Back to Aniane

Domaine des Grange des Peres.JPG

The view from the vineyards of Le Tourtou-- Domaine de la Grange des Peres

In Aniane, there aren’t a lot of people moving about the narrow cracked streets in late morning in winter. I ducked into a café off the central square before noon and found about a dozen locals—mostly men—sitting around drinking beer. A faintly recognizable odor—was that cigarette smoke?—seemed to permeate everything. Couldn’t be smoke, I thought, France banned smoking in public places including bars and restaurants from February 2007 and I haven't seen anyone light up indoors since.

In Paris wine shops-- A quiet revolution

Bertrand Bluy at Les Papilles, a symbol of Paris' new more casual dining scene.JPG

Gourmet bistros cater to the young and hungry

By Robert V. Camuto -Special to The Washington Post

Bertrand Bluy doesn't fit the image of a pastry chef. A towering man with a shiny shaved head and a frame as solid as a brick oven, he speaks with a guttural southwestern French accent that conjures a rugby forward rather than someone who has studied the art of mille-feuille.

What's new so far (From France and Sicily)

Etna Summit

 a shot taken at Etna's summit

This fall has been a truly incredible time: promoting one book in French, preparing another book for next year and – in between—visiting places and tasting wines with transformative powers. 

The French translation of Corkscrewed – entitled Un Américain dans les vignes: Une ode amoureuse a la France du bien-vivre—hit bookstores in September and has been very well received. Personally, the title makes me cringe, yet it has been heartening to see how open French people are to hearing a foreigner’s take on their terroirs. In general French society is so fatalistic these days and many seem surprised by the obvious: that France still has the greatest diversity of wine terroirs anywhere, that French wine regions are turning out more good wine than ever, and that it’s not too late to avoid France becoming one big international-style strip mall. 

Press time!

 Fermentation is complete. To the wine press!

See more 2 Gars home winemaking videos from the 2009 vintage......

The wine explodes! (Home winemaking '09 Video #4)

Wine Country Travel: Taormina Sicily

Wine Spectator Cover Oct. 31.jpg

In the shadows of Mount Etna, a restaurant scene is emerging hand in glove with the mountain's wine renaissance. Read Robert's article in the Oct. 31, 2009 Wine Spectator.


Winner of the Prix Clos de Vougeot 2009


I am back from Burgundy and the mythic 12th century Chateau du Clos de Vougeot, where last Saturday the Prix Clos de Vougeot 2009 literary prize was awarded to the French translation of my book Corkscrewed aka  "Un Americain dans les vignes: Une ode amoureuse a la France du bien-vivre" (Editions Michel Lafon, 2009).

The wine explodes! (Home winemaking video '09 #4)

The morning after...we have liftoff (and a mess to clean up)!

 See more 2 Gars home winemaking videos from the 2009 vintage......

Filling the cuve (home winemaking '09  Video # 3

Filling the Cuve (Home winemaking '09 video #3)

After a trip out to the Var to pick mourvedre our 100-liter alimentary plastic fermenting cuve is filled. We have ignition.......

 See more 2 Gars home winemaking videos from the 2009 vintage......

Picking the Syrah '09 (Home winemaking '09 Video #2)

I'm a writer not a winemaker. But when I'm not writing, I'm growing and making things at home in Provence: like olives -- olive oil and grapes -- wine. This year I'm going to share moments of the home winemaking season as in this video of picking the Syrah. Note here that my grapes are grown using only sulfur and copper treatments. The wine (aka 2 Gars Vin de Table) is made with no added yeast and sulfur is added only at bottling.


 See more 2 Gars home winemaking videos from the 2009 vintage......

Apocalypse in a sauce pot

On a train trip to Paris last week, I finished reading Mike Steinberger’s new book Au Revoir to all That: Food, Wine and the end of France, and it left me entertained but unsatisfied--and wondering where I’d seen the film before. Was it Disney’s Ratatouille?

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