Terroir Champagne Expert Caroline Henry Visits The Cave, Ventura 8/20

The dirty secret about Champagne is that the water of that region is the most polluted in France – and possibly the world. Why? Because of all of the pesticides used in growing the grapes to be made into wine.

I learned this fact last summer from Champagne resident, journalist, and wine educator Caroline Henry when I went to get a glass of water from the tap while visiting her.

In the introduction to her book, Terroir Champagne: the Luxury of Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic Cuvees, Caroline explains what “terroir” means — beyond simply the place of origin– and why she focuses on how the people who make the wine interpret the expression of the soil. To truly express the soil, Caroline argues that the winemaker needs to facilitate bringing the minerals in the soil to the plant which requires that water “be able to freely move in the soil.”

“With all the herbicides generally used in Champagne,” says Caroline, “the soil is often hard and impermeable.”  During a heavy downpour, she says, you can see the water run off the land and erode the soil

According to Caroline, in Champagne

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Madiran: French Basque Wine of Pyrenees With Pintxos #Winophiles

The Basque region of Europe straddles the Pyrenees mountains in Spain and France. Like in the Alps, the rugged terrain made it daunting for invaders and allowed residents of the region to develop their own independent languages, foods, and cultural traditions. Located on the western end of the Pyrenees, the Basque mountains rise steeply on the French side with rare passes and sharp glaciated arcs called cirques while on the Spanish side, you will find more rolling hillsides and extensive viticulture, for example in Navarra.

While a challenging region for grape growing on the French side, Continue reading

Celebrating Climbing Kilimanjaro with Delamotte Champagne


About 18 months ago, I was reflecting on my accomplishments and what I still wanted to do with my life while I still had the will and the physical ability. Continue reading

UNESCO Proclaims Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene A World Heritage Site: Celebrate on Prosecco Day with Rustico DOCG

With Prosecco DOCG celebrating a thirtieth anniversary and with UNESCO proclaiming the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene a World Heritage Site on July 8, there’s lots to celebrate about Prosecco on this Prosecco Day August 13 — and we know which bubbles to recommend as well!


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The new UNESCO World Heritage Site “The Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene” is well known for exceptional wines, and with this designation will be protected and preserved to ensure longevity for future generations. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization aka UNESCO declared the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene the 55th Italian “World Heritage Site”.

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New Zealand Sauv Blanc with Zesty Arugula Kale Pesto Pizza #WinePW

Many of my favorite foods pair best with sauvignon blanc: goat cheese and fresh crusty sourdough bread, oysters on the half shell, pesto made of greens, caesar salad with anchovies, greek pizza with artichokes, olives, and feta.

So it was a no brainer when we received a sample of Waipapa Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region to come up with pairing ideas for a warm summer evening with a wine friend visiting from Puerto Rico, David Rodrigues. We added two more wine samples from Brancott and one from Clifford Bay to the round up.

And it was no surprise that the pairings were successful!

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