Making a Meal with Wine from South Africa


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




vineyard view, wine vacation, wine tasting
Simonsberg-Stellenbosch. Photo Credit: Erica Moodie/Wines of South Africa

What grows together goes together is an oft-quoted phrase in the wine pairing game. Sure, that’s helpful if you have an idea what sort things grow and thrive in the wine region that’s connected to your bottle.

But if you don’t know, don’t despair. It’s time to do some research. Learning about the foods of place can have transformative effects on enjoying the wine made in the same environment.

Last year I covered the Basque Culinary World Prize and the 2018 winner Jock Zonfrillo. This was an eye-opening experience because the organizers of the prize look at food from a social perspective, as the transmission of prosperity, dignity and culture:

Now in its third year, the prize considers nominees of a particular stature, but contrary to the world of celebrity chefs and restaurant rankings, eligiblity comes from transformative good works in the …

wine wine pairing, wine for summer, winelife
CHENIN BLANC GRAPES
patio wine, wine pairing with South African wine,

La Collina Biodynamic Bubbles — Lambrusco!


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




modern lambrusco
La Collina Lambrusco at Rolf and Daughters in Nashville. Photo Credit: Jill Barth

On a recent trip to Nashville to cover the city’s wine scene for USA Today (you can read about it here) I had poured over lists and menus before making reservations.

A couple of things really stood out to me, one of them being the cool by the glass list at Rolf and Daughters in the Germantown neighborhood.

They had something I really wanted to try and I have to say, it was very appealing option: La Collina Quaresimo Lambrusco!

Biodynamic Italian wine, coop wine, organic wine
Photo Credit: Indie Wineries

Then I popped into Woodland Wine Merchant and there it was on the shelf. Wish I’d grabbed a couple of bottles.

This wine comes from a Demeter-certified biodynamic farm and native yeasts were used in the making. It contains 20% Lambrusco Salamino, 40% Maestri, 30% Grasparossa and 10% Malbo Gentile. The …

A Name To Know: Gérard Bertrand


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Languedoc white wine, biodynamic French wine
Photo Credit: Jill Barth

When I visited the Languedoc for the first time, it was with the name Gérard Bertrand fresh in my mind.

I’d had the opportunity to read about Bertrand’s work and my friend had mentioned, more than once, the outstanding Festival de Jazz à l’Hospitalet that happens on the property each July.

As a writer with a biodynamics beat, Bertrand was on my radar as a leader in the field. Bertrand’s network includes Cigalus, the Aigle Estate, the Clos du Temple, Château La Sauvageonne, Château l’Hospitalet, Château des Karantes, Château Tarailhan, Château Aigues Vives, Château des Deux Rocs and Château de la Soujeole — all in compliance with Demeter Biodynamic® Farm and Processing Standards.

Bertrand has significant reach a stone’s throw from major hotspots in Herault and Aude: Carcassonne, Narbonne and Montpellier. Esteemed appellations such as Limoux, Corbiers and Minervois are represented by Gérard Bertrand.

wildflowers, blue sky, south of France
South …
Carcassonne, Narbonne, wine, Corbiers, Terrasses du Larzac, Montpellier, Minervois
French food and wine pairings, grilled food and white wine
sud de france wine. Languedoc wine, organic wine

A Name To Know: Gérard Bertrand


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




When I visited the Languedoc for the first time, it was with the name Gérard Bertrand fresh in my mind.

I’d had the opportunity to read about Bertrand’s work and my friend had mentioned, more than once, the outstanding Festival de Jazz à l’Hospitalet that happens on the property each July.

As a writer with a biodynamics beat, Bertrand was on my radar as a leader in the field. Bertrand’s network includes Cigalus, the Aigle Estate, the Clos du Temple, Château La Sauvageonne, Château l’Hospitalet, Château des Karantes, Château Tarailhan, Château Aigues Vives, Château des Deux Rocs and Château de la Soujeole — all in compliance with Demeter Biodynamic® Farm and Processing Standards.

