IGP Vineyards of the Alpes Maritimes

Re-blogged from 

Did you know that you can enjoy wines from Menton, Mougins and Mandelieu?

As well as Saint-Jeannet, Saint-Paul de Vence, Tourettes-sur-Loup and even theLes Îles de Lérins off Cannes?

There really are vineyards in places least expected along our azure coast!

The aforementioned local vineyards are all classified as IGP, which stands for indication géographique protégée (or vin de pays).

So what’s the difference between an AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) and an IGP? It’s not so much a comparison of quality as you could easily think.

The AOC label is in place to protect historic wine areas of France. Each appellation is tightly regulated and the rules control such aspects as what grapes can be planted and where to achieve this. AOC wines must also show “tipicity”. In other words a Bellet wine should taste like a Bellet wine, not like a Côtes du Rhône.

Whereas wines which are categorised as IGP are not bound by such strict regulations and winemakers have much more freedom, especially when it comes to grape varieties. IGP wines can be some of the most interesting (and best value) wines to discover.

Here’s The Riviera Grapevine’s introduction to the eight vineyards of the Alpes-Maritimes!

Vineyards Alpes Maritimes

Mandelieu

Name: Domaine de Barbossi
Address: 3300 avenue de Fréjus, Mandelieu-La Napoule
Phone (hotel switchboard):+ 33 (0)4 93 49 42 41
Varieties grown: Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Rolle, Chardonnay & Muscat Petit Grain
Wines produced: White, Red & Rosé
A bit more info: The vineyard at Domaine de Barbossi comprises just one part of a mini-empire in the hills of Mandelieu-La Napoule. A luxury hotel and sporting complex, it’s a rather professional wine outfit which is responsible for between 16 to 18,000 bottles a year. If I was wondering why this was the one IGP wine I rarely see on the shelves around here, the answer lies on the website. It’s safe to say that a fair amount of the total production doesn’t even leave the hotel complex, happily guzzled by the hotel guests.
Visitors welcome: They are not yet set up for wine tourism as such, but if you’re in Nice you can find their wine at La Part des Anges.

 

Mougins

Name: La Vigne de Pibonson
Address: 303 chemin du Miracle, Mougins
Phone: +33 (0)4 93 75 33 63
Varieties grown: Rolle & Grenache
Wines produced: White, Rose and a late-harvest sweet wine (vin doux)
A bit more info: A little over one hectare of precious land on the border of Cannes and Mougins has been salvaged from real estate developers by a Norwegian man and his wife who have a clear passion for wine. Together with the help of some of the regions finest oenologists, they make around 6000 bottles of their three wines. A grape miracle onchemin du Miracle!
Visitors welcome: As it stands, they are not (yet) set up for wine tourism either.

 

Îles de Lérins

Name: Abbaye de Lérins
Address: 
Île St Honorat
Email: planariaadmin@abbayedelerins.com
Varieties grown: Syrah, Mourvèdre, Pinot Noir, Clairette, Chardonnay & Viognier.
Wines produced: Red & White, as well as assorted liqueurs.
A bit more info: This really is holy wine! Less than 15 minutes from Cannes and its glamorous Croisette are les Îles de Lérins. The two islands are Île St Marguerite and Île St Honorat. The former was reputedly home to the famous Man in the Iron Mask and the latter has housed a continual monastic community since the 5th century. Who make wine. All the wines are named for a different saint, and the vineyards, set by the ocean with the glittering coastline of Cannes as a backdrop, are undoubtedly some of the most spectacularly located vines in the world! A definite French Riviera wine highlight.
Visitors welcome: Yes, by appointment. A selection of (paying) tastings and tours are available, including summer wine cruises on select dates.

For more information: Excellence de Lérins website

Tourettes-sur-Loup

Name: Domaine Saint Joseph
Address: 160 chemin des Vignes, Tourettes-sur-Loup
Telephone: +33 (0) 4 93 58 81 31/ +33 (0)6 09 28 26 59
Varieties grown: Marselan, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Folle Noire, Braquet, Cinsault, Clairette, Rolle & Sémillon.
Wines produced: Red, White, Rosé, Sparkling & a sweet, aperitif wine
A bit more info: With one hectare of vines in the village of Tourettes-sur-Loup, and a slightly larger holding beneath the ramparts of Saint-Paul de Vence, Domaine Saint Joseph boasts two of the prettiest locations for vines on the Riviera! Certified biodynamic, just over 10,000 bottles are produced a year by this family run operation. A visit to the tasting room in Tourettes is highly recommended.
Visitors welcome: Yes, by appointment.

