the same, in a precise style supported by

freshness. A wine that appeals for its rigour.

http://www.verga.it

Casa Vinicola Natale Verga

+39 044 464 81 80

MIRAL 90/100

ORG n D Grillo 2020 : Brilliant light gold. Generous

nose revealing mineral and fruit perfumes, sage and

maquis. Bold freshness adds drive to a wine with welldefined,

delicate, crisp and intense flavours. Balanced

and persuasive.

Price: € 10

http://www.cantinefina.it

Fina Vini

+39 092 373 30 70

CORTE IBLA 89/100

ORG n D 1697 - Nero d’Avola 2019 : Deep garnet.

Appealing nose marrying cherry, plum, fine spices,

dried herbs and a touch of menthol. Silky, ample,

robust palate unfurling a generous array of pure,

delicate aromas that linger. A really pleasurable wine

that works well with red meats.

Price: € 9

http://www.twpwines.com

The Wine People

+39 046 196 10 10

CANTINE VOLPI 88/100

ORG n D Nero d’Avola 2020 : Deep, young crimson.

Appealing nose combining blueberry, morello cherry,

menthol and spice notes. The palate is instantly

accessible with charming succulence and joyful

characters. Spices become more emboldened on the

finish in this pleasant, accessible wine.

Price: € 8

http://www.cantinevolpi.it

Cantine Volpi

+39 01 31 86 10 72

IL BALZI 88/100

ORG n D Grillo Bio 2020 : Pale yellow. Nose of

almond and white fruits revealing a faint smoky tone.

Fruit is more upfront on the palate with tropical tones,

all of which is steeped in freshness. A refreshing and

extremely pure wine.

http://www.verga.it

Casa Vinicola Natale Verga

+39 044 464 81 80

ALLUMEA GRILLO CHARDONNAY 87/100

ORG n D Organic 2020 : Brilliant yellow-gold.

Pleasant nose combining white-fleshed fruits, spring-like

perfumes and a tropical touch. Ethereal palate with an

ample, easy-drinking mouthfeel offering flavours that are

seductively well-judged and intense. Sheer enjoyment.

http://www.orion-wines.com

Orion Wines

+39 046 124 71 35

DI GIOVANNA 86/100

ORG n D V.21 Vasca Ventuno - BIB 2020 : Pale

gold with silvery green highlights. Floral nose with cut

herbs, white fruits and citrus. Rounded, smooth palate

showing substantial freshness and revealing focused

fruit aromatics and soft sourness on the finish. Ideal for

grilled sardines.

Price: € 22

http://www.di-giovanna.com

Di Giovanna

+39 09 251 955 675

DI GIOVANNA 83/100

ORG n D V.5 Vasca Cinque - BIB 2020 : Light

grenadine. Confectionery, red fruit candy and a

watermelon note on the nose. The palate has a core of

smooth fruit. Herbal notes become more insistent on the

finish yet do not spoil the simple pleasure of this rosé.

Price: € 22

http://www.di-giovanna.com

Di Giovanna

+39 09 251 955 675

DI GIOVANNA 83/100

ORG n D V.18 Vasca Diciotto - BIB 2019 : Fairly deep

cherry-red with ruby-brown reflections. Nose of red and

black stone fruits with a spicy, liquoricy note. Satisfying

fruit expression on the palate with gentle tannins and

well-established freshness. Medium concentration and

instant gratification.

Price: € 22

http://www.di-giovanna.com

Di Giovanna

+39 09 251 955 675

A vineyard block belonging to Francesco Lirosi’s estate, in southern Sicily

TERRE SICILIANE I.G.T.

MIRAL 92/100

ORG n D Syrah 2020 : Bright ruby with dark purple

reflections. Promising nose combining red fruits, fine

spices and a violet touch. Powerful, velvety, rich palate

with mouth-filling pure, exotic flavours. Firmer midpalate.

Everything is in place. Delicious.

Price: € 10

http://www.cantinefina.it

Fina Vini

+39 092 373 30 70

DI PRIMA 91/100

ORG n D Syrah 2019 : Intense crimson with young

tints. Expressive nose combining hay, spices and an

animal touch with red fruit undertones. Harmonious

attack leading into a lively, robust, concentrated palate

with delicious, exuberant flavours. Already open and

irrisistible. No hesitation.

