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Grower Bordeaux

T. Edward Wines, Chateau Coteau, Margaux, Grower Bordeaux
JP harvesting at Chateau Coteau, Margaux

Patrick Burke, our French Portfolio Director, traveled from his home in Lyon to meet JP and Pam in Bordeaux, where they visited with a few of our growers. What follows is his assessment of the state of Grower Bordeaux. Thanks #ExPat!

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There is, I think, a very valuable association to be made between the growers in Champagne and the dwindling number of small family estates of the Medoc. When a few small growers with good reputations decided to stop selling their harvests to big Champagne houses, in favor of making their very own limited production Champagnes, a movement was born. The Grower Champagne movement ensures itself a sustained place in the Champagne market because buyers around the world love the story of the “little guys” making very good, very rare, Champagnes. Don’t we all love to support the underdog? If one looks to the modern Medoc landscape they will see a seriously speculative wine scene dominated by historic Chateaux owned by multinational mega-companies that are getting bigger at the expense of the small family owned estates. Read more

Barolo Camp at Piero Busso

T. Edward Wines, Organic Wine Importer/Distributor, Piero Busso

Piero Busso tending to his grapes

Patty James also attended Barolo Camp, along with Georgia Sugerman and Meghan Ivey. Here’s a few words from her visit with the Busso family at Piero Busso. Thanks Patty.

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Piero and Pieroguido Busso took us across the road to the Cru Albesani vineyard, where they call their parcel the Borgese vineyard because it surrounds their cantina and house. On a foggy and drizzly afternoon we went to check the grapes for rot, after four days of rain, but all in all the fruit looked good. The vineyards were filled with small berry Nebbiolo grapes that still needed a little more sun before they could be harvested. We then took a steep drive to the Gallina vineyard, and I was so impressed with the meticulous care that goes into their farming. Father and son are in the vineyards daily to check the grapes and remove leaves so the fruit can ripen perfectly. With grass and weeds growing beneath the vines, and soft organic soils under foot, one can see clearly the application of their natural approach to winegrowing. Read more

Barolo Camp at Gianfranco Alessandria

T. Edward Wines, Organic wine importer/distributor, Gianfranco AlessandriaVittoria Alessandria in the San Giovanni vineyard at Gianfranco Alessandria

Along with Georgia Sugarman, Meghan Ivey also attended Langhe/Barolo Camp, and what follows are her notes from their visit to Gianfranco Alessandria. Thanks Meghan!

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When we approached Monforte d’ Alba mid-morning, to visit the vineyards of Gianfranco Alessandria, we could smell the beginning stages of harvest. The Dolcetto had been picked just days before, and was in tank upon our arrival. They were still two weeks out from picking Nebbiolo, and at least one week away from Barbera. I couldn’t wait to get busy. Read more

Langhe Camp at Cascina Ca ‘Rossa

T. Edward Wines, organic wine importer/distributor, Cascina Ca 'Rossa

Stefano & Angelo Ferrio, winemakers at Cascina Ca ‘Rossa

Georgia Sugerman recently attended our Barolo/Langhe Camp, where she spent the day at Cascina Ca ‘Rossa in Piemonte. What follows is her script on the visit, along with some stunning images of the area. Thanks Georgia!

Pulling up at Cascina Ca ‘Rossa in Roero on a foggy Thursday morning, three generations of Ferrio’s came to greet us. The youngest, Stefano, was already covered in mud from a morning’s work in the vineyard. His father Angelo and grandmother were more formally dressed (in part a generational thing as Angelo had been working the vineyards too). We spoke broken Italian discussing the poor weather, their cute dogs and what we’d eat for lunch, then we put on our work boots and went for a walk. Read more

An Identity Crisis, Rioja with Andre Tamers

T. Edward Wines, De Maison Selections, Andre Tamers, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesAndre Tamers (right)

“Our idea of wine in Spain is just Rioja,” began Andre Tamers of De Maison Selections to a group who’d gathered at Toro‘s Backbar Room to taste with Tamers.  “Dusty, earthy, classic, old school Rioja…I’m gonna take that and throw it all out the window. Spain has incredible history and terroir. There’s a lot of misconceptions. Caitlin [Doonan, Beverage Director at Toro] and I have talked a lot about Rioja as a place of microclimates and terroir.” And so it began, with a rant and a brief history of how the region’s independent producers were rolled over by industrialization, followed by a tasting that demonstrated Tamer’s efforts to resurrect the families who make wines of true Rioja terroir.

