Alexa, Thank you for your TripAdvisor review!
“Lynsey’s Hen Do” by Alexa_waugh
5 of 5 stars. Reviewed May 21, 2014 NEW
I booked this wine tour for my sister’s Hen Party and I cannot recommend it enough. We arrived to a beautiful welcome, followed by a brilliant tour of the vine yard and the winery. It was very informative and Joe was excellent with the group of women asking lots of questions… and drinking quicker than he could fill the glasses! After sitting outside with a glass of wine, we went in for lunch and the food was incredible. the wine was free flowing and the dining experience was relaxed. Joe and Liz joined us for drinks and we couldn’t have had a better time. the only disappointment was having to leave the few bottles of wine we purchased because we couldn’t carry them in hand luggage. I cannot express how highly i recommend the tour. If you are looking for info on wine, to drink lots of wine, to see the workings of a small business, taste amazing food and drink more wine… then i throughly recommend you book this tour. Plus you can stay there too so no excuse for having to drive!
Wine & Food pairing for a “Boeuf en Daube”
Is “Boeuf en Daube” prettier that “Beef Stew?
Follow the following steps:
1. Marinate in One bottle of O’Vineyards O’MG 2011 for the whole night.
One kilo of Beef cut in cubes
A “bouquet garni”: Thyme, Rosemary & Sage
salt & pepper
Four medium potatoes
a hand full of seedless olives
3. Use a steam cooker and cook everything until it steams then for an hour at medium heat…This dish gets even better cooked twice!
Enjoy that Boeuf en Daube with another Bottle of O’MG … or any bottle of O’Vineyards Red Wine … available at Naked Wines UK and US! Bon Appétit!
The 2014 Saint Vincent’s Parade
O’Vineyards O’SYRAH 2006 was blessed at the Blessing of the wine during the Prosper Montagné Association’s 2014 Saint Vincent’s Parade!
Liz’s Salmon Rillettes
At the request of our World Travelers Sabine Bessey and her husband Ebaheart, here is the receipe of Liz’s Salmon Rillettes:
Get from the fish market about 200g of fresh salmon
heat your oven at 200°
Few drop of lemon, salt and pepper, roll your salmon inside of an aluminium sheet
cook in the oven for 10 minutes
Cool the salmon in the refrigerator
smash it with a fork
put in the ginger and garlic sauce
back in the refrigerator until the serving time
prepare the ginger-garlic sauce:
3 table spoon of mustard
about 20g of garlic. 20g of ginger
mix with about 3 table spoon of olive oil
put the sauce to the refrigerator.
Before serving, mix the salmon and the sauce.
Burbot in butter sauce
I like the small fresh burbots! Have to wake up early to get those at the fish market!
Very fast and easy receipe! Saute the fishes in a small amount of butter. add the garlic and parsley. When the garlic is golden, add some more butter, add the chopped parsley. Cook only one minute. Serve immediately!
I like to serve dishes, French or fusion, that our World Visitors can discover and appreciate. Travelers from Japan love sea food but I knew enough not to feed them shrimp tempura. I treated them to a Liz’s bouillabaisse.
Here is the receipe:
As for all my ingredients, the fish need to be very fresh! Then add onions, carrots, tomatoes and potatoes, salt and pepper.
I use the carrots for the color and the potatoes to thicken the broth and give it more of a “bisk” look and taste.
Sauté the fish before in a little amount of colza oil.
Sauté oinions, carrots, tomatoes and potatoes.
Put all ingredients together in a steamer and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove the bones, keeping only the meat of the fish.
blend fish and vegetables with some fresh dill. Serve hot. You can add on top a grilled toast covered with ementhal or gruyère cheese. or a grilled garlic toast!
The Merlot came in last week nice and clean and everything feels great. Another 3AM harvest so some of the photos are a bit dark. But that means the grapes could come in really cool and do a pre-fermentation cold soak.
The juice is tasting yummy and we’re inducing fermentations in two of the tanks. A third tank will ferment spontaneously (hopefully) with the wild yeasts that live on the grapes. Yay!
Yesterday, we harvested the Chasan for our first ever white wine!
We harvested by machine starting around 4 AM so that we could bring the grapes in extra cold. We also used dry ice in the harvester and intake trailer to keep the grapes cool on the short journey to the winery.
Intake was very simple compared to the red. We used a destemmer at first (although we eventually decided the destemmer on board the harvester was sufficient). The grapes then go into a pump where they’re lightly crushed on their way to the press. We drain the free run juice into one tank and then press the grapes for the rest of the juice in another tank.