Price: € 13.50

http://www.diprimavini.it

Di Prima Gaspare Az. Agr.

+39 092 594 12 01

FERRERI 91/100

CR n D Zibibbo 2019 : Light yellow. The nose is laden

with fruit (passion fruit, tangerine, peach) underscored

by a heady floral streak. Very refreshing palate boasting

satisfying acidity and expressive zesty fruit. A dynamic

white wine, full of life, offering instant gratification.

Price: € 11

http://www.ferrerivini.it

Azienda Agricola Ferreri & Bianco S.r.l.

+39 347 320 56 27

AUTUMN 2021 – GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 117


SOUTH AFRICA - Cape Brandies

MIRAL 91/100

ORG n D Chardonnay 2020 : Vibrant light yellowgold.

Pleasant nose intermixing apple, grapefruit and a

volcanic mineral touch. Balanced, rounded, rich palate

that is not lacking in intensity or precision. A lovely

Chardonnay pairing with grilled white meats.

Price: € 10

http://www.cantinefina.it

Fina Vini

+39 092 373 30 70

CANTINE VOLPI 90/100

ORG n D Chardonnay 2020 : Light yellow with green

tints. The nose marries white fruits, floral perfumes and

a touch of fresh grape. The palate is supple, rounded

and easy with focused aromas and a touch of citrus

mid-palate. This is a lovely fresh, harmonious wine for

mussels in a cream sauce.

Price: € 8

http://www.cantinevolpi.it

Cantine Volpi

+39 01 31 86 10 72

DEI PRINCIPI DI SPADAFORA 90/100

ORG n D 2018 : Brilliant light gold. Appealing nose

combining citrus fruits, mango and a mineral accent.

Sleek palate showing remarkable precision with the

nose aromas carrying through in a chiselled, lifted

style delivering noteworthy persistency. Beautiful terroir

expression with nothing that shouldn’t be there.

Price: € 13

http://www.spadafora.com

Dei Principi di Spadafora

+39 091 514 952

FERRERI 90/100

CR n D Pignatello 2018 : Fairly deep red with dark

purple and ruby tints. Smoky oak on the nose with ripe

red and black berries and wild plants. Spontaneous

fruit on the palate which is still juicy and reveals a clean

mouthfeel and delicate oakiness. A savoury wine for

spicy foods.

Price: € 12

http://www.ferrerivini.it

Azienda Agricola Ferreri & Bianco S.r.l.

+39 347 320 56 27

THE WINE PEOPLE S.R.L. 90/100

ORG n D Purato Siccari Appassimento 2019 : Light

red with ruby reflections. Nose of strawberries and

cherries with floral and sweet spice touches. Delicate

mouthfeel with gorgeous fresh fruitiness and effusive

tannins. A structured wine with oodles of appeal.

Price: € 9

http://www.twpwines.com

The Wine People

+39 046 196 10 10

AZIENDA AGRICOLA CORTESE 89/100

ORG n D Nostru Nerello Mascalese 2019 : Clear

garnet. Promising nose blending black berries, touches

of maquis, spice and toast. The palate revolves around

lovely freshness, offering up a light, natural feel, precise

perfumes and exoticism. We were bowled over by it.

Price: € 14

http://www.twpwines.com

The Wine People

+39 046 196 10 10

CORTE IBLA 89/100

ORG n D 1697 - Rosso Appassimento 2019 : Clear

garnet tinged with crimson. Expressive nose revealing

smoky, mineral and peppery notes backed by elegant

fruitiness. Silky attack, harmonious, concentrated, lively

and pure palate displaying deliciously intense cherry

and redcurrant fruitiness. Lovely.

Price: € 9

http://www.twpwines.com

The Wine People

+39 046 196 10 10

DEI PRINCIPI DI SPADAFORA 89/100

ORG n D Schietto - Selezione Limitada 2014 : Deep

garnet with bricking. Expressive nose marrying petrol

aromas, spices and liquorice with fruit undertones. The

palate refocuses on fruit, displaying a robust, dense,

nervy profile with granular tannin presence still. Needs

more time.

