Susan Adda catches up with Vincent Laval, organic producer from the famed Champagne Georges Laval, one of the first crop of organic growers in Champagne in the early 1970's!

In this interview Vincent explains how important the terroir is in producing his champagne. He and his small team place their intense focus on the vineyard, managing the vines by hand and encouraging life to grow as much as possible. This life among the vines is then expressed in the champagne as a precise representation of Cumiéres terroir, where the grapes are grown. 

You get a sense of the spirit of the Cumiéres in these wines - itself a really beautiful and tranquil place. At the Terres et Vins de Champagne tasting in Reims, we were lucky enough to taste the "vins clairs" (clear wines). The chardonnay, Les Chénes, has a subtle perfume with incredible richness in the mouth. Really makes me go "hmmmmmmm!".

Les Chénes 2012 - really good balanced acidity, white fruit characters, bags of class... one more glass syndrome written all over it - around 1700 bottles produced!

Les Hautes-Chevres 2012 - Deliciously powerful, really fresh bright acidity, slightly nutty and fresh fruit. 1500 bottles produced!

vincent laval chalking up the label

 

COPOUT Book by Nick Breeze

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Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 

 

As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.

 

 

Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!

 

Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.

 

Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.

 

The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.

 

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