Joe & Patrick in the vineyard with Cedric Gravier
“We used to say that rosé wasn’t a real wine, but now it is,” said Cedric Gravier, the winegrower and proprietor at Domaine la Suffrene. In 2003/2004, the production of rosé wines in Bandol surpassed that of red, and currently rosé now totals 70% of all wine produced in Bandol, “But we hope it’ll go down to 50%,” added Cedric, “so we can make more red.” And though most everyone knows that best red wines in Provence come from Bandol, after having the opportunity to taste through a number of vintages of the Domaine la Suffrene Bandol “Les Lauves”, including Cedric’s first vintage in 1996, we can most certainly attest to his desire or need to make more red.
With every restaurant, bar and nation crafting their own recipe for Sangria, we though we’d make the most of our own in-house ingredients and create a recipe that’s ideal for any beach, BBQ, bar or taqueria. Steering clear of Ab Fab’s Pats and Eddy, who lived on Boli-Stolis (1 part Stolichnaya, 1 glass of Bollinger Champagne) for our afternoons of summer stoop sipping in the city, we opted for something light, local and non-lethal, featuring Owney’s Original Small Batch Rum from The Noble Experiment NYC in Brooklyn.
Team Amanti Vino at the finish line
This past Sunday, Team Amanti Vino rode the 60 mile NJ Highlands Gran Fondo. Training and riding with Sharon Sevrens of Amanti Vino, Terence and Mark– our NJ sales reps–climbed 4,820 feet in 58 miles, but at least their day was sunny and warm, much unlike our experience a few weeks earlier suffering the cold, wet path of the Gran Fondo NY.
What follows are three short recaps of the event from Sharon, Terence and Mark. Thanks for the photos and congrats on the great finish Team Amanti Vino!
Paul Vendran of La Ferme St Pierre, in the vineyard
“With French oak, it seems that more barrels are being made than trees,” said Paul Vendran, the winegrower/proprietor at La Ferme St Pierre in Côte de Ventoux. ”At least with American oak, you know what you’re getting,” he added. ”Bordeaux and Burgundy get priority from [French] coopers, not Ventoux.” A hunter and a cyclist who speaks freely of flights full of fisherman from Frankfurt to Anchorage, Paul is not a man of few words, but he’s also not a vintner to labor over the language of his work in the vineyards or cellar.
Viña Caneiro at D. Ventura in Ribeira Sacra
Danielle recently returned from De Maison Selections’s Galicia Camp, which she photographed and writes about here. Thanks Danielle!
This year’s De Maison Camp ventured to Galicia where I expected to drink crisp Albarino after rappelling down the steep vineyards of Ribeira Sacra, which would have been rewarding enough. However, Galicia turned out to be the land of Godello, Mencia, weird-looking shellfish, poundcake soaked in Arujo (Northern Spain’s answer to grappa) and drinking from the porron as though it were a competitive sport, because it is. Only a man like André Tamers can put 30 people who think they know a thing or two about wine on a bus and in a mere six hours from Madrid take them to a place where they’ve never been, may never be able to go back to, and show them that they know nothing.
Big thanks to everyone who came out to play at the Billecart-Salmon Rooftop Party at the Thompson Hotel Lower East Side, with Alexandre Bader and Geoffrey Loisel . The bubbles were flowing while the skies kept dry. It was a lovely night to celebrate the oldest continuously family owned and operated house in Champagne – in the Big Apple. Cheers!
As warm and sunny skies finally came to NYC this weekend, Txikifest took Chelsea by storm! For the third year in a row, Eder Montero and Alex Raij the owners and chefs of Txikito packed the back alley behind their famed Basque Country restaurant with Txakoli wines from 15 different producers and pintxos (Basque-style tapas) from ten different restaurants. With proceeds benefitting Sanctuary for Families, this celebration of Basque Country culture was not to be missed! (For Txikifest 2012, read here.)
Scott Rosenbaum, our Spirits Strategist, attended The 2013 Manhattan Cocktail Classic, which he writes about here. Thanks Scott!
This May, New York played host to the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, a multiday event that celebrates all forms of mixed drinks and spirited libations. While the kick-off gala relied heavily on theatrics (let’s just say that many parties at the New York Public Library don’t have stilt walkers), the next four days maintained a fantastic balance between the educational and the celebratory.
With three châteaux to their name, the Sumeire family has lived near Mont Sainte Victoire since the 13th century. Located by the base of Mt. Sainte Victoire, near Aix-en-Provence, the vineyards of Château Coussin once supported vines as far back as 102 B.C., and were later cultivated by the ancient Greeks and Romans who produced exclusively rosé. Fast forward to the 18th century, the underground cellar that now serves as the family’s residential dining room was where wine was once made by the château’s namesake, Esprit Jean-Baptiste Coussin. In 1903 Jean-Baptiste Gautier, of the Sumeire ancestral line, purchased the country house (pictured above) which is adjoined to the current winery and is where the family now resides. Releasing their first vintage in 1983, the Sumeire family wine is now vinified by Olivier Sumeire – an eighth generation winemaker– who took to the cellar’s helm in 2001.
Members of the Huia team harvesting local seaweed for vineyard treatments
In 1991, Claire and Mike Allan first purchased their land at Huia in Marlborough, New Zealand, then planted in 1994 and released their first vintage in 1997. ”We planted grapes and tried to be as organic as possible at that time, although in our sphere there was not a lot of accessible information,” said Claire. ”Initially, we entered the estate vineyard into the New Zealand Winegrowers Sustainable Program, then also the winery by 2000. However, we found this was not offering enough in the organic/biodynamic area.”
Committed not just to the quality of their wines but also the the environment, the Allans joined the Carbon Footprint Movement, “to minimize usage of carbon as part of the annual audit.” And in 2005, they were accredited Carbon Neutral in their vineyards, winery and business, which includes shipping to foreign ports.