Bertrand has significant reach a stone’s throw from major hotspots in Herault and Aude: Carcassonne, Narbonne and Montpellier. Esteemed appellations such as Limoux, Corbiers and Minervois are represented by Gérard Bertrand releases.

Carcassonne, Narbonne, wine, Corbiers, Terrasses du Larzac, Montpellier, Minervois
French food and wine pairings, grilled food and white wine
sud de france wine. Languedoc wine, organic wine

‘Peace, Bread, Land and Wine’: A Meal With Brooks Winery


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Brooks Winery is one of those producers that wine writers crave. There’s a strong family element combined with a tenacious streak of terroir pride. There’s a cool appellation and biodynamic growing. Brooks has the views and killer hospitality.

We want to visit there, and maybe, (probably) we want to be like them. 

It could be said that well-respected Brooks is a proxy for all that’s right in Oregon wine, the Willamette Valley in particular and Eola-Amity Hills, in super-particular.

You’ll see what they stand for in their commitments (below) but I’m also impressed with their robust calendar of events and Brooks University. Talk about a community builder.

Brooks has stated ‘commitments’: peace, bread, land and wine.

Peace. It’s a commitment to Jimi’s* presence in this world. Treat others with dignity and kindness. Be a good …

Metal Giants: Wind Farms and the Chablis Landscape


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




No wine turbines
“Say no to wind turbines in Chablis!” Courtesy: Vents Contre Air

“No more wind turbines in Chablis. Both winegrowers and the people have had enough!”

This was the subject line of an email that crossed my desk recently. I’m no stranger to wind turbines — the structures are a common sight across Midwestern farmland — so the email caught my eye and I ended up in touch with Julien Brocard, vice president of the association Vents Contre Air and Chablis vigneron at Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard.

Brocard and his associates at Vents Contre Air oppose the proposed installation of seven new 150-meter-tall (nearly 500 feet) turbines in the village of Prehy, a stone’s throw from Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard. “The main objection is the visual intrusion, but we don’t know the impact on the frost, hail, etc.,” says Brocard.

“The turbines are a risk for wildlife,” says Brocard. “There …

Domaine Jean Marc Brocard
windmills

Bodegas Krontiras: A Biodynamic Expression of Mendoza (#WinePW)


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




ball shaped blur close up focus
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

Readers of L’Occasion and my column at Forbes must be interested in biodynamics. It is one of the topics I cover regularly because I have an interest and because I have a background writing about sustainability.

Prior to my exclusive focus on wine (food and travel too), I also covered yoga (I’m a certified teacher in the Iyengar method), mindfulness and ecology. I was the ‘green’ section editor at elephant journal, where I was also a contributor. In that time I interviewed Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, covered beat poet perspective on the planet, reported on Keystone XL, zero waste, plastics bans, oil addiction, climate change and sustainable businesses (including Guinness, which, in a full circle pattern, I’ve also covered for Forbes).

Moving Into Wine

Why did swap my beat from green to wine? Both topics are interests of mine …

adult alcohol blur celebrate
Krontiras-1-800x500
people standing on road beside market and high rise buildings
group of people holding wine glasses

‘300 Days of Sunshine’: The Vineyards of Sicilian DOC Interview with Alberto Tasca


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Tenuta-Regaleali-1
Tenuta Regaleali in Sicily. Photo Credit: Tasca d’Almerita

Sicilia DOC is a consortium of 300 Sicilian+ wine producers with a rich history of winemaking and a connection to the ecology of the island via a significant commitment to organics. In fact, Sicily winemakers are responsible for 38% of organically cultivated wine in all of all Italy.

Alberto Tasca is a member of the board of Sicilia DOC. He’s also the seventh-generation of a winemaking family with a legendary history. In his work on his own estates as well as with the consortium, Tasca has a reputation for championing indigenous grapes and preservation of the Sicilian ecosystem. I had the opportunity to converse with Tasca about his perspective.

1-Tenuta-Tascante
Tenuta Tascante in Mt. Etna, Sicily. Photo Credit: Tasca D’Almerita

Jill Barth: What is the landscape for production of indigenous grapes in Sicily? Are producers tending towards native grapes or international varieties?