Price: € 25

http://www.spadafora.com

Dei Principi di Spadafora

+39 091 514 952

DA VERO 88/100

ORG n D Biologico Nero d’Avola : Cherry-red tinged

with ruby. Nose of red and black berry fruits with a

spicy edge. Lovely sun-ripened generosity on the palate

with dense fruit that really has something to get your

teeth into. Very flavourful, satisfying finish. A rich wine

for foods that taste of the sun.

Price: € 6

https://international.boutinot.com/

Boutinot Ltd.

+39 0141 763 11

DI GIOVANNA 88/100

ORG n D Vurria 2018 : Bright garnet with bricking.

Promising nose intermixing blueberry and cherry

with a jammy, spicy and roasted coffee touch. The

palate harmoniously combines substantial freshness,

a traditional herbal framework and seductive, clean

flavours to create a great wine.

Price: € 7.90

http://www.di-giovanna.com

Di Giovanna

+39 09 251 955 675

DON MICHELANGELO 88/100

ORG n D Bardadoro 2017 : Deep garnet with

bricking. Captivating nose revealing spices, liquorice

and menthol layered over black fruits. Delicious

freshness on the palate, bolstering the feeling of

lightness. Great exotic aromas within a slightly firm

frame still. A successful wine.

Price: € 12

http://barbadoro.it

Francesco Lirosi

+39 33 55 32 11 26

DEI PRINCIPI DI SPADAFORA 87/100

ORG n D Don Pietro Rosato 2019 : Brilliant orangypink

with ruby reflections. Lovely nose combining

red berry fruits, fine floral notes and a herbal touch.

Suppleness and freshness on the palate which displays

medium intensity, precise, lifted aromas and a finely

spiced finish. Successful effort.

Price: € 10

http://www.spadafora.com

Dei Principi di Spadafora

+39 091 514 952

DI GIOVANNA 86/100

ORG n D Vurria 2020 : Pale salmon-pink. Focused

nose revealing strawberry, fine spices and a touch

of maquis. Ethereal palate showing lovely freshness.

Sleek, minimalist profile where aromatic expression is

not overbearingly exuberant and showcases the spice

aromatics.

Price: € 7.20

http://www.di-giovanna.com

Di Giovanna

+39 09 251 955 675

SOUTH AFRICA

OUR AUTUMN

SELECTION

Discovering South African spirits.

They may not be as well-known as

the country’s wines because they are

mostly drunk locally, but their standard is

remarkably high.

Vintage Brandy

WESTERN CAPE

DISTELL 96/100

n D Richelieu Vintage Brandy 10 Years : Deep amber.

Nutty and smoky nose with hints of fresh fruit, quince

and curry. Sweet and elegant on the palate with a

toasty, roasted coffee note on the finish. Smooth and

refined. Excellent and well-made. Classic.

Price: € 17.73

http://www.distell.co.za

Distell

+27 21 886 5640

Cape Brandies

CAPE TOWN - CONSTANTIA

GROOT CONSTANTIA 82/100

n D Cape Brandy VSOP : Golden amber. Slight spice

and dried fruit nose and quince. Smoky and toasty

palate with a rich and creamy mouthfeel. Slight of

whisky lactone. Some hints of judicious oak on the dry,

but integrated finish. Enjoy neat.

Price: € 56.93

Groot Constantia

+27 21 794 5128

CENTRAL ORANGE RIVER

ORANGE RIVER CELLARS 90/100

n D Bontstaan Brandewyn VSOP : Golden amber.

Dried fruit, raisins , apple and apricot nose with hints of

nutmeg. Elegant and smooth on the palate with a dry

and complex finish. Very elegant, integrated alcohol

and refined on the aftertaste. Enjoy neat.

Price: € 15

http://www.orangeriverwines.com

Orange River Cellars

+27 54 337-8800

CENTRAL ORANGE RIVER - KAKAMAS

DIE MAS 83/100

n D Die Kalahari Truffel Potketelbrandewyn VSOP

: Deep amber. Smoky and toasty nose with cloves,

marmite, tobacco . Palate is sweet and smoky with a

charry note on the finish. Unusual and interesting.

