Back in the day, you had to be widowed to make wine in France. Today, however, more and more women are taking over the family business — like Alice Paillard now or in the past, Madam Roederer, both in Champagne.
For Women’s History Month, I am hosting the French Winophiles as we discover and share France’s Women in Wine. Below you’ll find links to our articles (invite here). Here on Wine Predator, we feature a young woman in the Loire who is taking over winemaking duties from her parents. In Vouvray, home to Chenin Blanc aka Pineau de la Loire, Catherine (12 generations in wine) and Didier (6 generations in wine) started their own domaine in 1983 with 21 hectares of vineyards where they embrace sustainable farming while integrating the use of the lunar calendar as is common with biodynamic practices. The Champalous produce Chenin blanc in Vouvray in all styles.
Daughter Céline recently joined the domaine to continue their tradition of elegant, aromatic, balanced wines which pair impeccably food, especially seafood as you’ll see below…
In addition to learning from her parents, in 2003 Céline earned a degree in Viticulture and Oenology and went to work in the spirt of “Companions and Artisans” and roamed to New Zealand, South Africa and Canada, including working in the vineyards in the Okanagan Valley in British Colombia. Her wine and work travels also brought her closer to home: Médoc, the island of Corsica and in the Languedoc-Roussillon.
With these varied experiences, Céline chose to return to be independent winemaker in 2006, making her the 13th generation to work in wine!
Catherine, Didier and Céline work with a common dynamic: to perpetuate the rural tradition of the winemaker’s profession while relying on technical advances which make it possible to better respect nature, the vine, wine and mankind. All this to continue giving pleasure to people who open a bottle from Domaine Champalou!
- Cheese Plate:
Triple cream brie, organic goat cheese, green olives, fresh berries, raisin crackers, organic baguette
- Brie and asparagus tart
- Crab cakes with aioli over spring greens
- Shrimp Bisque
- Fresh berry gallette
Grapes: Chenin Blanc
Importer: Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
purchased at Point de Chene, Ojai, CA
Color: Yellow, almost daffodil
Aroma: Meadow flowers, chamomile, green grass, wet stone, white nectarine
Palate: Zesty acidity, lots of citrus, lightly grassy, clean Eureka lemon finish
Pairing: Of all of the wines we had this evening, Sue had to have an oyster with this wine and there was a reason for that. This wine is so superior with an oyster for a pairing. The chemistry between the two is so beautiful, absolutely perfect. From one extreme to another, the wine pairs so well with the creamy bisque, bringing out the complexity of the meal. So wonderful with the crab cakes as well.
Great wine for a seafood meal from start to finish.
We had several wines on the table for our meal tonight. At the end of the meal, Sue wanted to finish the rest of her plate wine a wine and went straight to this wine to finish what was on her plate. It was perfect with everything in the main meal, and was good with the dessert because the dessert was not too sweet, it was a compliment to the wine.
For more French Filles, check out these articles from the French Winophiles:
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm sips Domaine de Marcoux Lirac La Lorentine to Celebrate Women’s History Month.
- Jeff of Food Wine Click! invites us to Celebrate French Women in Wine: Anne-Sophie Dubois
- Jane of Always Ravenous talks about Women Behind the Wine: Domaine Weinbach, Catherine Faller.
- Martin of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog shares Champagne Louise Brison: A Tradition of Women in Charge.
- Robin of Crushed Grape Chronicles opens Delphine Vesselle and Domaine Jean Vesselle Rosé de Saignée, Brut from Bouzy.
- Deanna of Wineivore discovers A Mathilde Chapoutier Rose for $4?
- Linda of My Full Wine Glass finds Château Larrivet Haut-Brion: A place for women in traditional Bordeaux.
- Nicole of Somm’s Table shares Bringing the Bistro Home with Anne-Cecile Jadaud Côtillon Rouge and Pork Rillettes (#Winophhiles)
- Susannah of Avvinare introduces Arnelle Cruse, A Look at the Cru Bourgeois.
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares A Medieval French Peasant Dish and French Winemaker Sisters.
- Terri of Our Good Life writes Here’s to France’s Women in Wine and to Rebecca Rosenberg’s Book Champagne Widow.
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator pairs Champalou Fille’s 2020 Vouvray with French Favorites.
You’re invited to join our twitter chat Sat. March 19 8am Pacific! Discussion Questions:
- 8a Q1 Bonjour! Happy #WomensHistoryMonth! Welcome to the March French Winophiles chat on France’s Women in Wine! Say hi, introduce yourself, share a selfie, and a link to your blog if relevant. Remember to use the #Winophiles hashtag.
- 8:05 Q2 Today’s #Winophiles chat focuses on Femmes from France making waves in the wine world. Once only widows were allowed as writes @RebeccasNovels. Was it challenging to find a topic or wine to write about this month? Tell us! Invite with details here: https://wp.me/pj3XZ-8Nq
- 8:10a Q3 Which woman in wine from France did you choose to write about? Why did you choose her? Which winery and wine? Do you have a photo of her to share? Tell us more! #winophiles #WHM
- 8:15 Q4 In five words, can you describe your #Winophiles tasting experience this month with wine from French femmes? Please share the link to your post with us! #WHM
- 8:20 Q5 Tell us more about the woman, the winery or the wine! Please share photographs if you have them! #Winophiles #WHM
- 8:25 Q6 Did you prepare something special to enjoy with your wine? Share tidbits about the pairing, pictures, recipe link if you have one. Did you try or learn about any regional recipes? #Winophiles #WHM
- 8:30 Q7 Did you find the pairing successful? Why or why not? What did you learn? What would you pair with a second time around? #Winophiles #WHM
- 8:35 Q8 What else did you learn about the woman, the wine, the winery, or the region? #Winophiles #WHM
- 8:40 Q9 Have you visited the region or the winery? If so, please share a fun fact about the trip! Remember, we crave travel photos! If you haven’t gone yet, is it on your bucket list or do you wish to return? Highlights for you? #Winophiles
- 8:45 Q10 Do you seek wines made by women or where women play an important role in the vineyard, the cellar, or the office? Have you observed any differences in women led wines? #Winophiles
- 8:50 Q11 Any last comments or questions? Some #Winophiles received promotional copies of “Champagne Widows” by
@RebeccasNovels — any thoughts? #Winophiles
- 8:55 Q12 Shoutout to #Winophiles who participated today:
@WendyKlik @tsteffes @linda_lbwcsw @sommstable @Vignetocomm @foodwineclick @culinary_cam @CrushGrapeChron @always_ravenous @martindredmond @asiantestkitchn with host @ArtPredator
- 9a Thank you for joining us for our France’s Women in Wine #Winophiles chat today! Find links to our published articles here: https://wp.me/pj3XZ-8Nq See you next month for Easter Pairings with @Culinary_Cam.