Alberto …

5-Tenuta-Tascante
Ospitalita-Tascante
Tenuta-Regaleali-5
Ospitalita-Regaleali-Mangiare
Tascante red
img_3672

Italian Island Wine: One Estate At A Time with Sicilian Organic Winery Feudo di Santa Tresa and #ItalianFWT


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




FST with cactus
The sights are evocative at Feudo di Santa Tresa in Sicily. Photo Credit: Feudo di Santa Tresa

Earlier this week I read an upsetting story about plastics in the ocean. By no means, the first or the last that will cross my desk, this piece was particularly haunting and it occurred to me that aside from lessening plastic use in my own life, I would make it my goal to highlight wine producers that have their hands in the clay on this issue.

Italian Food, Wine and Travel

Simultaneous to this contemplation, I am in the midst of covering Italian island wines, Sicily in particular, as part of a this month’s Italian Wine, Food and Travel (#ItalianWFT) event. Sicily has a lot going on right now, wine-wise, so I have stumbled upon several totally compelling stories to share with readers.

When I got the opportunity to interview the team from

FST vineyards
FST beehive
FST well
Sicilian bubbly, sparkling wine from Italy
FST cellar
FST cover crop
FST puppy

200 Bottles of 1969 Pommard Found in Cellar: ‘They Tasted Great’


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




French château renovation
The château at Clos de Commaraine in Pommard. Photo Credit: CLOS DE COMMARAINE

Pommard Landmark Clos de la Commaraine Gets A Biodynamic, And Luxury, Renovation

I have a new piece on Forbes that I loved researching. An exciting renovation includes tales of forgotten wine, Thomas Jefferson visits and sheep in the vineyards. Read it all here.

AN4A1014-
Clos de Commaraine has a rich history dating to the 12th century. Photo Credit: CLOS DE COMMARAINE

The 2018 harvest marked the next phase of life for Burgundy landmark Clos de la Commaraine. Located in the esteemed Côte-d’Or, the property includes 3.75 hectares of Pommard 1er Cru vines which are fixed in a monopole, now operated by an American couple with plans produce biodynamic wines. The last wine made under the single estate Commaraine name was in 2002 — since then the grapes have been sold to Maison Louis Jadot and produced under …

Biodynamic and Organic Stories on Forbes


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




I’ve had the opportunity to cover several aspects of biodynamic and organic winemaking recently on Forbes. I try to cover biodynamics as much as I can, and I’d like to be sure readers of L’Occasion know these stories are available. Thanks for reading, here or at Forbes, and for sharing your stories with me.

pathway under clouds and blue sky
Photo by David on Pexels.com

Alois Lageder: Biodynamic Winemaking In Italy’s Alto Adige

Alois Lageder is a 54 hectare (135 acre) family winery in the stunning Alto Adige region of Italy. Here, every function is carried out biodynamically. “Quality is the fruit of many individual, mostly small, often unpredictable details. By paying close attention we can recognize these hidden connections,” says a video produced by the family.

Organic Vineyards Protect Bird Populations, And Birds Return The Favor

A recent study out of the Penedès wine region in Catalonia reveals that organic vineyard farming has …

clouds countryside cropland crops

Working With The Classics: Advice From Women In Champagne


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




1er Cru, Grand Cru, Premier Cru, Le Mesnil, Sur Oger, Vertus
Grower Champagne, such as this exceptional bottle, from Champagne André Jacquart, is often terroir-driven. Credit: Jill Barth

This has only happened to me once, but because this isn’t the first time I promise this is indeed not a habit. Winophiles publish day rolls around and I don’t have what I need to satisfy my planned post. This happened in 2016, when I didn’t get my Jura wines and actually ended up writing a post from France and still without any wine.

This time, it’s a bit different. I have my wines but couldn’t connect with my sources — two women working in the wine industry in Champagne — in order to tell their story. And I’ve promised, based on the title, to offer some advice direct from these professionals.

Turns out, they are both busy at work.

And I took a week off for the flu.