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Harvesting in Burgundy with Patrick Burke

T. Edward Wines, Organic wine importer, Harvest Report 2014, Patrick Burke at Didier DelagrangePatrick Burke harvesting in Pommard at Domaine Delagrange

As most of you know, Patrick Burke, our French Portfolio Manager is living the year in Lyon. He spent the past couple of weeks harvesting the rounds with our producers in Burgundy before heading to Barolo for Barolo Camp with Greg Reeves, our Italian Portfolio Manager, and a few reps. What follows is Patrick’s (#ExPat) report from the field. Merci Patrick! Read more

Domaine Tortochot, Harvest Report 2014

T. Edward Wines, Organic wine importer/distributor, Domaine Tortochot, Harvest 2014

Chantal Tortochot sent us the following report for her 2014 harvest at Domaine Tortochot, along with these stunning photographs. Thanks Chantal!

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There was no winter in Burgundy with a lot of rain in autumn.
The months of February, March and April were mild, sunny, and dry. This allows an early development of the vines. June has been very beautiful, largely dry, and warm sometimes quite hot. So the flower time passed with some north Wind that made some millerandage. There was no risk of mildew and any other disease. Read more

The 2014 Harvest at Domaine Fichet

T. Edward Wines, Domaine Fichet, http://www.likemyvillage.com/caac40/index.php/63-71960-ige/125-vendanges-a-igeA harvest report is just in from Domaine Fichet, one of only three producers in the village of Ige in Maconnais. With original plantings that are over 30-years-old, Domaine Fichet is owned and operated by Oliver and Pierre-Yves Fichet, who’s father, Francis Fichet, first started bottling the family’s wines in 1976. Francis was also one of the first to plant Pinot Noir in the Chardonnay dominant region, and the family’s lieu-dit “Chateau London” is one of the oldest and most reputable terroir in the Maconnais. Big thanks to likemyvillage for the images and text.

To start harvest season I went to visit the team at Domaine Fichet. Listening to winemaker Olivier Fichet you sense the impatience of getting a year’s worth of work harvested in safety. Read more

TEW Tour of Portland

T. Edward Wines, New York Organic Wine Importer, Hugo's Restaurant, Bryan Flewelling, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesBryan Flewelling of Hugo’s

As the older sister of its west coast namesake, Portland, Maine is no Portlandia, but an old-school New England town that has a nation of eaters all a flutter and plate chasing. With an urban appetite and a farmer’s flair, Portland’s dining scene has come of age and is ready for courting. From Hugo’s on Middle Street that first opened in 1999, to Central Provisions and Vinland, both opened just this year, Portland has become a destination for everything local on the plate from umami to briny, to supple creams and tart berries.

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The South of France with Goatboy Selections

T. Edward Wines, New York organic wine importer/distributor, natural wines, Julien Peyras

In the Vineyard with Julien Peyras

Byron Bates of Goatboy Selections is back from the field with a few notes from his trip. Thanks Byron!

The south of France is magic in August.  It’s easy to see why hordes of semi-hard working Parisians flock here every summer.  The sun, sea, food and wine.  We had a list of vignerons we have been wanting to visit and we also needed to pay our respects to our current friends.  We hit the Fete du Vin et Valvigneres where we tasted with Sylvain Bock and Gerald Oustric of Le Mazel then partied at the gorgeous domaine of Andrea Calek.  Valvigneres is stunning.  It’s easy to see why so many top-tier natural wine producers (Oustric, Azzoni, Bock, Calek) hail from this slice of heaven and if you’ve never been, go!!  This valley is as important as Morgon, Pouille, or Coteaux du Loir for vin nature enthusiasts.  And Bock and Oustric are leading the way.  Real, kick ass expression and winemaking from the soul.

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