BEST RHONE WINES Wine and so much more ..... October, 2020 Newsletter
Autumn - the wine making process begins!
We are excited to welcome you to our world of wine. Every month we will be sharing insights and stories from the region as well as exclusive offers on a selection of our wines. Offers are only available to subscribers of this Newsletter.
We are hope you are enjoying the start of Autumn - this is one of the most spectacular seasons in the southern Rhone valley as the vines slowly change colour and contrast beautifully with the natural stone of the famous perched villages of the region. As the days become shorter, Provence takes on a calmer, softer feel, the long harsh days of summer sun and heat fade - smoke from bonfires scatter the fields as farmers clear their land in preparation for cooler days. Orange coloured pumpkins 'Musque de Provence' are harvested ready to make the traditional Autumn soup - see recipe below.
An abundance of natural produce are now ready for harvesting including: mushrooms (cepes, chanterelles, sanguins ...) figs,olives and truffles. With the wine harvest now complete we will be taking you through the first part of the wine making process: Fermentation - the process of converting the natural sugars in the fruits to ethanol and carbon dioxide with either indigenous or cultured yeast.
In October Focuswe are featuring the Domaine Pierre Usseglio, Chateauneuf-du-Pape -a family run business dating back to 1948. Our Octoberwine offershowcases wines from Domaine Pierre Usseglio - including a delicious 'tradition red' which can be stored for 5-10 years.
Next month we will be introducing our Christmas 2020 wine offer including champagne!
We hope you enjoy this newsletter with a glass of wine in hand!
Autumn vines in the Luberon Hills with the perched village of Ansouis in the distance
Wine making - Fermentation
Once the grape harvest arrives at the winery a number of decisions must be taken by the winemaker. These decisions are based on a number of processes: sorting, de-stemming, crushing, pressing and fermentation. These processes permit the release of constituents from both the grape flesh and skin to assure the correct concentration, colour, style and quality of the wines being made.
The fermentation process differs for red and white wines.
For red wine, the fruits are gently de-stemmed and put into cement tanks for 25-40 days. The temperature of this fermentation process varies between 25-28C. Different processes take place during this time including 'Pumping over' the method of pumpimg red wine up from the bottom of the tank and spashing it over the top of the fermenting 'must'. The purpose is to submerge the skins so that carbon dioxide is pushed to the surface of the 'must' and released.
For white wine the fruit is harvested at sunrise to preserve the freshness, pressed and placed into steel tanks, fermentation takes place between 15-20C
OCTOBER FOCUS Domaine Pierre Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Francis Usseglio arrived in Chateauneuf-du-Pape from Italy in 1948. The following year he managed his first grape harvest. Since then, his son Pierre and two grandsons Thierry and Jean-Pierre have taken over the business keeping a strong emphasis on the traditional wine making process.
The domaine is made up of 39 hectares including Chateauneuf-du-Pape red and white, Lirac, Cotes de Provence and Vin de France. The diversity of the soils: sandy to clay covered with the famous pudding stones, plus the 13 different grape varieties, allowed under AOC rules, offer a complexity of aromas and structure to the wines.
The wines are typically strong, rounded, with aromas of red fruit and spices and are ideally kept for 5-10 years depending on the taste and vintage.
October Offer A fine selection of wines from Domaine Pierre Usseglio
1kg pumpkin cut into cubes
1 litre milk + water
salt & pepper
1 tblsp marscapone cheese
Place the pumpkin, water and milk in a saucepan with salt and pepper and cook for 30 minutes or until soft. Blend until smooth. Add the marscapone and serve with a swirl of cream and poppy seeds to decorate.