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Barossa, New World with Old Heritage (Part 1-The Pride)

    BOTTLE WANDER / 酒行者·TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2018   Stand on “Mengler’s hill lookout ” overlooking the entire Barossa Valley is a stunning experience. The sculptures in front you is directing the way to the villages far ahead. Some of the villages like Greenock, Tanunda, Lydoch, seppelts-field all have their unique position in the history of Barossa.     Mengler’s hill lookout History of Barossa The early European settlements in South Australia were dated back in 1842. It was the German who brought the tradition of winemaking to Barossa. Most of the earlier settlers were high skilled artisans like blacksmiths, carpenters, cabinet makers and stone masons, they together formed a community that continues today show the uniqueness of Barossa Culture. Some of the world most famous wines: “Penforld Grange Hermitage” produced by Max Schubert, “Mount Edelstone” and “Hill of grace” produced by Cyril Henschke were borned in 1950s. However it was Colin Gramp at Orlando Winery first produces the dry, table red wine.     A taste of Hill of Grace from Henschky   Barossa is the symbol of Australia premium wine famous for its world’s oldest vines and generation (6 Generations like Henschky Winery) of farming and winemaking. Its culinary tradition is also distinctive and creative, with variation of some regional food offered by the winery. The oldest Shiraz vines were planted in 1843; The oldest Mataro vines were planted in 1853 and the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon were planted in the 1880s.       The world oldest Mataro Vines     The world Oldest Shiraz Vines T   Grenache vine planted in 1848 Technical Data GI is the official description of an Australian wine zone, region and sub-region. The Barossa zone is located north of city Adelaide where the airport is located. It comprises two distinct regions, Barossa Valley and Eden Valley (High Eden is sub-region). Zone: An area comprises one or more regions. Region: Produces 500 tonnes of wine grapes a years, comprises at least 5 independently owned vineyards with at least 5 hectares each. Sub-Region: Same criteria as Region with more restrict on the its uniqueness and homogeneous. It is Mediterranean climate with annual rain fall in Barossa Region is over 500mm. the temperature in Barrossa Valley is higher than Eden Valley due to different altitude. Overall, it is the warm, dry days and cool nights (diurnal difference) contribute to the grape ripeness. .     Eden Valley Lookout In the next Chapter, we will take a tour of viticulture of winemaking in Barossa Region.     Bottle Wander Limited 2018
We love wine labels because it is the first thing we look when we select a bottle. When you take a wine related class, it is always the first lesson“How to read a wine label”. Some people are attracted by its beautiful design; some people reads wine information; some people are interested in the story behind it. I would say if you can read a wine label, you are an wine expert! 👍

Chateau Beychevelle Wander

Chateau Beychevelle / 海軍總司令   We love wine labels because it is the first thing we look when we select a bottle. When you take a wine related class, it is always the first lesson“How to read a wine label”. Some people are attracted by its beautiful design; some people reads wine information; some people are interested in the story behind it. I would say if you can read a wine label, you are an wine expert! 👍👍 Is Beychevelle a English Word? / 龍船的由來 The word “Beychevelle” is derived from the French word “ baisse voile” which means “lower the sails”, it was to pay the deep respect of the chateau owner – Duke of Épernon who was the French Admiral! You can see the chateau’s backyard extends all the way to the river where all the ships used to pass by and lower the sails for the owner.         The Backyard of Chateau Beychevelle   The Chateaux The Chateau is built in 1565 The New Era – Modern Winery / 新挑戰 Now the chateau is co-owned by Suntory Group and Castel Group who shared the management, the chateau is towards to a new era where modern winery is built to attract more guest to visit and stay in the Chateau! The use of this new modern winery is to have better control of the temperature, increase efficiency while maintain its reputation.       The new winery        A gate to the modern winery       Fermentation takes place in these stainless steel tank    Ageing takes place in barrel        2017 Vintage is sleeping   Free stroke in the Vineyard / 清晨的葡萄园 Unlike Chateau Mouton, all the visitors are allowed to walk into the vineyard, we woke up real early to catch some of the workers working on the vine. The summer in Saint-Julien are very hot so people gets up early to finish their day of work. If you do visit after 10am, you would barely see anyone around the chateau or vineyard!   In Saint – Julien, where the soils has more clay soil content, we were told it plants less Cabernet Saugvinon grape compared to Pauillac. But it is this deep complex subsoil which gives Saint-Julien its unique character – deep body and lively blackcurrant! You can see why Merlot graps matures earlier (an approximately one week) than Cabernet Saugvinon grapes in the photos.        A stroke inside the vineyard       The merlot grape     The Cabernet Saugvinon Grape   The End: Guest Room / 船主的客房 We were grateful to have stayed in the Chateau for 2 nights. The decoration are so grand and it is like living in a palace. Enjoy a brief view of what is inside the chateau!        The living room         The Japanese style wall paper   As always, we will leave you to explore more about this amazing place. If you have any question regarding the place, please send us a message we are happy to support you.   Bottle Wander / 酒行者  
It all started in 1853……..! Wait, another history lesson? 😤