And, in the end, …

AndreJacquart-people

Island Wines Of Italy: How Many Do You Know (#ItalianFWT)


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




landscape photography of gray rock formation
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

This month I’m hosting a wine writer’s event centered on the Island Wines of Italy. In researching for the event I’ve learned that there are more than 450 Italian islands. 350 of them are in the sea, either as an element of an archipelago or a singleton. There are 100 lake and lagoon islands, of which Venice comprises 32 of them.

Maybe, when I chose my topic, I should have been more specific?

There’s Sicily, a prominent and significant Italian wine region. There’s Sardinia, a mélange of French and Italian varieties and methods. But what else is out to sea?

Look in the Bay of Naples for Ischia and Capri and Pantelleria reaching off towards Tunisa. The Aeolian Islands produce a signature… but what else is out to sea?

If you know, here is your chance to join in our event which is …

amalfi coast bay beach blue
bay beach beautiful blue

Gravner: ‘Nature As A Source Of Thought’


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Gravner-stagno-Runk-foto-A.Barsanti
Gravners Runk vineyard, primarily Ribolla and Pignolo, unique for the pond situated in the vineyard. Photo Credit: A. Barsanti

Joško Gravner‘s vineyards and cellars in Oslavia—in the Friuli region of Italy, stitched to the border of Slovenia, where one of Gravner’s vineyards exists—are infused with the philosophy that “nature offers everything we need.”

Gravner’s practices have ascended into highest levels of the cosmic and natural energies of life, elevating the ideas of biodynamics to “let the vine cycle come full circle year after year, calmly.”

“Calm is what we need to live through the season and face hardships,” to quote Gravner from his website. “To watch time go by, knowing that this is the right thing to do for the wine that’s waiting.”

Gravner-Dedno-Josko-5-8.04.17
Gravner in the Dedno vineyard, situated just over the border that Italy shares with Slovenia. Photo Credit: Gravner

Gravner’s wines are crafted in …

matMG_5748.jpg
Gravner-Dedno-innesti_DSC3958
Gravnere-Dedno-innesti_DSC3948
Josko-arrivo-anfore-foto-M.Frullani
Gravner-Dedno-8.04.17

Bellet: Provence’s Urban Wine Appellation


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Chateau_de_bellet_4
The vineyards of Château de Bellet. Photo Credit: Château de Bellet

As France’s oldest wine region, Provence is infinitely important to the global history of viticulture. The region was settled by the Phocaeans around 600 BC, and it’s believed that the Greeks were responsible for the dawn of winemaking and grape growing in ancient Provence. These early wines were pale, made in a free-run fashion with a flash maceration.

Provence History and Appellations

By the 2nd century BC, an alliance was formed with the Romans, and evidence of their influence is still felt in modern-day Provence. The Romans began crafting red wines, but rosé still held sway and white and rosé wines were reserved for the aristocracy and clergy.

20150410_184551.jpg
Les Antiques, Roman artifacts near St. Rémy-de-Provence. Photo Credit: Jill Barth

Rosé is still closely associated with Provence, yet many consumers connect it to a lifestyle of holiday and free-wheeling. …

Provence Map
Chateau_de_bellet_3
Chateau_de_bellet_2
Chateau_de_bellet_5
Bellet-bouteilles-2
A Year In Provence by Peter Mayle.

All The Foods I’ve Loved Before: Pairing Uruguayan Tannat


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




img_1525
Tannat at Artesana Winery. Photo Credit: Jill Barth

It was pretty much the full expectation, before my trip to Uruguay, that the country’s signature grape would have to be paired up with grilled meat.

