Tagged with "winemaking"

Blending Mirabeau 2013-4

An emotional blending of the new vintage of Mirabeau

Earlier this year I met Angela in the UK for a pub lunch to discuss how the vintage was coming along and timings for the 2013 blending. It was then she broke the news to me that, after 40 years of winemaking around the globe, she was finally retiring. I knew this would be coming […]

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About Mirabeau – The short film version

We recently made this short video explaining how we swapped-out our lives in London in order to make wine in Provence. We also discuss how we go about making our award-winning wines and how we try to share this beautiful part of the world.

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The use of oak to age wine in Burgundy

Oak has been used to ferment and age wine in centuries, but these days wine producers use it very selectively. Here, Pierre-Henry Gagey from Louis Jadot explains how and when they use it.

Barrels at Cadus

How wine barrels are made

Have you every stopped to wonder how an oak barrel is made, how the wood is cut, shaped and held together? Well I was lucky enough to spend a fascinating morning filming at the Cadus ‘tonnellierie’ (cooperage) in Beaune – the heart of Burgundy.

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Mirabeau takes over 16th century former winery

This is the most exciting news since Mirabeau day 1! We have just taken possession of one of the most historic buildings in our village, which will become headquarters for Mirabeau from next year. It’s a big restoration project and we’ve already started exploring the possibilities of this amazing building with an architect. 

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Debunking a few rosé myths

I was asked recently by my new friends (and Mirabeau stockists) CellarVie Wines whether I would answer a few questions about rosé. So here are their questions and my answers…

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My little black book (and how Mirabeau started)

I always believed in the notion articulated so well by the great Mark Twain: “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” But subscribing to such a philosophy is the easy bit. Doing something about your own life is much more challenging.

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Harvest time – so how do we know when the grapes are ready to be picked?

It may seem pretty obvious, but in fact a great deal of care needs to be taken to ensure the grapes are ripe for the particular wine you plan to make. We started our harvest this year in early September, as the first of our grapes became fully ripe. So, what exactly is ripeness in grapes […]

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Processing Pinot Noir grapes at Enkidu Production, Sonoma CA

Stephen visited the Enkidu winery in Sonoma in October 2011 (with a shareholder and owner of the very cool 1967 Camaro) and was lucky enough to see how they carefully take the grapes, sort out the MOG (“Material Other than Grapes”) before they are de-stemmed, crushed and dropped into stainless-steel tanks for fermenting (and then barrel ageing). The end product […]

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Blending the 2011 vintage of Mirabeau

At this time of year we make the blend for Mirabeau 2011. The ferments have finished and the wines are ready for tasting. We look at only the best tanks of wine in the winery for Mirabeau and make our blend of the top few (four in this case). It can take several hours but […]

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The French and the AOC system with Gavin Quinney

In this series of videos, Gavin Quinney (the English owner of Chateau Bauduc) discusses wines and winemaking in Bordeaux. Here Gavin explains what it’s like to make wine in the very regulated French system of the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée). Given that winemakers from the ‘New World’ (Australia and New Zealand for example) can do […]

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The importance of ripe tannins with Gavin Quinney

In this series of videos, Gavin Quinney (the English owner of Chateau Bauduc) discusses wines and winemaking in Bordeaux. Here he explains the importance of making sure that the tannins in the grapes are actually ripe.

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Concrete tanks from the inside

This is certainly the most claustrophobic interview I’ve ever done, but it was quite interesting. Many wineries are now renovating their old concrete tanks rather than using stainless steel and here we find out why from Charles at Domaine Sainte Rose.

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Banyuls, delicious, sweet chicken-run wine!

Banyuls is a French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and is a fortified apéritif or dessert wine made from old vines cultivated on terraces on the steep, windy slopes of the Catalan Pyrenees on the French side of the border with Spain. The AOC production area is limited to four communes of the: Banyuls, Cerbère, Collioure […]

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How Domaine of the Bee is made with Justin Howard-Sneyd

Justin Howard-Sneyd is the Global Wine Director at Britain’s largest wine company, Laithwaites. Prior to that he was head wine buyer at Waitrose. He is a Master of Wine and winemaker and here he talks about how he makes his own wine, Domaine of the Bee.

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Why age wine in oak? with Justin Howard-Sneyd

Justin Howard-Sneyd is the Global Wine Director at Britain’s largest wine company, Laithwaites. Prior to that he was head wine buyer at Waitrose. He is a Master of Wine and winemaker and here he talks about the reasons for ageing wine in oak.

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American or French oak for barrels? with Justin Howard-Sneyd

Justin Howard-Sneyd is the Global Wine Director at Britain’s largest wine company, Laithwaites. Prior to that he was head wine buyer at Waitrose. He is a Master of Wine and winemaker and here he explains the two main types of oak used for barrel ageing wine.

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Barrel making and toast with Justin Howard-Sneyd

Justin Howard-Sneyd is the Global Wine Director at Britain’s largest wine company, Laithwaites. Prior to that he was head wine buyer at Waitrose. He is a Master of Wine and winemaker and here he talks about how barrels are made and how different degrees of ‘toastiness’ can impart interesting flavours into wine.

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How is wine made

Award winning SA winemaker Miles Mossop from Tokara Wine Estate in Stellenbosch explains in less than a minute how wine is made. Just in case you’ve ever wondered!

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Mirabeau pre-filter tastings

Stephen tastes the wines made from the individual grapes in stainless steel thanks that he plans to use for his Provence rosé blend. The different varieties have been vinified separately so we can choose the optimal blend for Mirabeau.

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