Images of Laudun and Chusclan

Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Laudun     The village of Laudun, from the valley floor   Sandy soils of Laudun, and drip irrigation - an increasingly common site in the Southern Rhône   Joséphine Arnaud of Château Courac in one of their vineyards   Roman artefacts that have been dug up in the vineyards of Château Courac - a coin minted in Sicily   Côtes-du-Rhône…

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Images of Cairanne

  Denis Alary of Domaine Alary with a map used during Cairanne's promotion to Cru   One of Domaine Alary's galet-strewn vineyards on the Montagne   Romain Roche, Domaine Roche   Alluvial soils of the Garrigue   It does rain here occasionally...   Bruno Boisson, Domaine Boisson     Lighter gravelly clay soils of the Terrasses de l'Aigues   Loïc…

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Images of Sablet and Plan de Dieu

Images of Sablet     The village of Sablet   The sandy soils of lieu-dit La Piaugier near the village   Thibaut Chamfort, Domaine La Verquière   Cheval Long towards Séguret   Les Briguières towards Gigondas   Images of Plan de Dieu   Endless vines, looking towards Mont Ventoux (centre) and the Dentelles de Montmirail (right)   Ancient river…

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The Rules of BYO

Many of us have a few ‘special’ bottles in our collections but finding the time to drink them can prove surprisingly tricky. We don’t all have the skills or the space to cook a meal for friends at home, so one solution is to open treasured bottles in a decent restaurant. But with different policies, corkage charges – and with some restaurants refusing outright – what’s the best way to proceed?…

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Images of Valréas and Visan

Images of Valréas   Looking north to the town of Valréas   Caroline Bonnefoy in full mistral!   Atop the Massif de la Côte, looking south   Jacques Coipel, Mas de Sainte Croix   L-R: Paul-Henri Bouchard, Domaine des Grands Devers; Emmanuel Bouchard, Domaine du Val des Rois; Aurélie Lardet, Maison Lavau; Julien Coipel, Mas de Sainte Croix; Stéphane Vedeau, Clos…

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Images of Tavel

  AOC Tavel - 100% rosé.   Limestone soils to the west of the village known as Lauzes   Raphaël de Bez, Château d’Aquéria, joined his father and uncle at the estate last year   Christian and Nadia Charmasson of Balazu des Vaussières, whose natural Liracs and Tavel are now in Vin de France   Les Vignerons de Tavel, cave co-operative

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Beaumes de Venise: the hidden red of the Southern Rhône

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge – and her sister, Pippa. Andy Murray – and his brother, Jamie. Beyoncé Knowles – and her sister, Solange. Having a more famous brother or sister can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it brings the benefits and opportunities of a star-studded surname. On the other, cynics may doubt the depth of your talents and it’s hard to escape the shadow of your sibling. So…

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Images of Rasteau

  The village of Rasteau, on a south-facing slope.   The cliff running down to the river shows the three types of clay: a thin layer of red clay, followed by deep yellow clay, followed by deep grey (sometimes called blue) clay.   The Coulon family of Domaine de Beaurenard in Châteauneuf-du-Pape have had land in Rasteau since 1980. New growth in one of their two…

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Images of Côtes du Vivarais

  Alain Testut, president of AOC Côtes du Vivarais   David-Alexandre Gallety, Domaine Gallety   Domaine Gallety   Rachel and Raphaël Pommier, Domaine de Notre Dame de Cousignac   The chapel of Notre Dame de Cousignac   Sébastien Etienne, grape grower for UVICA  

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Beyond Burgundy: The New World finds its way with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

From big-fruit ‘varietal wines’ to joyless Burgundy-lite pastiches, the New World has taken a while to get its head around Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. But there is a third way – and it’s working. What does New World Chardonnay taste like? What about classic New World Pinot Noir? It’s a question that was easier to answer in the 1990s, when the ‘international style’ was easy to spot among leaner,…

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