Wine Uncovered offers expert-led guided visits to leading wine domaines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Rasteau, Cairanne, Tavel, Lirac, Sablet, Séguret and other Rhône Wine appellations, including Northern Rhône crus.
French wine production is focussed on the vineyard and what the terroir (growing conditions) brings to the wine, in particular the diversity of wine styles as each grower seeks to express their terroir in their wine. I contrast this approach to the more cellar-led approach prevalent in other regions where the winemaker is the star. In France, we talk more about “growing” wines and embracing the diversity that this brings, as opposed to “making” them in the cellar.
As we visit the scenic vineyards I explain the local appellation and the local wine-growing culture – in particular the notion of “terroir”
As we visit the cellars – I explain key elements of the winemaking process, particular to the region.
As we taste the wines – I explain the tasting characteristics of the Rhône grape varieties, the ageing potential of the wines and the varying influences of the terroir and cellar methods. At most of the estates we visit I supply a small selection of cheese to help us understand how the complexities and flavours of terroir wines can be enhanced and better appreciated with food.