As I was looking for activities to do in the area I came upon a wine tasting - with a difference. Rather than just sipping various vintages, this 'experience' allowed you to become "winemaker of the day" - to test and experiment with different blends. Scott, Ross and I headed out from Avignon towards the village of Orange to the Chateau Maucoil that had an odd looking statue. Anyone know who this is supposed to be (besides Scott and Ross)?
A little wine information here: Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines can be made from up to 13 different grapes but Grenache is the dominant varietal with usually 60% or more. Syrah is also commonly used.
The wine harvest has begun although you can see by the photo above that it hasn't been completed. Most grapes in France are harvested by machine but Chateauneuf-du-Pape must be hand picked. The vineyards also look a little less tidy than the ones in the Okanagan.
At the Chateau we were given various beakers and measuring tools, a bottle of Grenache, a bottle of Syrah and a bottle of 50/50 Grenache/Syrah that had been aged in an oak barrel. And an apron.
So with the 3 different types, we were encouraged to try different blends, say 30% Grenache and 70% Syrah until we came up with the blend that we liked the best.
At the end of the process, we had to determine our best blend after which we poured it into a bottled, corked it, sealed it and labelled it.
Now the challenge was to determine who, of the three of us, made the best blend!! Apparently Ross is convinced his was the best.
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