Tag: Allen Meadows

Nov 11 2012

Cellarit Burgundy Dinner, 20 November 2012: A wonderful opportunity to sample the best of Burgundy’s boutique wines

Posted on November 11, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

At the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Burgundy Masterclass in March the Burghound’s Allen Meadows talked about the revolution that has taken place in Burgundian viticulture and winemaking practices over the past 30 years.

You may well ask why one of the most renowned and historic wine districts in the world would need to radically shake up the way it did business? But in many respects Burgundy’s transformation was about rediscovering how it had originally forged its reputation as the best producer of chardonnay and pinot noir in the world.

In the 1980s and 90s an increasing number of family-owned growers decided to take control of their own destiny by making and bottling their own wines rather than selling the grapes to négociants. In the process they discovered that they could make vast improvements to the quality of their grapes by reviving traditional practices of nurturing the land. Artificial fertilisers and pesticides were replaced with organic and even biodynamic viticultural practices and, once again, the vines were meticulously hand-tended and hand-harvested.

The result of all this hard work both in the vineyard and the winery, where traditional practices like natural yeast fermentation have been complemented by state-of-the art modern winemaking equipment, are beautifully made, clean wines that truly express the nuances of Burgundy’s unique and fabled terroir.

Fortunately for Australians, over the past several years a group of winemakers and business people from the Hunter Valley have cultivated relationships with some of very best of these small grower-owned domaines. On Tuesday evening 20 November 2012, importer Denis Power from Domaine Burgundy will share his insights into Burgundy over dinner at Restaurant Atelier in Glebe. Top Burgundies from his portfolio will be expertly matched to fine French food.

According to wine consultant Mario Vinciguerra, who will also be on hand to … Read the rest

Mar 03 2012

Single Vineyard Perfection: A Brief History

Posted on March 03, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If you’re want to understand the importance of single vineyard wines, a look at the history of winemaking in Burgundy is the best place to start. No other region in the world has studied more closely how grapes perform in different terroirs. Indeed the very concept of terroir – the idea that the micro-climate, soil characteristics, exposure and orientation of each particular site determine the character of the wine – originated in Burgundy.

As the Burghound.com’s Allen Meadows explained at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Masterclass Single Vineyard Perfection, the Catholic religious orders, who managed the Burgundian vineyards from about 600 AD up to the end of the 18th century, noticed that different plots created wines with unique personalities. They believed that these individual expressions were in fact celebrating messages from God. (Meadows also noted that the idea of a single grape variety for a single vineyard came about because the monks didn’t want to muddle God’s message!)

In medieval times the Cistercian Order classified the best vineyard sites of Burgundy’s famous golden slope, the Côte d’Or, laying the foundation for the current classification of five levels, ranging from Grand Crus (only 2% of the Côte d’Or vineyards) at the top of the pyramid to the regional and sub-regional appellations at the bottom.

Today the classification system in Burgundy is firmly entrenched and unlike Bordeaux, where the wines are classified according to the reputation of the producer, the hierarchy in Burgundy is still geographically based. The Grand Crus Côte de Beaune vineyard of Montrachet, for example, is still widely considered the best vineyard in the world for chardonnay. The almost 8 hectare (19 acres) vineyard is home to 18 owners and 26 producers!

In recent years Australian and other New World producers have embraced the idea of single … Read the rest