Price: € 16.74

http://www.diemas.co.za

Die Mas Wynkelder

+27 54 431 0245

118

AUTUMN 2021 – GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


SOUTH AFRICA - Cape Brandies

A lot of care and attention is given to packaging

bottles at Oude Molen

DARLING

VOORKAMER 81/100

n D Potstill Brandy VSOP : Dark amber. Dried fruit and

toasty nose with hints of citrus. Palate is smoky, rubbery

with a cigar box and tobacco. Dried fruit and spice on

the integrated and complex finish.

Price: € 25.43

http://www.withington.co.za

Withington Wines

+27 22 492 3971

DURBANVILLE

DURBANVILLE HILLS WINES 90/100

n D Merlot Potstill Brandy 10 Years : Dark amber

cloudy. Unfiltered. Toffy and caramel nose with hints

vanilla and tobacco. Sweet vanilla and elegant nose

with a well-integrated nutty and toasty note on the finish.

Complex, rich and refined.

Price: € 20.92

Durbanville Hills

+27 21 558 1300

PAARL

KWV 83/100

n D XXO TWENTY XXO : Very dark amber. Subdued

nose with Muscat and rancio on the nose. Vanilla and

dried fruits. Spice and liquorice on the very subdued

palate. Lacks fruit and complexity, but very enjoyable.

Price: € 107

http://www.kwv.com

KWV

+27 21 807 3353

ROBERTSON

WINDFALL 85/100

n D The Hunter 6 Years : Golden amber. Elegant oaky

nose with dried fruits and apricot. Smooth and dry on

the very elegant palate with spice and a well-integrated

alcohol. Excellent. Drink neat or over ice.

Price: € 45

https://www.windfallwine.co.za/contact-us/

Windfall Wine Farm

+27 83 320 8473

STELLENBOSCH

TOKARA XO POTSTILL BRANDY 91/100

n D Tokara XO Potstill Brandy XO : Cloudy deep

amber. Sweet dried fruit and apricot nose with litchi

and pineapple. Smoky and toasty palate with dried

apricot following from the nose. Elegant and refined on

the aftertaste with a sweet and refined finish.

Price: € 56.75

http://www.tokara.com

Tokara

+27 21 808 5913

BLAAUWKLIPPEN 86/100

n D Blaauwklippen 10 Year Old Potstill Brandy 10

Years : Light golden amber. Toasty nose with dried

fruit, vanilla and nuts. Palate has whisky lactone and

a sweet smoky note on the finish. Smooth and rich on

the lengthy finish.

Price: € 37.36

http://www.blaauwklippen.com

Blaauwklippen

+27 21 880 0133

WESTERN CAPE

JOSEPH BARRY DISTILLERS 96/100

n D Joseph Barry XO Cape Brandy XO : Light gold.

Fresh fruit salad and rancio. Sweet apricot and peach

with dried fruits. Sweet liquorice and spice on the

palate with a delicate and refined finish. Lingering and

well-integrated aftertaste. Drink neat.

Price: € 45

http://www.josephbarry.co.za

Joseph Barry

+27 21 859 2517

BACKSBERG 94/100

n D Sydney Back Brandy 10 Years XO : Deep amber.

Elegant nose with hints of sweet spice and dried

fruit. Passionfruit and dried banana. Rich, refined

and layered on the palate with a creamy and smoky

aftertaste. Excellent.

Price: € 29.38

http://www.backsberg.co.za

Backsberg Estate Cellars

+27 21 875 5141

OUDE MOLEN DISTILLERS 94/100

n D Oude Molen VSOP Cape Brandy VSOP : Light

amber. Fresh fruit salad nose and rancio. Elegant and

refined palate with hints of pineapple, litchi and fresh

fruit following from the nose. Rich and creamy on the

finish with a slight hints of oak. Excellent.