Chateau Mouton Wander

The Secret inside of Chateau Mouton / 走進木桶酒莊之謎?   It all started in 1853……..! Wait, another history lesson? 😤😤 I heard you there! Well, I was an average student in history class so I will leave that to google – my best history teacher. I am here for the fun part, and most importantly what you get from 60 Euros and 2.3 hours? Sounds practical? Is it money well spent?/ 期望于失望 People say I am picky. Maybe I am a little bit so unlike other articles i start with thQe things you will find dislike first. If this is your first time to visit the “first growth chateau” in Bordeaux like me, i am sure the first thing you will expect is to taste some of the ancient wine at some secret underground or at least what so called “barrel tasting”. Well, you will be disappointed! We were given a bottle of 2012 vintage (I was so hoping to taste my birth vintage 😭😭) of Chateau Mouton at a tasting room, the bottle is around HKD4000 market price and it was just 1 glass of 30ml for the tasting, so you do the math.     2012 Vintage / 2012 年份   The second thing you will expect is to walk around the vineyard 😍😍 and take a fresh bite of some best known Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the world. Unfortunately you are not allowed to do so at least at the time I visited. Though i did take some pics from far away🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️ !     Far away look of the Vineyard / 遠望酒園   The real beauty / 木桶真實的美 Now you know what you are not gonna get. Let us leave the negative behind us, and I am gonna show you what really makes Chateau Mouton great. It will not be the 1983 vintage tasting that lasts in my memory forever, it will be the beauty inside the chateau and the story that makes people fall in love with the place 🧡🧡. And trust me it is worth so much more than 60 Euros.    A gate into the art / 進入藝術殿堂之門      A modern pathway / 現代的走廊 You may not see in the photo but like i said in my last note, if you come around harvest time, the white wall you just see will be disappeared. All the machinery will be in operation around you.So everything in here is pure magical!    The vat room upper floor / 釀酒的房间上層 Something worth notice as the grape does not go through normal crashing instead it is automatically dropped into the steel vat purely because of gravity!🎈🎈     The vat room ground floor / 釀酒的房间下層 Here is where the blending takes place, so the fermentation takes place on the upper floor then it feeds into the ground using gravity again to do the blending! Amazing design!👍👍    The 2017 Vintage/ 2017年份的木桶在陳釀     The racking place / 工作人員在試酒     The cellar room/ 陳年酒窖 All the wine inside the cellar are not for sell, only for the owner's enjoyment or his guest. So these are not something you can just buy!     A prison of passion / 激情的監獄 I don't know the actual name of this room, but i guess it is the only prison that i prefer to be locked in, so i call it "a prision of passion", the oldest vintage can be dated back to hundreds of years!     Negociant Room / 酒商品酒 So every year all the negociant "business man" will be gathered to taste the newest vintage and decide that year's price. It is in this room where it happens if it is chateau mouton's turn to host!     The great barrel hall / 主人的驕傲 So to continue, if it is chateau mouton's turn to host that year "meeting", all the mouton wine barrels will be staged in this room and all the negociant is looking at this grand place when they think how to evaluate the wine. It is the show off of power to the world that chateau mouton is the first growth!   Art work / 藝術殿堂 If you know a bit of the background, you will know Chateau Mouton is the first chateau who bottles its wine in the chateau, not the others! So later everyone follows the same operation! It is the famous Baron Philippe who frighted all the years to finally make its chateau clime the ladder to become 1 of 5 first growth together with Chateau lafite, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour and Chateua Petrus! He loves art and over the years he collected so many arts, which we are allowed to discover. Unfortunately, photography is forbidden, but if you are an art lover it is such a treat! The love of art of Baron Philippe himself can be seen from the labels on the bottles as each year they work together with one of the famous artists to design a beautiful label, including Miró, Chagall, Braque, Picasso, Tàpies, Francis Bacon, Dali, Balthus, Jeff Koons and even Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales!     Baron Philippe and his second wife / Baron Philippe 先生和太太     1975 Vintage Label by ANDY WARHOL / 太太的最愛 ANDY WARHOL 1975 年份     1983 Vintage Label by SAUL STEINBERG / 我的最愛 SAUL STEINBERG 1983 年份 The labels idea was first launched in 1945, as you walk pass by the original pieces you feel like you went back time and images are just floating in your mind. It is just amazing experience.   The end / 結束 Well, all story has to come to an end and it is up to you to discover more about this beautiful paradise because you don’t want to spoil the movie before you have the chance to see yourself. The wine, the history, the art, the place, the people, you put them together that makes this place great. So does it worth the visit, definitely yes. Does the wine worth HKD4000, it is up to you to decide! Our next stop – Chateau Beychevelle 😉😉🚙🚙               Bottle Wander Limited / 酒行者

