Robert Ampeau in 2003 (photo: Greg Moore) Robert Ampeau was a legendary figure, and an admired colleague of the most important producers in Burgundy, including Aubert de Villaine, Lalou Bize-Leroy, Dominique Lafon, and Hubert de Montille, whose cellars all contain Ampeau wine. Ruth Reichl, the last Editor-in Chief of Gourmet magazine, recorded the impression that Ampeau made on other producers in her 1998 memoir, Tender at the Bone, in which she recorded her visit to the Volnay producer Hubert de Montille, accompanied by the wine merchant, Kermit Lynch. Kermit had brought along a bottle of one of Ampeau’s wines (label removed) “to see what he really thinks.” “There is sunlight in the glass,” de Montille said finally, “much sunlight. It is from a very good year…what can it be?” When Kermit told him what it was, de Montille cried, “But I have this wine in my cellar!” He turned eagerly to Kermit and asked, “Did Ampeau sell it to you?” Kermit nodded smugly. “Consider yourself ho
The work looks easy–until you realize you’ll be walking up and down a 50 degree (or better) slope repeating the movements thousands of times. Here’s a taste of the hard work that goes into fine wine. Also Greg gets a quick tutorial from someone who has done this for a number of years on the Halenberg one of Germany's most important vineyards.
Greg explains all about “Grand Cru” in Germany. Just as there are “Grand Cru” Burgundies such as Montrachet and Corton-Charlemagne, there are Grand Cru German wines as well. Here's Greg Moore to tell you all about them. From our “visiting winegrower” event with Jochen Ratzenberger.
Greg at the tasting table If you’ve ever wondered why so many wine “experts” consider Reisling the greatest wine grape, take a few minutes to watch Greg at a recent tasting with visiting winegrower, Jochen Ratzenberger. Here, Greg tells the story of how Riesling became so important, and proved its reputation.
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
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.