 

Saint-Paul de Vence

Name: Le Petit Vigneau
Address: 1466 Route des Serres, Saint-Paul de Vence
Telephone: +33 (0)6 62 51 92 08
Varieties grown: Rolle, Sémillon, Chardonnay, Viognier, Clairette, Braquet, Mourvèdre, Folle Noire and Grassenc (phew!)
Wines produced: Red,  White & Rosé
A bit more info:  The last thing you’d expect in this quiet, residential street in Saint-Paul de Vence is to come across a vineyard, but that’s exactly the surprise at number 1466. Raphael Vigneau is a busy man, running a very successful Provence wine tours company (Azur Wine Tours) as well as this boutique vineyard with a view of the old village in the background. One of the rare (if not the only) winemakers to grow the little-known, indigenous grape Grassenc. Another must visit for any local wine lovers.
Visitors welcome: Yes, by appointment. Tour and tasting costs €5.

 

Saint-Jeannet

Name: Vignoble des Hautes Collines de la Côte d’Azur
Address: 800 chemin des Sausses, Saint-Jeannet
Telephone: +33 (0)4 93 24 96 01
Varieties grown: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Grenache, Braquet, Mourvèdre, Rolle, Ugni Blanc, Chardonnay & Muscat of Alexandria
Wines produced: White, Red, Rosé, Sparkling, & Vin Doux (sweet white and red)
A bit more info: Somewhat of an icon in these parts, the ‘vineyard of Saint-Jeannet’ (as it is more commonly known) is famous for their rather unique glassbonbonnieres (bottles) which age the wine, as well as the whimsical labels which reflect the vintage. Warm colours stand for a hot year, whilst colder colours can be interpreted as a cooler vintage. The last vineyard standing under the baou of Saint-Jeannet, a visit is strongly recommended to discover their interesting and varied styles of wine.
Visitors welcome: Yes, but an appointment is strongly recommended. Prices for a tasting start at €8 per person.

(Read posted article by 24/7 in France HERE)

Nice

Name: Domaine Augier
Address: 680, St Roman de Bellet, Nice
Telephone: +33 (0)4 92 15 11 99
Wines produced: Red, White & Rosé
A bit more info: The address may look familiar – Domaine Auguier, producing wine since 1991, was once part of the AOC Bellet and has been bottling under the IGP Alpes-Maritimes label for three years now. Winemaking is in the Augier blood and it’s Elise Augier, the third generation, now responsible for an annual production of up to 4,000 bottles.
Visitors welcome: The vineyard welcomes visitors every Tuesday and Thursday between 4.30pm and 7pm by appointment.

 

Menton

Name: Domaine de l’Annonciade
Address: Near the Monastère de l’Annonciade, 2135 Corniche André Tardieu, Menton
Varieties grown: Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Syrah, Malunvern.
Wines produced: Red (vin de table, a different classification to IGP in fact)
A bit more info: Situated on the same hill in Menton as the monastery which bears the same name, it was the monks who historically grew grapes on this site. Cut to the 1990′s, and a volunteer group going by the name of Confrérie de l’Etiquette du Mentonnais decided to restore the winemaking tradition here.If you’re a fan of obscure vineyards and grapes, it doesn’t get better than Domaine de l’Annonciade and their mysterious Malunvern. In fact, it’s difficult to find a single reference to it, even in my trusted grape bible, Wine Grapes.
Visitors welcome: Not as such, but keep an eye on their blog (below) for details of upcoming wine tastings they will be present at.

Honorary mention must go to Domaine de Toasc in Nice, who along with their AOC Bellet wines also bottle an IGP wine or two.

Wines of the Alpes Maritimes Labels

I would like to cite two very useful websites in helping my ‘forensics’ when it came to finding out the above information:

Asncap – Association of Sommeliers of Nice Côte d’Azur and Elizabeth Gabay, a Master of Wine living in the hinterland of Nice and actively promoting the wines of the area.

Source/Credit: The Riviera Grapevine

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Bellet Wines in Nice

Just 30 minutes from the center of Nice is one of the oldest wine regions in France, dating back to the arrival of the Phocean Greek traders from Marseille.  Some vines are over 1000 years old and the wines of Bellet were awarded the coveted AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controllée) accreditation status in 1941.

Twice a year, the 10 AOC Bellet vineyards in the hills behind Nice open their doors and start popping corks – ‘Portes Ouvertes’ is a perfect opportunity to get tasting the local wines – free of charge!

Interactive domain map HERE (Organic wines are made at the Domaine de la Source.)

Portes ouvertes :
Samedi 24 et dimanche 25 mai 2014
Samedi 29 et dimanche 30 novembre 2014

Visitors welcome between 10am and 6pm on both days.

Enjoy a wine lover’s escape from the hustle and bustle of the city!

