This category contains 17 posts

In praise of French wine cooperatives.

Browsing through the Decanter World Wine Awards in the monthly digital magazine yesterday I was struck by how many wine cooperatives were represented especially in France, and specifically in Burgundy, a region we know well and visit annually. In fact wines from three of our favourite cooperatives won awards for their wines; La Chablisienne, Nuiton Beaunoy … Continue reading

Forget Paris; visit Occitanie for the real France!

Occitanie-The Region If there is any image that represents the old French Region of Languedoc it’s the fortifications of Carcassonne, dating back to Roman times but later developed in the 13th and 14th Centuries. And now ……. it stands in the centre of the new Region of Occitanie. Never heard of Occitanie? That’s forgivable, because … Continue reading

Not all winemakers are equal!

Vigneron, Negociant and Cooperative are all elements of wine terminology that can confuse but are simple to demystify. In fact knowledge of each is often vital to finding the best tasting and buying opportunities because each is a different type of wine producer. • Vigneron; a person who cultivates a vineyard for winemaking and often … Continue reading

Is this the best Chateau in Burgundy!

I love visiting French chateau! Refined homes rather than military fortifications is how they seem to me, and of course they are mostly still in one piece rather than their British counterparts thanks to there having been no French equivalent of Oliver Cromwell. The Loire Valley is full of them, many with water filled moats … Continue reading

Chardonnay, Queen of grapes?

“The pre wine tasting questionnaire from the cruise liner’s sommelier asked us to rate a number of grapes on a scale of 1-5, and bizarrely all of the ladies in our tasting group marked Chardonnay DOWN quite heavily! Undeterred the sommelier said that he would bet money on being able to change their minds but … Continue reading

Pinot Noir, the killer grape!

I will always remember someone in Nepal saying to me “I have no idea how to make a quality chicken curry but I know what one tastes like!” Sounds like he was into Stoic philosophy as it’s a sentence that Epictetus or Marcus Aurelius would have been proud of. Although I don’t suppose he ever … Continue reading

Bourgogne: The wine villages

Imagine I offered you a glass of Pommard or a Meursault, a Volnay or a St Aubin which would you choose? Or do you buy your wine on the basis of red v white, Chardonnay  v Sauvignon Blanc, Australia v Chile? All well and good, but that’s like going into a butchers shop and asking … Continue reading

Burgundy: A concerto of colours!

Walk around any market in Bourgogne

Burgundy; A photo symphony

Wandering through the villages of Burgundy gives endless opportunities for photography if one is mindful of the smaller things making up the landscape, the architecture, the market, the street. This is a personal selection of images in monochrome. Continue reading

The wine cellars of Burgundy

Combining a wine tasting with a cellar visit in Burgundy, especially in Beaune, is an absolute must for visitors here. It gives you a sense of the history as well as the scale of the wine making operations not only modern day, but also back as far as the 13th Century to the Cistercian Monks. … Continue reading


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