We sort of had a mini disaster which I’ll get into some other day when I’m less exhausted. We now have a white wine! Or juice at least. Wine is on the way. 🙂 100% Chasan!
“Some Naked people came to pick up their wine last week, and we all had a blast!”
I admit it was somewhat alarming to hear these words coming from Liz during my first few days at O’Vineyards. I was going to have to live with these people for several weeks, so I needed an explanation. Luckily Ryan had previously posted about the Naked Wines Angels, who are the main actors in O’Vineyards’ new vineyard share program. One hundred “Angels” rented some of O’Vineyards vines and are paying Naked Winemakers Ryan and Joe O’Connell to see these vines through wine fruition. Now, the Naked Wines Angels are streaming in one by one to pick up their wine. If you are still confused, they are perfectly normal people–properly clothed and everything–they just went that extra mile because they really like our wine.
Michelle and David, Naked Angels
So, meet Michelle and David. They are Naked Angels. Liz and Joe had the pleasure of meeting Michelle and David (I unfortunately was not here yet) when they stayed at the B&B around two weeks ago. They enjoyed a tour of O’Vineyards and shared good times and good food around the Winemakers’ Table. As Michelle very poetically puts it in her TripAdvisor review: “We arrived strangers and left as friends.” They also reportedly arrived as fully clothed and sober angels, and left as…
We planted a grapevine garden in front of the winery this spring. One day, this vineyard garden will showcase all the different types of grape vines that can be found in this part of France. People will be able to tell the difference between Syrah and Grenache and Merlot and Cabernet by seeing the vines right beside each other.
But for now, the vines are tiny and all pretty much look the same. So this year, we’ve been using them to show visitors and tourists how grape vines look when they’re first planted.
It’s an interesting process since we rarely plant from seed anymore. Instead we use bench grafts that connect the variety we want to grow to a rootstock suited for that soil and rainfall.
When young, the graft is sealed in wax. We show everybody this waxy bit and get to use the young vines to illustrate the notion of grafting and rootstock. This can naturally lead into conversations about how deep roots go, why virtually all French vines are planted on American rootstock, and so on.
Photos of young grape vines
Click on any of the photos below for a larger view:
Every year the producers of Chateauneuf du Pape have a blind tasting of their new vintage and they vote on who has the best cuvée of the year. This St Marc competition results in a spectacular gala dinner where people get awards all night long and I could hardly hear all the speeches and thank yous over the clinking of glasses and joyous laughter.
The Freeze of February 2012
Despite the gorgeous weather in the final days of April and the warm welcome of the winemakers, the evidence of the coldest February since 1956 were well-displayed in the Chateauneuf vineyards.
In 1956, the freeze was enough to devastate the olive trees in Provence and the Rhone. But even that dreadful winter spared most of the vines. This year, two weeks of 14 below freezing temperatures coupled with an unrelenting Mistral (often measured up to 100 kilometers per hour) actually caused many old vines to split open.
Here is a detail photo that shows the damage on a porteur gobelet of 50+ year old grenache in the Domaine de Marcou. See where the wood is split open? That’s not supposed to happen.
What’s more, the damage isn’t always visible. If this happened at the extremities on occasion, it was also happening in the souche (trunk). And so this spring, when all the plants were supposed to leap into action, many revealed that they had been done in by the cold winter. There is debate amongst the locals, some of whom think they should replant immediately and others who think that the old vines may yet come back from the brink. Often, it’s just one or two porteurs that are affected and some think that even vines with no buds in 2012 might be able to heal themselves for 2013 or 2014.
Anyway, this was one of the first things I saw on my arrival. And it was hard to see so many of these old plants suffering. But the winemakers around here are level-headed and patient. They wait to see what should be done and focus their energy on making the most out of 2012.
The first days of sunshine bring out the St Chamonds!
There had been some light rains to soften up the soil and a couple days of sunshine after light rain inspire all the winemakers to head out with their tractors to work the soil. A lot of the time, the older vines in Chateauneuf are planted so close together that modern equipment can’t pass through the rows, and the galets roulés that cover the ground make it very hard for enjambeurs to pass so almost everybody with old parcels uses the st chamond, a treaded tractor from the 1950’s.
There are lots of great photos and memories from the trip, so we’ll post more about that later. Especially have to remember to post about the rabbit hidden in that last photo! ;D