About 30 minutes from our house, you’ll find one of the biggest and most famous wine producers called Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Although amazing wines and known for its impeccable quality, one should not underestimate the small producers around the valley. They may not be as famous but they can definitely be as good and at a lower price. They make small quantities each year and sell them locally at their vineyards, as the quantities are too small to sell to the supermarkets etc. There’s something very charming about road-triping on those winding roads through the valley, visiting the local wine producers, tasting their wines, visiting their “caves”, hearing about the process, listening to them sharing the good and the bad years and finally buying a couple of bottles filled with their family heritage in liquid form.
The vineyard we went to see this afternoon is one of our favourites, Domaine de la Bastidonne. Not only do they make exceptional wine (especially the red wines) but there’s so much history to that place. That vineyard is on its 4th generation now and even though the techniques have improved since the first vines were harvested, you taste the hard labour and dedication with each drop of wine that caresses your palette.
Most of us have drank a glass or two of wine in our days, but have you really stopped and thought about where that wine actually comes from? It’s a special feeling opening a bottle of wine from a local producer whose owner you’ve actually shaken hands with. That bottle of wine, even though it may taste similar to a bottle bought in a supermarket, it will start to taste differently, because you have a relation to that bottle, the owner and how the wine was made. That is actually a good thing to keep in mind with anything you taste. Stop and think about where that piece of whatever it is you’re tasting came from and the road it took to get there. It gives you another view of the food you’re eating and the beverages you’re drinking. You start to appreciate produce in a whole different way and everything starts to taste even better, because you’re including the whole voyage…whether near or far.