Price: € 33

Cask ageing guarantees complexity and finesse

http://www.oudemolen.co.za

Oude Molen

+27 21 859 2517

JOSEPH BARRY DISTILLERS 92/100

n D Joseph Barry Muscat Cape Brandy VSOP : Golden

amber. Grapey, peach and apricot nose. Smooth and

elegant palate with fresh fruit and dried fruit palate.

Elegant and smooth on the finish with a slight alcoholic

warmth. Drink neat or with your favourite mixer. Muscat

on the finish.

Price: € 17

http://www.josephbarry.co.za

Joseph Barry

+27 21 859 2517

JOSEPH BARRY DISTILLERS 92/100

n D Joseph Barry VSOP Cape Brandy VSOP : Deep

amber. Smoky and toasty nose with hints of spice,

raspberry and nutmeg. Dried fruit and apricot on

the nose with a smooth, sweet and integrated finish.

Lengthy and layered. Excellent.

Price: € 30

http://www.josephbarry.co.za

Joseph Barry

+27 21 859 2517

LADISMITH DISTILLERY 90/100

n D Ladismith Cape Brandy VSOP : Light golden

amber. Fruit forward nose with apple, gooseberry and

quince. Elegant and refined palate with secondary fruit

following from the nose. Clean and fruit-forward with a

lengthy and layered finish. Classic.

Price: € 35

http://www.oudemolen.co.za

Oude Molen

+27 21 859 2517

OUDE MOLEN DISTILLERS 90/100

n D Bayede! XO : Deep amber. Sweet litchi and

vanilla nose with hints of dried citrus. Pineapple and

tropical flavours. Creamy and elegant palate with a

well-integrated oaky character on the finish. Sweet and

smooth on the finish.

Price: € 70

http://www.oudemolen.co.za

Oude Molen

+27 21 859 2517

AUTUMN 2021 – GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 119


SOUTH AFRICA - Cape Brandies

DISTELL 89/100

n D Van Ryn’s Potstill Brandy 12 Years : Deep amber.

Subdued nose with hints of citrus and dried fruits.

Hazelnut and dark chocolate with some warmth.

Elegant and refined on the aftertaste with a sweet and

refined finish. Drink neat.

Price: € 31.89

http://www.distell.co.za

Distell

+27 21 886 5640

JOSEPH BARRY DISTILLERS 89/100

n D Joseph Barry VS Cape Brandy VS : Golden amber.

Dried fruit and caramel nose, pineapple, rancio. Sweet

and creamy palate with a dried fruit and apricot finish.

Some alcoholic warmth on the lengthy finish.

Price: € 20

http://www.josephbarry.co.za

Joseph Barry

+27 21 859 2517

BACKSBERG 88/100

n D Sydney Back Brandy 15 Years XO : Cloudy

amber. Toasty nose with hints of nutmeg and sweet

spice. Elegant and sweet on the palate with some hints

of toasty oak following from the nose. Refined and

layered on the finish with a lingering dry fruit aftertaste.

Drink neat.

Price: € 42.84

http://www.backsberg.co.za

Backsberg Estate Cellars

+27 21 875 5141

BOSCHENDAL 88/100

n D XO Brandy XO : Dark amber. Sweet pineapple

and tropical nose with hints of vanilla, dried fruit and

spice. Elegant and refined palate with a clean and

fruit-forward finish. Very layered and finessed. Wellused

and integrated blend of oak and fruit-structure.

Excellent.

Price: € 37.32

Boschendal Wine Estate

+27 21 870 4200

DISTELL 87/100

n D Van Ryn’s Potstill Brandy 10 Years : Dark amber.

Sweet pineapple and smoky nose with hints of dried

fruit. Palate is smooth and elegant with a good balance

between fruit and nutty aromas. Slight warmth on the

finish. Drink with your favourite mixer.

Price: € 21.84

http://www.distell.co.za

Distell

+27 21 886 5640

OUDE MOLEN DISTILLERS 85/100

n D Oude Molen VS Cape Brandy VS : Light gold.

Fresh fruit salad nose with hints of vanilla, toffy and

fudge. Toasty on the palate with a smoky note from the

oak. Smooth and elegant finish with a lengthy finish.

Dry and robust.

