If you are planning on traveling to the various old world wine regions, whether it's France Italy, Spain, Portugal, or others there are a few things we can predict:
Although it's true that you can get plenty of old world wine back home, there are just so many great small, local producers that simply do not export. We regularly get questions on whether you can bring wine on a plane and if so how to do it, so we’ve put together our tips for packing wine in your luggage:
A few weeks ago when touring Graves, a region of greater Bordeaux in southwestern France, we pulled up to a magnificent property called Chateau de Cérons. The chateau is located within the tiny appellation of Cérons, a hidden gem of an appellation often overshadowed by its more famous neighbour Sauternes. It is located 35 km from the city of Bordeaux, on the left bank of the Garonne River.
We came across a wonderful vineyard near Saint-Emilion, in Saint-Etienne-de-Lisse called Château Bernateau. Surrounded by beautiful landscapes of rolling vines that have been honoured by the World Heritage designation, this small domaine has been family owned and operated for the past eight generations. We had the pleasure of meeting Karine Lavau, who together with husband, Pierrick, own and operate the vineyard along with its sister domaine Château Tour Peyronneau. The two vineyards are farmed organically, and are classified as Saint-Émilion Grand Cru producing some delicious wines.
We've heard plenty of great things about this wine growing phenomenon called noble rot , and since we are working in the Bordeaux region of France, we decided to head straight for the place where noble rot is arguably most famous: Sauternes, a region 50 km from the city of Bordeaux. The Sauternes wines are made from Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc, and Muscadelle grapes. The sleepy village of Sauternes is surrounded by gorgeous vineyards with a terroir like no other. The region has a unique micro-climate that provokes the grapes to shrivel and sweeten into some of the most delicious sweet wines the world has known. We were lucky enough to be right in midst of grape harvest season, a period that is much longer than in most other wine regions, as the grapes shrivel at different rates and are periodically hand picked when ready. This is typically between October and November.