Lessons from a Biodynamic Winemaker in France

The SAUREL family runs a completely biodynamic shop. “Our farm evolved progressively towards farming which respects more and more the environment, the vines, the land and the quality of our wines,” says the family.

Lirac: Five Star French Wine And Travel

Though Lirac was officially recognized as such in the 1940s, the area has been known for quality vineyards since the middle ages, famous for fresh, aromatic and structured wines.

Two French Wine Trips To Take This Fall

I’ve recently written about two extraordinary travel opportunities for lovers of French wine. Both dive deep into culture and experience while keeping wine front and center.

Mediterranean Bliss: Picpoul-de-Pinet

Picpoul’s naming origin means lip stinger for the acidic bite in the mouth of the drinker — this variety is notably high in acid, particularly for such a hot growing region. This explains what makes the grape unique, responsible for commercial thriving as well as ecological.

Tasting Romance: French Wine and the Senses

“Smelling and tasting,” said Howell, “our chance to connect with nature.”  To take that a step further, our chance to connect with ourselves. How we immerse into and learn about the world from our own impressions.

Dessert Wines from Southern France

Family-run domaines are the standard in the Southern Rhône. Generation after generation maintains cultural and regional wine footprinting while making effort to step them into the world. VDN represents a product that mirrors this balance of yesterday’s ways emerging fresh into a range of new tastes.

Wine Wrapped Up: The L’Occasion Gift Guide

To give the gift of wine is to give a bit of life – a bit of someone’s life’s work too – for others to enjoy. To be toasted instantly or tucked away for later, the bottles hold promise because they are emblematic of sharing. Here are a few of the bottles that have brought me enjoyment, that have inspired and delighted me or taught me something new this year. Thank you for joining me on L’Occasion in 2017. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year. 

Wine for the Quiet Season

When November joins us each year, I’m reminded that there is a quiet season. This phrase entered our life many years ago during annual travels to Door County, Wisconsin to celebrate our November anniversary. Door County is a coastal place, heavily enjoyed during the warm summer months for hiking, biking, boating, swimming, outdoor strolling…summery stuff….

What Does it Mean to Be Made in France?

Earlier this month, I lined up a set of wine bottles from France. Each one from a unique and stated region, each one bearing a label like a little luggage tag: here is my home. To the French people, their government and producers indication of these regions is of the highest importance. While American consumers…

A Château in Provence

I wrote the book before I’d been there, which may seem a backwards way to craft a novel. But by the time the book had been outlined, characters created, fictional wines made this place had begun to feel like home. My novel isn’t about this place exactly, but it is about the feeling of this…

Mapping France in Wine Bottles: Where to Get Affordable French Wine

If you have the impression that finding affordable wine in France is hard – it is definitely time to revisit that stance. My husband and I have taken several road-trips through France, meeting winemakers and tasting wine – much of it high-quality, AOP wines with price-tags that need to be forgiven for their modesty. Where…

The Good Wines of Lirac

Last fall I spent some time with winemakers in Lirac, a cru located across the Rhône River from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I covered a significant conversation with Rodolphe de Pins, winemaker at Château de Montfaucon and Co-President of Lirac AOP in a recent piece published on Palate Press: I’m in a vineyard on top of a graceful…