Price: € 25

http://www.oudemolen.co.za

Oude Molen

+27 21 859 2517

UPLAND ORGANIC ESTATE 84/100

n D Leonardo XO : Dark amber. Rancio and fresh

fruit nose with hints of nutmeg and spice. Sweet and

integrated palate with a slight hint of vanilla and dried

citrus. Smoky and toasty on the aftertaste with a layered

and lingering finish.

Price: € 200

http://www.organicwine.co.za

Upland Organic Estate

+27 21 864 1184

SOUTH AFRICA

OUR AUTUMN

SELECTION

Medal-winning wines

Don’t miss our 93, 92, 91, 90 Pt, Gold

& Best Value wines at unbeatable prices!

STELLENBOSCH

HIDDEN GEMS 93/100

Red Blend 2017

Price: € 1.47

Hidden Valley Wines

STELLENBOSCH

JOURNEY’S END 92/100

Sir Lowry Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Price: € 4

Journey’s End

STELLENBOSCH

STELLENZICHT 91/100

Thunderstone Chardonnay 2020

Price: € 4

Stellenzicht Vineyards

PAARL

WILD HOUSE 90/100

Shiraz 2020

Price: € 2

Wildeberg

STELLENBOSCH

JOURNEY’S END 90/100

Bluegum Merlot 2019

Price: € 4

Journey’s End

WESTERN CAPE

JOURNEY’S END 90/100

Honeycomb Chardonnay 2020

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

COASTAL REGION

PEARLSTONE 84/100

Chenin Blanc 2020

Price: € 2.53

Rhebokskloof Estate

PEARLSTONE 84/100

Pinotage 2019

Price: € 2.53

Rhebokskloof Estate

LUTZVILLE VALLEY - KOEKENAAP

CLASSIC COLLECTION 84/100

Pinotage 2018

Price: € 3

Cape Diamond Wines

CLASSIC COLLECTION 84/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3

Cape Diamond Wines

CLASSIC COLLECTION 84/100

Shiraz 2018

Price: € 3

Cape Diamond Wines

PAARL

PEARLSTONE 84/100

Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Price: € 2.53

Rhebokskloof Estate

STELLENBOSCH

ASARA WINE ESTATE 84/100

Cape Vinelands Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Price: € 3.99

Asara Wine Estate

KOELENBOSCH 84/100

Dry Pinotage Rosé 2021

Price: € 3.59

Koelenhof Winery

WELLINGTON

DUKE 84/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3.50

Wellington Wines

WESTERN CAPE

BALANCE 84/100

CAT Muscat 2021

Price: € 2.45

Overhex Wines

BALANCE 84/100

Special Cape Blend 2020

Price: € 2.60

Overhex Wines

120

AUTUMN 2021 – GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


SOUTH AFRICA - Medal-winning wines

MOUNT ROZIER 84/100

Reserve Beekeeper Chenin Blanc 2021

Price: € 2.50

Journey’s End

MOUNT ROZIER 84/100

Reserve Flower Garden Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

OAK LANE 84/100

Otto Make You Smile 2020

Price: € 3

Beau Joubert Vineyard & Winery

SHEEP HILL 84/100

Malbec 2020

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

WORCESTER

ALVI’S DRIFT 84/100

Signature Merlot 2020

Price: € 3

Alvi’s Drift Cellar

ALVI’S DRIFT 84/100

Signature Shiraz 2020

Price: € 3

Alvi’s Drift Cellar

RONDEBOSCH 84/100

Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2020

Price: € 3

Alvi’s Drift Cellar

BONNIEVALE

BONNIEVALE 83/100

The River Collection 2021

Price: € 2

Bonnievale

BREEDE RIVER VALLEY

BEN WREN WINE 83/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 1.50

Ben Wren

BREEDEKLOOF

SEVEN OAKS 83/100

Chardonnay 2021

Price: € 3.99

Seven Oaks

SEVEN OAKS 83/100

Chenin Blanc 2021

Price: € 3.71

Seven Oaks

PAARL

NIEL JOUBERT 83/100

Grüner Veltliner 2021

Price: € 3

Niel Joubert

WILD HOUSE 83/100

Chenin Blanc 2021

Price: € 2

Wildeberg

ROBERTSON

WINDFALL 83/100

Chenin Blanc 2021

Price: € 3.50

Windfall Wine Farm

