Sophie, Maxime, and Geneviève Barmès in the Clos Sand (photo: Greg Moore) The late François Barmès wholeheartedly embraced the Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner’s belief in the interdependence of the forces of life, earth, and the cosmos. So in 1995, in order to undo the damage caused by decades of chemically dependent viticulture, he began the transformation of his vineyards to biodynamics. One of the first principles of biodynamics is the belief that the farm is a self-contained living entity, which gives rise to the rule that a biodynamic farmer may add no organic substance to a product of his farm; if that organic substance did not itself grow within the boundaries of the same biodynamic farm. Which means that the “Champagne Method” isn’t an option in producing biodynamic sparkling wine, because it requires the addition of sugar to a tank of dry wine just before bottling (needless to say, beets and sugar cane don’t grow on the chalk soils of Champagne, or pink sandstone
Roberto and Francesco Vezzelli When Francesco Vezzelli established his artisan winery in 1958, most Lambrusco growers were still polyculture farmers who sold their grapes at the local cooperative. If they made wine, it was only for friends and family.But beginning in the 1960s, more and more of the best growers began to estate-bottle their traditional wines, and today, fine authentic small-farm Lambrusco heads every list of the gastronomic treasures of Emilia-Romagna. Francesco’s son Roberto Vezzelli continues the work begun by his father, farming 16 hectares of vines on the mid-slope of the hills outside of Modena.
When climate change effects the replanting of vineyards Climate change plays a part in Germany. It used to be that the Ratzenbergers could count on frosts in winter, which help break up soils in the spring. It hasn't happened in a number of years now, so out comes the tractor. Jochen Sr. and Jochen Jr. explain to Greg what's happening.
Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. — Deuteronomy 25:4 A spring visit to Domaine-Barmès-Buecher where we come across Mathieu, Maxime Barmès' best friend who is plowing the domaine’s Hengst Grand Cru parcel. Later we return to the vineyard with Geneviève Barmès to see the results, and the difference careful farming can make. Spring déchaussage at Domaine Barmès-Buecher by “Ursus” (the horse), Mathieu (Maxime Barmès' best friend), and “Pikachu” (the dog).
Marjorie and Stéphane Gallet in Montner “Old vines, old soil. I’m the only young thing at the domaine,” Marjorie told an interviewer shortly after she created Domaine Le Roc des Anges in 2001. She was twenty-three.The estate grew to international fame in the hands of this “prodigy.” In 2008 she was joined by her husband, Stéphane, who had been working at the Mas Amiel, a famous producer of Maury. Together they created the tiny “Terres de Fagayra” to produce beautiful, rare bottlings of fortified wines under the appellation, Maury.
Miss Nancy’s Shrimp ‘n Grits I’m the luckiest guy in the world. Every husband says that, but I’m empirically correct—no one makes shrimp and grits like Bridget (except for her mother, Nancy, who wrote this recipe): Grits: 1 14-ounce can of chicken broth (or 1 and 3/4 cups homemade) 1 cup milk 1/2 tsp. salt 1 cup grits 3 ounces shredded cheddar cheese 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 tsp. Louisiana hot sauce 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper Preparation: 1. Bring chicken broth, salt, milk and 1 1/3 cups of water to a boil. Stir in grits and reduce heat to low, cooking the grits until thick, approximately 10 minutes. 2. Stir in cheese, hot sauce and pepper until melted and incorporated. Remove from heat and plate, topped with shrimp mixture (below). Shrimp Mixture: 2 slices of bacon 2 tsp. vegetable oil 1-2 lbs. peeled and cleaned uncooked shrimp 1/2 cup chopped green onions 1/8 tsp. salt 2 gar
Lydia Cornu-Camus and Christophe Pertuzot Classic, real-world-priced, estate-bottled Burgundy is always a happy surprise. The land is expensive, the climate is unreliable, and demand usually exceeds supply. But if you’re willing to look beyond the famous villages on the Route des Grands Crus, there are still discoveries to be made: expressive Burgundies, white and red, grown by passionate stewards of the genuine Burgundian tradition. The Cornu family has lived in Echevronne, about seven kilometers northwest of Beaune, since the thirteenth century. Pierre Cornu joined his parents in the late 1970s, and like so many of the best of his generation, was the first in his family to estate-bottle the wine. In 1981 he married Bernadette Camus, and in 2007, after completing her studies in enology at Beaune, their daughter Lydia, along with her husband Christophe Pertuzot (previously of Domaine Leroy), joined them as co-gerants, ensuring the continuity of this dynamic ten-hectare estate.
Jochen Ratzenberger riddling his single-vineyard sparkling wine - Bacharacher Sekt This is about eight minutes long, and worth the watch. Here’s Greg explaining how hand-made Champagne Method sparkling wine is produced, whether in Champagne itself or in all the various areas that produce sparkling wine using this traditional technique.
Johannes and Kathrin Davaz There are eighteen contiguous hectares of sloping schistose clay that include the highest vineyards in Chianti, all perfectly sheltered from the Tramontane (north wind) by the surrounding oak forest. In addition to Solaia and Tignanello, neighbors include Fontodi, Castello dei Rampolla, and Villa Caffaggio. Documents in the archives of the abbey of Badia a Passignano, which owned Poggio al Sole until the 1960s, show that olives and wine were grown there as early as the 12th century. Johannes “Giovanni” Davaz was a newly minted enologist when his family bought the estate and he moved there in 1990.