(Public bus transportation access or by car – Don’t forget to have a designated driver)

 See my previous post for the Chateau de Cremat in Bellet HERE

Source/Credit: The Riviera Reporter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wine by the Vial

PARIS — A French startup is looking to let consumers sample the country’s best vintages at home with single servings, doing for wine what Nespresso did for coffee.

PARIS — Put the capsule in the machine, push the button, and out comes your beverage at the perfect temperature as if poured by a professional. But it’s not your Nespresso machine serving up a shot of coffee. A French startup, 10-vins (Ten Wines) is launching a new home appliance that’s reshaping the way we consume wine while giving corkscrews a rest.

While still a top producer and consumer of all vintages, France is slowly faltering on the wine market. Nationwide wine consumption over the past decades has steadily declined, with fewer than 17% of citizens consuming wine on a daily basis, compared to 50% in 1980, according to one study by France AgriMer, which follows agricultural trends. Other reports look to the fact that red wine consumption in China has surpassed that of France, even though per capita, the French still vie with Italians for top ranking.Called the “D-Vine” (pronounced divine), the machine decants individual glasses of wine, serving them at the perfect temperature by reading a microchip on the vial. Like Nespresso machines that have seduced the French, who make up 25% of the business’s profits, the D-Vine could be a way to revitalize the French market, allowing for more upscale experimentation with less risk, and without having to go to a wine specialist. It will debut at the end of this year in France, retailing for around $250 or so, and the business is eyeing the United States not long after.

But while the frequency of wine drinking declines, one study shows that French households spend around 25 euros more on alcohol than five years ago. The authors suggest the French are buying less but higher-quality bottles.

Looking to this increased spending, Nantes-based startup 10-vins is re-marketing higher-end wines known as grand cru. The company is looking at individualized portions, allowing for more experimentation and sampling for those who aren’t willing to invest immediately in more expensive bottles.

Cultural shifts are leading younger generations toward other drinks, according to private chef and culinary consultant Didier Quémener. Wine, he said, was traditionally the drink that French grandparents had with every meal, poured from bottles decorated with chateaux and flowing script.

But with a more cosmopolitan generation traveling further and experiencing more of the world, vodka and Red Bull or a rum and Coke are replacing Bordeaux and Beaujolais. Binge drinking is increasingly prevalent among students and wine is finding its way to the dinner table less and less frequently.

“France was a golden place where every wine was good – but the quality suffered because they did not have to produce good wine,” Quémener said. It seems that the industry has finally bounced off its laurels, taking steps to maintain the superior image of French wine.

Vineyards are hiring younger protégés to help attract those their own age, and fashionable trends have been bringing newer generations back to vintages. Design-heavy labels, organic varieties and new packaging are changing, or at least refreshing, the face of the French wine industry. “We adapt and we listen to the customers. If the wine is the same in the bottle but the label changes, who cares?” Quénemer said. Not least among the tactics is the new gadget by 10-vins.

The company, founded in 2012, currently offers 10cL vials of wine, allowing consumers to sample several varieties in the comfort of their own home, without having to purchase a whole bottle. Combined with online tutorials and advice via web chats and Twitter, the team of young, passionate wine enthusiasts is bringing French wine into the 21st century.

Thibault Jacousse, 10-vins cofounder alongside Jérôme Pasquet and Luis da Silva, said that the concept is a way to test more expensive wines without investing too much. “When you are at home alone or in a couple, it’s not always the right occasion to open a whole bottle,” he said, “especially if we don’t have the same tastes, like me and my wife.”

Repas 10-Vins.jpg

Vials are currently sold for as little as 1.90 euros ($2.64 USD) per 10cL, roughly one glass, with higher-end vintages retailing at 7 euros ($9.71 USD), all available through the company’s website. While more expensive than buying a whole bottle, it’s cheaper than investing in a 60-euro ($83 USD) bottle that might disappoint.

“Today’s younger generations don’t have a wine cellar or buy bottles in bulk. They drink less wine but they are looking for the better ones,” Jacousse said. Single servings allow them to stock and taste different varieties on a smaller scale.

The D-Vine isn’t the first innovation for the wine industry. Canned wine, by Winestar, hit the French market in 2013. Flavored wines have also been placed predominantly on supermarket shelves, with grapefruit-flavored rosé making headlines in the same year.

While such changes, upmarket or other, may seem offensive to traditionalists (like these guys), for Quénemer, any way to sell wine is a win for the French market, which can’t afford to turn a nose up at technology or other innovations like the D-Vine. “Maybe it’s a gimmick, but consumers have wine in their hands, and maybe it’ll encourage them one day to a new level and taste something more expensive,” he said.

