Tag Archives: Rhone

March Madness – Final Four

They refer to the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament as  March Madness.  I say getting 8 inches of snow on March 23rd is March Madness! This weekend it’s down to 4 teams – The Final Four. I’ve come up with a March Madness competition that everyone can enjoy.


Road Trip? The Geography of French Wine

Reims to Rhone - the perfect iTrip

I am planning early for retirement.  Champagne to Chateauneuf – that’s my first road trip!  And I do believe that despite what my iPhone says, it will take more than 6 hours and 25 minutes. Here are the details …

The only thing I’ll need is a convertible as I already have a good-looking wife for the passenger seat (an essential part of retirement).

From the bubbles of Champagne to the Pinot Noirs of Burgundy I promise only to take country roads. 

On to Beaujolais (which although technically part of Burgundy serves up Gamay grapes) where I can track down Georges Dubœuf and ask him why he connects his “o” and “e”. 

Lyon is the most northern point of the Rhone and the gastronomic capital of the world. I am a gastronimic fan.  We will stop for dinner. 

The Northern Rhone Syrah wines inspired the Shiraz movement all over the world.  It’s a good stopover before I get to my favorite French wine region – the Southern Rhone –   where wines are made with a blend of as many as 13 grapes.

This trip needs some careful planning.  Some further research is forthcoming as there is much to look forward to.

Southern Rhone – a lesson in Terroir

Southern Rhone terroir - would you start farming here?

I love the wines of the Southern Rhone.   In fact the spectacular Chateauneuf du Pape ($$$), Gigondas ($$), and Vacqueyras ($) wines are from this region.  However, take a close look at the terroir – we call it dirt (the French really do have a way with words).  The farmers grow grapes in this!  Who was the first guy to think that would work?

When I think of growing something I think of my grade 9 Geography teacher (doesn’t grade 9 Terroir sound more interesting) who taught me the words  humus and loam. That’s what you look for if you are starting a farm.  If you look closely in the next photo you might see some dirt – it’s hard to see. I love that wine grows in this “soil”.  Fantastique.  What will the French think of  next?

Can you see the dirt?