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The life of a vine

Question from Anita: Everyone tells you that spring is the right time to start your vegie patch which got me wondering about vines. What happens throughout the year to prepare for harvest?

In a nut shell: Harvest (when the grapes are picked) occurs in autumn. In winter the vines go to sleep. They wake again in spring and new shoot begin to grow. In summer the grapes ripen before harvest starts the cycle again.

In a clam shell: Spring has definitely sprung! As we’re shaking off the frost from winter and soaking up those delicious rays of sunshine those vines are doing the exact same thing. Waking up from a long sleep and preparing for the glorious seasons ahead!

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Tell me about Terroir

Question from Anna: I have recently started getting into French wine and hear the term Terroir used a lot. After hours of googling I still can’t seem to figure out what exactly it means. Can you simplify it for me?

In a nut shell: A French wine producer in Bordeaux described it to me as, ‘a combination of climate, soil, terrain and the work of the winemaker which together produces a wine unique to only one vineyard.’

In a clam shell: The term ‘Terroir’ (pronounced tare-wah), which literally means ‘a sense of place’, is thrown around in France like croissants and baguettes but has no single equivalent word in English and hence the confusion.

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French wine on a budget!

After nearly two weeks exploring France’s stunning wine regions it’s time to shun the fancy pants (aka expensive) areas and focus on the tracks less travelled. I’m talking the hot dry south-eastern parts of France and everything this area has to offer.

If you’re looking for a cheaper French drop (who isn’t?!?) stick to wines from this part of France, particularly from the regions of Languedoc, Roussillon, Provence (for your cheapest French wines) and the Rhône Valley (for quality wines at reasonable prices). Read more

I’m in Burgundy baby!

Burgundy, where do I begin? Heaven on earth (if you ask me). No patch of land is without grapes – it’s just vine, after vine, after vine (and a random road running through the centre to get you from vineyard A to vineyard B). I’m going to sound like a wine wanker here but it’s truly spectacular.

This is my first blog post without being promoted by a question but after spending the last few days in this little pocket of paradise I have a lot to share. Read more