And it’s true, Tannat and Parilla––meat cooked over an open fire––is very much a thing. But, it turns out Tannat from Uruguay is packed with freshness. To a wine, Uruguayan Tannat is not harsh––based on my recent tasting of around 120 wines from Uruguay, a large portion of them Tannat. This makes it an exceptionally food-friendly offering.

img_1461
Tannat on the vine, in the spring, at Marichal. Photo Credit: Jill Barth

 





Some excerpts from my tasting notes:

“satiating acidity, mineral earth + acid = elevated freshness”

“dried herbs and fruit, elegant and fresh”

“structure that keeps the fruit alive”

“fresh and juicy black fruit integrated with acid”

“fruit goes to structure then there’s a pop …

Uruguay wine, visit Uruguay wineries
img_1896
img_1658
Punte de Este, Jose Ignacio, Garzon
img_3025

Behind The Scenes: #WinePW Writers On Wine And Food From Uruguay


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




If you follow along on L’Occasion or our social media, you’ve noticed an uptick in coverage of South American wine, Uruguayan wine in particular. Hopefully, it’s been enjoyable, because this weekend I’m hosting a wine writers’ collaboration event—Wine Pairing Weekend—during which a group of wine, food and travel bloggers zoom in on a particular topic. On Saturday, February 9, 2019, at 10am that topic is Uruguay!

Tannat, Albarino, Sauvigon Blanc,












Here’s what to expect…we each write a post and join together for a chat. And YOU are invited, no need to do anything but pop on Twitter and find us to say hello and ask questions.

Join us on our blogs and on twitter with the hashtag #WinePW to go behind the curtain on our discoveries:

Pinny at Chinese Food and Wine Pairings presents Uruguay’s Bodega Garzon Tannat Paired with Lamb Skewers and Beef Short Ribs

Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla gives us

Azienda Agricola Fongoli: Making Natural Wine In Umbria


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




IMG_2942

Angelo Fongoli of Azienda Agricola Fongoli in Montefalco is a winemaker I’m getting to know in the process of mentally shadowing biodynamic wine growers and makers.

I’ve covered the basics and then some—more on that here if you are new to the topic—so I have a growing interest in how these farms and wineries achieve and maintain balance. It seems to me that the system works unless it doesn’t (or it isn’t attempted) and I’m curious about the tipping point. More to come on this project, but the bottom line is, I’m learning from Angelo Fongoli others that work and think like him.

I’ve sampled his wines, a selection of Sagrantino made in several methods as well as red blends and single varietal whites including Grechetto and Trebbiano. Fongoli also produces grappa and olive oil, which I haven’t tasted.

Montefalco

Montefalco is situated in Umbria, a hillside town that earned …

Straight From Uruguay: Wine, Food and #WinePW Stories


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




img_2155
The view from Viña Edén, a winery in Uruguay’s Maldonado Department. Photo Credit: Jill Barth

It’s a 9+hour flight from Miami to Uruguay’s capital city, Montevideo. It’s worth it if you love wine, excellent food, natural beauty and enriching conversation.

Sure you do, right? But if a ticket to Uruguay isn’t in your airline reservation app just yet, join the Wine Pairing Weekend group as we report back. Featuring wines from around the country, we invite you to follow along for our Twitter chat on February 9, 2019 at 10am central.

I’ve recently returned from a trip to the wine regions of Uruguay, peppered with intriguing spots such as Montevideo, Garzón, Punta del Este and José Ignacio. I have tons of gorgeous photos and tasting notes to share with you and I’ll be sampling the wines of El Capricho Winery especially for the #WinePW event.













For more of my coverage …

Heritage Cider: ‘A connection between the orchard and the glass’


This post is by Jill Barth from L'OCCASION


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




An American upbringing saves heritage cider for discovery, but now is the ideal time to experience the revitalization of this age-old drink.

img_2750
Eden Specialty Ciders. Photo Credit: Jill Barth

I grew up in the country, in a house my dad built by hand. A horseshoe of woods surrounded our place and the front door enjoyed the obligatory Illinois view of a cornfield. It was a life of growing things: two Irish Setters (and the occasional mama cat and her babies), a garden that did better some years than others, a warren of beehives off-limits without supervision, ticks, hummingbirds, mint patches, mosses and anything green that could survive the Midwestern season shift.

The fanciest (or fanciful) sign of life, to me, was an innocent strand of juvenile fruit trees. An orchard, if you like. Overall, it was unproductive, with a few apples enjoyed by the pollinator community when they hit the …