Burgundy : a land blessed by the gods...
And never has this been so true as for this year!
At last, after several years when crops were severely hit by frost and hailstorms we have been blessed with both quantity and quality - not only in Chablis but everywhere in Burgundy.
Taking the Yonne region as just one example: right from the start it appeared that 2018 would be in advance – in fact, the earliest in the the last ten years – with the vines first blooming at the beginning of June in spite of the wet and stormy conditions.
We were kept busy in the fields during the Spring and early Summer until the hot weather and when drought set in; it was feared that growth would be impaired but it was observed with relief that the degree of sunlight had not effected development of the vine.
When the grapes started to be processed in the press, it was a pleasant surprise for all to see that the yield was good and the concentration high; on tasting during fermentation of the wine it is already evident that the 2018 vintage will be exceptional - rich, elegant and delicate.
We still have in mind those memorable vintages of 1982 and more recently 1990!
Julie et Nathalie FEVRE – Œnologues et vigneronnes à Fontenay-près-CHABLIS
Vigne de « La Preuse » - Chablis Grand Cru
AFRAID OF THE DARK (an ode to the Pinot Noir)
I am not recognized as being a person who believes in those wines especially made, standardized in colour and concentration to appeal to a broad market – in fact, I cannot stand wines supposed to be adapted to the taste of today! And this applies to white wines as well as reds.
Lets take red wines: I don’t mind if I am described as being desperate in search of the ideal, a dream, perhaps , a need, certainly – and this need has a colour: it is red but not any shade of red, I mean shades of red such as scarlet, alizarin, aniline, poppy etc.
I am totally adverse to a red wine which is black in colour and even more so towards the pinot noir which has a black hue, like ink: my immediate reaction is to avoid that sort of wine.
This red colour which I have studied, admired, inhaled and almost touched has a name: PINOT NOIR.
This name signifies universal acclaim and demand and I believe it is unrivalled; one can always find a reason not to appreciate it when, for example, it may seem too pale or lacking in substance but it could only be an illusion.
There are everywhere some famous domains, kings in their region and who make their wine solely to satisfy the “modern world” (too dark in colour, overpowering in aroma and taste, sometimes sweet! – yes, sweet!).
My principle is to try and differentiate between what is acceptable and what should be rejected and whatever the case, never be influenced.
Alain Ducasse entreprise
Executive wine director
A superb and stimulating General Meeting!
The 10 businesswomen in wine associations have been integrated in a national federation known as the “Cercle des Femmes de Vin” established in 2009 by, among others, Marie Laurence Saladin (Rhone valley), Chantal Pégase (Beaujolais) and Anne Parent (everyone knows her region…!)
The statutes of the Cercle stipulate that a General Meeting should be held annually and it was agreed that this would be hosted by a different region every year.
This year, it was the turn of the members from the Languedoc-Roussillon region – and did they welcome us proudly! We started on the Friday evening at the Château Beaubois in the Gard and on Saturday, fine weather and a great event consisting in a tasting session of wines from the 18 members of the Languedoc-Roussillon region – a full selection, varied and rich, giving justice to our lady hosts: strongwilled, emotional, beautiful, humorous…..as we like to be!
As there is no wine without the vine and the cellar, we strolled through the Montpeyrroux estate and then visited two domains, La reserve d’O and Jasse Castel…….epic!
On Sunday morning, down to business: the General Meeting for the president’s report, the treasurer’s statement – both unanimously approved – and several speeches.
Highlights of certain regional activities were described, for example: the work carried out by the Dames de Coeur (Queens of hearts association in the Loire region);, education and communication for the young by the SO Femmes (association in the South-west) ; solidarity between members (the case of Fabienne whose crop was entirely destroyed by hail and members donated a quantity of wine to the equivalent of 8000 bottles as compensation); charity work in Provence in the form of meals… etc.
This is the essence of businesswomen in wine: keep the profession alive, uphold our skill and solidarity among all – values which we share and which guide us in our activity within the Femmes et vins de Bourgogne (Businesswomen in Burgundy wine association).
New Year 2017
With another new year about to start it is time for us to express to all, our best wishes for an exceptional 2017..
The year 2016 is one which will go down in history: high in quality but low in yield because of frost, hail and illness which hit the whole of Burgundy and which has not spared the region over the last few years.
Burgundy produces just 0,5% and 3% of wine made in the world and France respectively and because some wines are scarce is often accused of catering for the elite but this is inevitable when losses in some sectors have been as high as 80/90%; we would far prefer to be able to meet all our customer’s demands and keep our prices stable but to maintain our heritage we also have to face economic realities.
We rely on you, the reader, to come and visit Burgundy in this New Year and discover this magnificent region and its multitude of “climats” recently listed as a UNESCO world heritage site; like the climats, our association consists in a mosaic of unique personalities, 39 members, women wine-growers in locations between Chablis and Macon whose everyday objective is to promote our values, skills and tradition in coordination within the scope of the FevB (Businesswomen in Burgundy wine association) and can be summed up as “l’union fait la force” – united we stand - today 39 members since December with the membership of Ludivine Griveau of the Hospices de Beaune whom we are glad to welcome in our midst.
We want to express a feminine outlook of Burgundy – not feminist – one which is educational because we are instrumental in passing down to future generations our particular winegrower’s knowledge; we have been active for 16 years and intend to continue so over the years to come.
In my status as president of the association since 2008 and on behalf of our members, I wish you an excellent 2017; that this year will be joyful and convivial full of hope, love and happiness – also, one of pleasure which is our chief motivation such that our wines may be in the forefront on your table and on every memorable occasion.
Présidente of Femmes et Vins de Bourgogne