WINDFALL 83/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3.50

Windfall Wine Farm

STELLENBOSCH

ASARA WINE ESTATE 83/100

Cape Vinelands Pinotage 2018

Price: € 3.99

Asara Wine Estate

WARRELWIND 83/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3

Man Vintners

STELLENBOSCH - POLKADRAAI

HILLS

POLKADRAAI 83/100

Chenin Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3

Stellenbosch Hills

WESTERN CAPE

BALANCE 83/100

Cape Red 2020

Price: € 2.50

Overhex Wines

MOUNT ROZIER 83/100

Classic Shiraz 2020

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

THE BEEKEEPER 83/100

Pinot Grigio 2021

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

WORCESTER

ALVI’S DRIFT 83/100

Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2020

Price: € 3

Alvi’s Drift Cellar

ALVI’S DRIFT 83/100

Signature Pinotage 2020

Price: € 3

Alvi’s Drift Cellar

FRISKY ZEBRAS 83/100

Game Ranger Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon NV

Price: € 3

Leopard Frog Vineyards

BREEDEKLOOF

SEVEN OAKS 82/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3.99

Seven Oaks

LUTZVILLE VALLEY - KOEKENAAP

CLASSIC COLLECTION 82/100

Merlot 2019

Price: € 3

Cape Diamond Wines

PAARL

NIEL JOUBERT 82/100

Cinsault Grenache Noir 2020

Price: € 3.47

Niel Joubert

STELLENBOSCH - POLKADRAAI

HILLS

POLKADRAAI 82/100

Pinotage Merlot 2020

Price: € 3

Stellenbosch Hills

SWARTLAND - MALMESBURY

SERENGETI 82/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3

Swartland Winery

WELLINGTON

LA COLLINE 82/100

Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2021

Price: € 4

Mont du Toit

WESTERN CAPE

MOUNT ROZIER 82/100

Reserve Stellenbosch Merlot 2020

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

FRISKY ZEBRAS 81/100

Game Ranger Reserve Chenin Blanc NV

Price: € 3

Leopard Frog Vineyards

BREEDEKLOOF

DU PREEZ ESTATE 89/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3

Du Preez Estate

STELLENBOSCH

HIDDEN SECRET 89/100

Red Blend 2016

Price: € 1.47

Hidden Valley Wines

WELLINGTON

DUKE 89/100

Chenin Blanc 2020

Price: € 4.02

Wellington Wines

MONT DU TOIT 89/100

Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Price: € 4

Mont du Toit

BONNIEVALE

BONNIEVALE 88/100

The River Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3.59

Bonnievale

STELLENBOSCH

ASARA WINE ESTATE 88/100

Cape Vinelands Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Price: € 3.99

Asara Wine Estate

AUTUMN 2021 – GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE 121


SOUTH AFRICA - Medal-winning wines

CHARMÉ SAUVIGNON BLANC 88/100

2021

Price: € 3.47

Vrede Wines

KOELENBOSCH 88/100

Chenin Blanc 2021

Price: € 3.59

Koelenhof Winery

SWARTLAND - MALMESBURY

SWARTLAND PRIVATE COLLECTION 88/100

Chenin Blanc 2021

Price: € 3

Swartland Winery

WESTERN CAPE

CAPE CHEETAH 88/100

Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2021

Price: € 2

Overhex Wines

BREEDE RIVER VALLEY

BEN WREN WINE 87/100

Rosé 2021

Price: € 1.50

Ben Wren

COASTAL REGION

FLATROCK WHITE 87/100

White blend 2020

Price: € 3.81

Rhebokskloof Estate

LUTZVILLE VALLEY - KOEKENAAP

CLASSIC COLLECTION 87/100

Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Price: € 3

Cape Diamond Wines

STELLENBOSCH

ARNISTON BAY 87/100

Rosé 2021

Price: € 3.50

Stellenbosch Vineyards

ARNISTON BAY 87/100

Shiraz 2020

Price: € 3.50

Stellenbosch Vineyards

ASARA WINE ESTATE 87/100