Source/credit:  SmartPlanet

 

Pitt & Perrin – Wine Spectator

Provence & Côte d’Azur: Actor reveals love for his new wine venture in the Var

Brad Pitt approaches winemaking like a Hollywood film

Move over Côte de Provence rosés, Brad Pitt is planning to make a revolutionary Provence red at his Miravel vineyard in the Var … just give him seven years. The Hollywood actor recently revealed that winemaking has reshaped his very identity, and he now considers himself a Provencal farmer – capable of producing that elusive, fine local red just like the Tuscans.

The cover of the June edition of Wine Spectator

Speaking to the US magazineWine Spectator, Brad Pitt, who bought the Miraval Estate winery with fiancée Angelina Jolie in 2012, explained that he approached this venture with the same determination as a Hollywood flick.

“For better or worse, given my compulsive nature, if we are going to be in the wine business, let’s make the best wine we can,’ the 50-year-old said. “I asked the question, ‘Why can’t we make world-class wine in Provence?’ Let’s approach it like a film, and let’s make something we can be proud of and all people can enjoy.”

Of course, Provence rosés are already world-class. But with fifth-generation winemaker Marc Perrin on their team, the Pitt-Jolie dynamic duo were definitely off to a good start. Their first 6,000 bottles, officially known as Jolie-Pitt & Perrin Côte de Provence Rosé Miraval, sold out within five hours of being offered online in France last March – a response which no-doubt fuelled Pitt’s new-found passion.

“I’m a farmer now. I love learning about the land and which field is most suitable for which grape, the drama of September and October: Are we picking today?

“Where are the sugar levels? How is the acidity? Is it going to rain? It’s been a schooling for me. In the off months, I enjoy cleaning the forest and walking the land.”

The sprawling Château Miraval estate, featuring 35-bedrooms and an adjoining 1,200 acre vineyard, was purchased for $60 million. It is situated in a valley at an altitude of 350 metres, where the vines “enjoy warm sunny days and cool nights, natural clay and chalk soils, plenty of water and organic farming practices,” according to the estate.

Clearly, these are great conditions for rosé, but do they suit red wine? Pitt seems to think so. He plans to ignore the strict guidelines of the AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) and go out on a limb…

“What really interests me now are the reds. … It’s generally believed that Provence is not capable of producing a fine red. … I, with Marc and Pierre [Perrin], would like to create a wine which utilises the best attributes of our terroir, and outside the restrictions of the AOC, like what the Italians have achieved with their super Tuscans. We envision a superb Provence red. Give us seven years.”

Credit: Cassandra Tanti for The Riviera Times

 

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s Wine Reaches French Riviera

The new Miraval wine produced by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has recently arrived within reach of the superyachts on the French Riviera.

The wine is now on sale in the 1862 Wines & Spirits shop, situated opposite the old Port of Cannes, in a prime location for superyachts on the world famous French Riviera.

Read more Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s Wine Reaches French Riviera.

Cooking Classes in Monaco

It’s hardly a secret that I am a less-than-enthusiastic cook, but I do try to keep learning and even took a cooking class with a Michelin-star chef.

If you would like to try your hand at hands-on cooking in a luxurious environment, classes are offered at both the Hotel de Paris and at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort in Monaco.

One cooking class starts in the afternoon (link in English) and the other begins in the morning (link in English), providing schedules that should delight everyone’s ‘taste’!

After the class, you will enjoy a gastronomic meal from the fruits of your labor – bien sûr, created by top notch chefs.  Time spent in their kitchens would indeed be a gourmet “authentic cooking experience”!

Bon Appétit!

LouisXV-AlainDucasse_Coquilles-Saint-Jacques-de-Normandie-dorées-au-sautoir-pulpe-de-laitue-et-de-cresson-de-fontaine Photos courtesy of official Hôtel de Paris website

“Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!”

2012 BeaujolaisOddly enough, I happened to be in Paris for the November 15, 2012 release of “Beaujolais Nouveau” & was again in Paris this year on the legally regulated release day/time: the third Thursday of November at midnight.  The event is a world-wide celebration of a red wine from Beaujolais, located in the Burgundy region of France. By law, the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau is on the third Thursday of November at 12:01 AM.

Reportedly, in the 1950s the makers of the wine were keen to increase the sales of this young vintage – there wasn’t a huge demand due to ageing process of wines.

Beaujolais Nouveau wine isn’t really nouveau/new, since it’s been around since the 19th century.  Targeting Paris to carry the first bottles released in cafés and restaurants, as a marketing tactic, made this event an annual success since then, with the largest importers being Japan, Germany and the U.S.

Which promotional poster do you prefer?

November 21, 2013:

Beaujolais nouveau 2013