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Visit to Wine Estate Unterortl Castel Juval #altoadige #mastersofwine

Ah, the Sudtyrol! Easy to imagine winemakers yodeling in the Alps … and as you can see from this picture, the region is incredibly scenic. Yet here’s the important question.  How often have you enjoyed the opportunity of sipping a glass of wine in the very vineyard where the grapes grew? We are here in […]



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Visit to Laimburg Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry #AltoAdige

The @MastersofWine trip to the Laimburg Research institute in Alto Adige kicked off the trip in a major way, mostly due to the excellent presentation made by Dr. Heike Platter of the institute, whose father was a pioneer here when it opened doors in 1975. Until the 1970s, Trentino-Alto Adige was one autonomous region, now […]



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Ban du Millesime de la Commanderie Du Bontemps April 2, 2014

It was so much fun to see my friend Aline Baly of Chateau Coutet all decked out in a yellow robe for the Ban du Millesime de Commanderie Du Bontemps on April 2, 2014 in Bordeaux. This celebration, first held in 2000, is the Vintage Proclamation and the newest event of the Commaderie du Bontemps. […]



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En Primeur: Checking in With Smith Haut Lafitte

It was great to see SHL Technical director Fabien Teitgen, and owners Florence and Daniel Cathiard at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte last Wednesday at the Chateau for the tasting of wines from Graves and Pessac-Leognan. I always taste “blind” (meaning that this group does not know what they are tasting until a sheet of wine, […]



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Professor Dubourdieu & Olivier Bernard Discuss the 2013 Vintage

On April 1st, 2013 Professor Denis Dubourdieu from the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences of Bordeaux University (Oenological Research Unit) gave a presentation to journalists who have gathered to taste the wine of En Primeur about the challenging 2013 vintage. The talk began with a recap of the five prerequisites for a great red […]



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En Primeur: Experiencing Chateau Fourcas Hosten

“Welcome!” is the greeting from the charming Mommeja brothers, Renaud and Laurent, as they welcome me into their incredibly restored chateau that dates from the 18th century, and is designed to replicate the period … yet the original owners, I am sure, never had such incredible luxuries! If you have ever been in the Louvre […]



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Tasting the 2013 Vintage at Cheval Blanc

  The tasting at Cheval Blanc on April 1st was extremely well-attended, drawing journalists from all over the world as well as key figures in Bordeaux such as Kees Van Leeuwn, a celebrated author and professor at Bordeaux Agro. What was different this year, however, was the headline in the little red information book which […]



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En Primeur Welcoming dinner at Chateau Pavie Saint Emilion

Fabulous evening at Chateau Pavie on March 31, 2014, as journalists from all over the world gathered to embark on a week of tasting the 2013 vintage. After a gorgeous outdoor reeption overlooking the vines (including neighbors Chateau Pavie-Macquin and Chateau Troplong=Mondot) guests ventured to their tables. I was lucky to be seated with some […]



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Bordeaux En Primeur 2013: Experiencing Chateau LaFaurie-Peyraguey

“Welcome!” says amiable, dark-haired Eric Larramona, appearing beside the magical gate of Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey. M. Larramona oversees the vineyards at this magical first growth Sauternes estate with its varietal of terroirs. It is my third visit to this historic estate, and my first time with a room that has a bathtub overlooking the vineyards. The […]



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Bordeaux 2013: Tasting Listrac, Moulis, Medoc, and Margaux

So here I am on April 3, 2014 at Chateau Labegorce tasting the 2013 vintage of wines from Listrac, Moulis. Medoc, and Margaux. The good news is this: the majority of your favorite wines, despite the challenging vintage, are showing very well at the moment. Though extremely young at this point in time, the majority […]



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En Primeur 2014: Visiting Chateau Carbonnieux

  On Tuesday night I spent a pleasant evening with Madame Perrin and her daughter Christine at Chateau Carbonnieux, a large castle-like wine estate that dates back to the 13th century.  As one arrives it looks like a medieval fortress, with a large gate and several buildings surrounding a beautifully manicured courtyard. I had met […]



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Interview with Veronique Sanders of Chateau Haut-Bailly

In a challenging vintage, chateaux with the most resources and the willingness to deploy them are able to make quality wine. That point was brought home to me in the tasting room of Chateau Haut-Bailly during En Primeur 2012. Unlike some other chateaux, the Haut-Bailly Grand Vin was very vibrant and well concentrated, with firm […]



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Hospieces de Beaune 2013: Story Behind Success

“The two Burgundian grape varieties were both badly treated by the weather throughout the vegetative cycle,” begins Roland Masse, in his opening address to journalists during the official tasting of the Vente des Vins des Cuvees de la Recolte 2013 du Domaine Hospieces de Beaune. Despite this news, wine for this charity event run by […]



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Visiting Domaine de la Perriere

“Here I am close to my garden so if I have to make adjustments I can do them quickly,” says Benigne Joliet, speaking of the five hectares of vines near his winery. Benigne has come quite a long way in the two years since my first visit. His English has progressed much further than my […]



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Visiting Meo Camuzet in Vosne Romanee

“Welcome,” says Jean Meo, the charismatic and energetic face behind the famous Meo Camuzet label.  Parisian raised, at the tender age of 20 with a myriad of career possibilities before him, he was faced with the question: Do you want to move to Burgundy and run the winery, or not? The answer is clear, as […]



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Hospices de Beaune 2014

Discovering Burgundy can be a life-long pursuit.  Few other places in the world can you have your right foot in one type of soil, and your left foot in a completely different soil. And though Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the two main grapes of the regions, they take on a different expression in each […]



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Visiting Chateau de Cazeneuve in Pic St. Loup

  “Welcome!” says Andre Leenhardt, welcoming me to his 17th century winery in Pic St. Loup. It has been a long 18 mile drive from Montpelier, an ancient city near the Languedoc with a vibrant energy. Andre is the passionate owner and winemaker of Chateau de Cazeneuve, one of the top estates in this region […]



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Visit to Pic St. Loup with Matthew Stubbs MW

Very interesting visit to Chateau de Cazeneuve, one of the top estateds in Pic St. Loup characterized by chalky limestone soils, lots of rain, and a high elevation which allows for good ripening yet high acidity. André Leenhardt,  deeply restructures the estate vineyard and farm buildings in the 1990s. Andre is a very generous man […]



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Visiting Biancavigna in Conegliano-Valdobbiadene

  “I am so excited to show you our terroir!” exclaims Luca Cuzziol, an owner with his lovely wife of Biancavigna in Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Italy. I jump into his car and we are off to explore the three pieces of land he owns in the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG region, characterized by spectacular topography with steep hills … […]



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Visiting Bisol in Conegliano-Valdobbiadene

  “Welcome to Bisol,” says Roberto Cremonese, energetic export manager at Bisol, a large quality Prosecco DOCG producer in Conegliano-Valdobbiadene. Evidence exists of the Bisol family in the historic heart of the production area of Prosecco, the area called “Chartice” in the very prestigious Cartizze hills – can be found as early as the sixteenth […]