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Taking life one sip at a time


This series of articles will focus on the top wines from a number of Champagne Houses. In Champagne these top wines are referred to as that house’s “Tête de Cuvée”. The Tête de Cuvée will be made from a strict selection of the best barrels from the best vineyard parcels. The Tête de Cuvée is very limited in production, but it is very important to the Champagne house as it represents the best of the best, the crowning achievement that defines what the house is capable of.

champagne

Billecart-Salmon NV Brut.

Billecart-Salmon is one of the great names in Champagne and one of the few remaining that are still family-owned. (Taittinger, notably comes to mind as also being family owned, but these two are rare in that regard). Seven generations of Billecarts have run the estate since Nicolas Francois Billecart married Elisabeth Salmon in 1818. Over two centuries later much remains the same at Billecart-Salmon: the house makes beautiful Champagnes from Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards in a style that emphasizes balance and elegance. Horses still pull plows through some of their vineyards and respect for family values and tradition remain very much in evidence.

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Santa Barbara Wine Country

Jim Clendenen, Allison & Bob Lindquist.

Earlier this week, the news that Au Bon Climat Winemaker Jim Clendenen had passed away sent shockwaves throughout the wine industry. His name is synonymous with wine from Santa Barbara county, but his legacy reaches well beyond the state of California. We had the good fortune of meeting him in late February of 2020—our last AdVINEture outside of Canada before COVID-19 closed the Canada/USA border. We had made several trips to Santa Barbara wine country prior to then but due to his extensive travel overseas, our schedules never managed to sync. Just over a year ago the stars aligned, and our patience was rewarded with a most memorable afternoon as guests of one of his infamous long table lunches. A lunch that happens daily at the winery for staff, with Jim at the kitchen helm when he was in town. We described him at the time as “Plain-speaking, intelligent, witty, iconoclastic and maybe a bit irreverent too, but unmistakably charming.” We hope you’ll enjoy revisiting our time with him this week as we honour a true pioneer: https://advinetures.ca/blog/au-bon-climat-lunch-legends/

Jim Clendenen

Jim Clendenen with winery dog Emmy.

As the tributes pour in from around the world, the stories of his generosity, humour, mentorship and talent, remind us that we got to see firsthand what an unpretentious legend really looks like.

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Tempranillo: A Primer

Tempranillo: A Primer


Posted on May 12, 2021

navarides spain wine old vines

Vineyards in Spain’s Rioja region.

No grape is more closely associated with Northern Spain than Tempranillo, and no viticultural region is more closely associated with Tempranillo than Northern Spain. Their pasts and their futures are inextricably linked.

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tete de cuvee

2002 Piper Heidseick Rare

One of the difficulties in spending a lot of money for a special bottle of wine, if you have never tried it before, is to try to take some of the gamble out of choosing the right wine, whether at a restaurant, at your local bottle shop or on-line. Champagne has a “Cru system” which offers a classification that you will often see on the bottle’s label that provides the designation of Grand Cru or Premier Cru. But just what do these designations mean and how can this help you choose your wine?

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Video AdVINEture: POLKURA (Chile)

Video AdVINEture: POLKURA (Chile)


Posted on Apr 28, 2021

We first met Polkura Proprietor/Winemaker Sven Bruchfeld on a trip to Chile not long before the global pandemic shut down the world in terms of travel. We recently sat down with him again (virtually) and covered everything from Harvest 2021, to dry farming (combined with creative irrigation techniques), the purpose behind MOVI (the Movement of Independent Vintners) and what he’s working on next. Click on the video below for the full interview:

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The White Wines of Rias Baixas

The White Wines of Rias Baixas


Posted on Apr 19, 2021

The #WorldWineTravel group is continuing its virtual tour of Spain and this month features the region of Rias Baixas. We took a closer look at our favourite variety of white wine grape grown there: Albariño. To read the other articles related to this month’s topic, please refer to the links at the end of this article.

SpainEight years ago, we got our first real introduction to Albariño. We boarded a cruise ship in London and one of our stops was in Northern Spain. Wandering the streets of the small towns we would stop in cafes and have a glass of Albariño, the local favourite. Always served with a tapa, we were instantly won over by the wine’s combination of rich texture coupled with bracing acidity. We have been enjoying the wines ever since.

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The Cowichan Valley: Where to Eat

The Cowichan Valley: Where to Eat


Posted on Apr 14, 2021

Cowichan Valley BC restaurant winery

The Pagoda outside Unsworth Restaurant.

The Cowichan Valley is a regional district in the southern part of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. We headed over from the mainland to the Island last year to explore its wine offerings after it was recently bestowed the Province’s designation as a sub-Geographical Indication (sub-GI). Of course, no AdVINEture would be complete without trying the local fare and despite our limited time and somewhat limited choices, we did find some worthy stops to recommend.

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glass & vines

Our kind of research.

Today’s world of social media and on-line news means that information travels at literally the speed of light. It also reaches a greater number of people than ever before, and we think this is a very good thing. The problem today is one of trying to sort the truths from the fictions, the information from the disinformation and the real news from the fake news. Recently wine has been a topic appearing in the news with conflicting views as to what if any effect it has on our immune system and hence our chances of getting COVID-19. AdVINEtures decided to do the research and let you know what is really going on…

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