Ah wine. I drink loads of the stuff, but never really think about where it comes from.
I recently travelled to Bordeaux, home of some of the world’s finest wine tasting experiences. Being somewhat of a wine tasting addict, I was searching for just the right tour company to do the job – and I found it in the ace peeps at Rustic Vines.
We journeyed to St Emilion, where we visited Chateau de Ferrand and Chateau Queyron Pindefleurs.
(We may have also taken a break from wine tasting to frolic amongst wildflowers at Grottes de Ferrand).
A bit of wine trivia for you all – a vineyard will only make two wines a year, harvesting in September and October, often by hand.
St Emillion only produces red wines – think Malbec, Cab Sav, Merlot and Cab Frank. Wine produced from more complex grapes grown from older vines is referred to as the ‘first wine’. You can figure out if you’re drinking the best of the bunch by hunting for the word ‘chateau’ on the label.
The ‘second wine’ is produced from younger grapes and is more zesty, with not much potential for aging. It should be drunk fairly soon (hey, I’ve got no problem with that) and doesn’t really need to be paired with food. Also, the biggie – it can’t carry the name of the chateau on the label.
The big question that I had was – can the grapes be eaten? (Let’s not pretend I didn’t imagine sampling a grape or three directly from the vine itself).
Thank God I asked. You can’t eat wine grapes as the skin is too thick. There you go, kids – leave the grapes alone.
Photographs courtesy Sarah @ Rustic Vines.