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Showing posts from September, 2011

Sunday 23 October: meet the winemakers

Some people will only know me through this blog. But in real life I'm a wine importer in the first place. Bolomey Wijnimport is the Amsterdam-based company, and we import wines from France (only), from the classic regions Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and Loire Valley. The focus: natural, typical wines with lots of of energy and freshness. The majority is from small-scale production.

This October will mark the start of a new tradition: once a year, in October, I invite the winemakers to Amsterdam. This year will be the second time, hence the start of a tradition. Te winemakers that I work with come from different regions, and make different wines. But they share the same spirit, they share certain ideas about viticulture (say, natural) and winemaking (that is: don't intervene too much).

I am excited to tell you the following six winemakers will be coming to Amsterdam in October:

- Damien DELECHENEAU (Amboise)
- Vincent CARÊME (Vouvray)
- Hubert MONTIGNY-PIEL (Orléans)
- David

"We will sell no wine before its time"

Dwayne Perreault — If you are old enough and from North America, you may remember the wines of Paul Masson, and the TV commercials from the 1970s featuring Orson Welles. These were some of the first wines I remember drinking, but strangely the memory was half buried and the name was forgotten. I thought the wines were from Paul Mas, but as Brigitte Barreiro, Paul Mas’ marketing manager wrote to me, “Paul Mas wines were not yet available then, but you were already dreaming of them!”

No, it was Paul Masson, who moved from Burgundy to California in 1878 and released his first “champagne” in 1892. Masson eventually became known as “the Champagne king of California.” The commercials featuring Orson Welles are priceless. At this point in his life, Welles was eating and drinking far too much, and the results were sometimes comical. Here is an actual commercial from that time:



If you looked closely, you noticed that Welles was not actually talking but the audio was dubbed over the footage. Th…

Harvest 2011 at David Clark, a summary in pictures and 2 movies

Last weekend Jan van Roekel and I paid a flying visit to our beloved Burgundy to participate in the two-days harvest of David Clark. This posting is a summary, focusing more on image than text.


Friday morning we started with David's most prestigious, and ripe, vineyard, the Vosne-Romanée. Harvesting is not just picking, so we got some explanations.

We picked with a small but very international team: the pickers had flown in from Canada, the US, Scotland, Holland (ourselves) and of course France. Besides picking we exercised in drinking great wines. The blast of the weekend was the Echezeaux 1966 from Domaine Leroy, a fascinating wine of unbelievable beauty. Thanks Gavin (an Australian living in Beaune) for sharing!


The smallest vineyard of Domaine David Clark (based in Morey Saint Denis) is the Morey Saint Denis vineyard: just the three northern rows of Les Porroux, a villages vineyard close to Chambolle. The production: one barrel.



In this first video you see the sorting and then I w…

Elk Run Vineyards, Maryland

Dwayne Perreault — It’s a simple fact, most people here equate American wine with Californian wine. There’s California, and then there’s Oregon and Washington state. Some quality wines are also made in New York state, in the Finger Lakes region (where Château de St. Cosme recently entered in a partnership with Forge Cellars) and on Long Island, but these wines are mostly consumed locally and never make their way overseas.


But the U.S.A. is a big country. Eastern U.S. wines are not limited to New York, as Virginia has over 120 wineries, and there are another 44 in Maryland. A recent trip there brought me to Elk Run Vineyards on Mount Airy, in Frederick County.

Fred Wilson (photo) began the first all vinifera winery in Maryland in 1980, after studying under Dr. Konstantine Frank in the Finger Lakes region for serveral seasons. Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris were planted, along with Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.


Elk Run produces 5,000 cases …