Bordeaux Wander

Bordeaux Wine Trip/酒行者波爾多之旅     Bottle Wander recently took our first wine trip to Bordeaux – the world major wine industry capital. To share with all our friends, we prepare some tips for you if you ever decide to go!         Firstly: Reserve your tasting / 預定您想去的酒莊! It is very important you make your tasting reservation well ahead your trip. We started to plan the trip about 2 months ago, and contacted Chateau Lafite, Chateau Margaux and Chateau Mouton, and only Chateau Mouton was able to take us on the winery tour on the day we visit. To book you reservation, it is fairly simple, take Chateau Mouton for example,   Go to the link https://www.chateau-mouton-rothschild.com/contact, click reserve to make the booking (The same for other Chateaux too). People (Marie Thierry was very helpful) from Chateaux will contact you if they are available on the date you select, It is very busy close to harvest day but if you can book one you will be amazed! The cost of a private tour is quite expansive, it is 60 Euros for each adult and free for the children. The entire tour takes about 2.5 hours with the opportunity to taste the chateaux wine in the end.             Secondly: Make sure you get a car/準備好車! If you only visit Bordeaux City, i suggest you don't have to rent a car. But to visit vineyard and chateaux, I would say a car is a must. There are lots of car rental companies, i personally suggest Europcar as i do feel they have more car selection. As we were people of 7, they are the only company that offers me the big van. Book your car as early as possible so you can get a better rate!       Thirdly: Where you stay /住宿! Since now you are on the road, you will see the wineries are all connected and it is so beautiful in the summer. You will find there are so many wines you tasted in Hong Kong on the road, and that is full of exciting experience. Even though It is very easy to get around with a car (Around an hour from Bordeaux Town to Saint-Julien), though if you don't want to go back to Bordeaux Town for the night there are some options for you:   Book a chateaux stay on Booking.com, there are some very nice chateaux you can stay like Château Pape Clément or Chateaux du Tertre, find your favorite wine and search if they offer the stay, they have different price range since more and more chateaux offers stay these days. If you look for experience and money is not an issue, then I highly recommend two places. Château Cordeillan-Bages owned by the famous Lynch Bages, they also have a Michelin Star restaurant inside the chateaux, great food and wine paring menu! If you are looking to learn some history, you can choose Chateaux Beychevelle where we stayed (Christine Pinault from Chateaux took care of us through out the stay), the place was build in 1565. The coolest thing is that they can tailor made you stay, you can book in advance to have helicopter experience, dining in chateaux experience and extra. I will share more with you next time.       Finally: Eat / 吃飽肚子 It really depends on where you stay. It won't be a problem if you stay in Bordeaux Town, try the local market, they have fresh oysters, very nice, very cheap. If you stay while travelling, i have some advises:   My personal favorite – the supermarket on your GPS, please please go to the supermarket- choose a big one, they have hot food, cheese, ham and lots of wine selections at amazing price, buy some and go back to your hotel and enjoy! If you like a treat and leisure, then Château Cordeillan-Bages is defnitely the choice. My own experience, there are some really bad restaurants near the river between Saint Julien and Pauliac! One I really love is a very nice place called "Resturant Le Saint-Julien", the food is amazing, the waiter/waitress are very helpful, and the price is acceptable!     OK, now you are all packed with these little tips so you can easily get around from Sain-Julien all the way to Pauliac, where the most prestigious chateaux are located.  We will take you to Chateau Mouton next stop!   Bottle Wander Limited / 酒行者