Cape Vinelands Chenin Blanc 2019

Price: € 3.99

Asara Wine Estate

ASARA WINE ESTATE 87/100

Cape Vinelands Shiraz 2018

Price: € 3.99

Asara Wine Estate

SWARTLAND - MALMESBURY

SERENGETI 87/100

Chardonnay 2021

Price: € 3

Swartland Winery

SWARTLAND PRIVATE COLLECTION 87/100

Pinotage 2020

Price: € 3

Swartland Winery

TULBAGH

SPYSENIERSBERG 87/100

White NV

Price: € 4.42

Montpellier Wine Estate

WESTERN CAPE

BEES KNEES 87/100

Chenin Blanc Viognier 2021

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

JACQUES GERMANIER 87/100

Shiraz Pinotage Organic 2020

Price: € 3

Jacques Germanier

MOUNT ROZIER 87/100

Fire Bit Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

MOUNT ROZIER 87/100

Reserve Red Snapper Cinsault 2020

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

QUEEN BEE 87/100

Viognier 2021

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

THE SOUTH AFRICAN MOONLIGHT MANOR 87/100

White Blend 2021

Price: € 2.50

Overhex Wines

VAN ZIJL 87/100

Chenin Blanc 2021

Price: € 4.14

Imbuko Wines

VAN ZIJL 87/100

Pink Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 4.14

Imbuko Wines

COASTAL REGION

FLATROCK RED 86/100

Red Blend 2018

Price: € 4.41

Rhebokskloof Estate

PEARLSTONE 86/100

Chardonnay 2020

Price: € 2.53

Rhebokskloof Estate

FRANSCHHOEK VALLEY

JACQUES MOUTON 86/100

Special Reserve 2020

Price: € 4.50

La Couronne Wine Estate

ROBERTSON

EXCELSIOR 86/100

Viognier 2021

Price: € 1.80

Excelsior Wine Estate

HOPE 86/100

Chardonnay 2021

Price: € 4

Du Toitskloof Wines

STELLENBOSCH

ARNISTON BAY 86/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3.50

Stellenbosch Vineyards

AUDACIA 86/100

CodeBreaker 2020

Price: € 4.50

Audacia

SWARTLAND - RIEBEEKBERG

KLOOVENBURG 86/100

Unwooded Chardonnay 2021

Price: € 4.52

Kloovenburg Vineyards

WESTERN CAPE

IDENTITY 86/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

IDENTITY 86/100

Shiraz 2020

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

PINOT RIOT 86/100

Pinot Noir 2021

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

VAN ZIJL 86/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 4.14

Imbuko Wines

WEATHER MAN 86/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

STELLENBOSCH

KOELENBOSCH 85/100

Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Price: € 4.18

Koelenhof Winery

WESTERN CAPE

MOUNT ROZIER 85/100

Reserve Myrtle Manor Pinotage 2020

Price: € 3

Journey’s End

WORCESTER

ALVI’S DRIFT 85/100

Signature Pinotage Rosé 2021

Price: € 3

Alvi’s Drift Cellar

Prices mentioned in this book are guideline

and can vary depending on point of sale.

The shops, wineries or publisher can in no way

be held responsible for this.

122

AUTUMN 2021– GILBERT & GAILLARD – THE FRENCH EXPERTS ON WINE


Enter your wines now: en-vigneron.gilbertgaillard.com


SALON PROFESSIONNEL

DES VINS ET DE L’ŒNOTOURISME

EN MÉDITERRANÉE

25 & 26

OCTOBRE 2021

d 'a n n é e !

U n e n o u ve l l e oppor tunité de commercialisation avant les fêtes de fin

PARC DES EXPOSITIONS

DE MONTPELLIER

Enfin un présentiel !

Retrouvez l’ambiance des salons,

des échanges et de la convivialité.

Pour exposer – pour visiter

pour consulter la liste des exposants :

salon-vinomed.com

Sept 2021 | Images ©breakEvents libre d’interprétation d’artistes

Vinomed est un événement organisé par Break Events Group (break-events.net).

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