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October 27, 2007



This would have been Post of the Year if you added two final paragraphs (plus photo) showing you attaching Chateau Petrus labels to each of these bottles, preferably 1947. There seems to be a continued demand for fakes from this vintage.


Hi Jack
Chateau Petrus labels on Loire-shaped bottles, it would be a hard sell....;-)


Ya think? I see two options: Spin it as an unauthorized Chateau rebottling. Or, "they ran low on bottles that year, still trying to recover from war shortages and about 10% of the vintage was bottled in Loire-style bottles. Don't worry, still the same juice."

Michael Farrell

About 10 years ago I visited a winery while bicycling through Tavel in October. I was surprised to see the sale of bulk wine as you described. One couple even brought a large container pulled on a small trailer behind their car to be filled. They must have been related to the vintner!


You don't need to be related to the vintner to buy wine in bulk. I just bought 10 liters that day but could have bought 100 liters just the same, it is perfectly legal in France. It is true that some family wineries try to make you buy their bibs instead, especially for smaller orders, but when asked for 100 liters I don't think they'll hesitate a second.


Thanks for the story Bertrand. One question, why do you have to let the bottles stand a day before laying down?


I think that it is because when you forced the cork in, you trapped some pressured oxygen between the cork and the wine and if you put the bottles horizontally immediately, the oxygen will get into the wine. Keeping the bottles vertically a few hours is enough to let the pressured air go out.


Too funny. Brings back memories of my Dad's home made vino where he used whatever bottles or containers he could get his hands on.


How accurate, though where I live (Malapere area) most vignerons seem happy to sell en vrac, especialy if you have bought bottles there before. There is one domaine where I buy in bottle which has a rule only to sell en vrac to members of that commune but "exceptions can be made".

That said, and as you wrote, it is not the same as the bottled wine (despite what they say) so do taste before buying; it can be very good but it can have too much tannin.

Sally Harrison

Do you know of any wineries or other businesses in the U.S. providing what I used to call the "filling station model?" When I lived in the South of France 25 years ago you could bring your own vessel and fill-er-up, generally with locally produced table wines. I'm wondering if anyone has found a legal way to do that here. Thanks and I enjoyed reading about your adventures in purchasing en vrac.


You mentioned, that you prefer bottling wine from vat, and not from bag-in-box. But if I buy 10L Bag In Box wine and want to put it in bottles for later would that be a mistake?


I just think that when you fill your container directly from the vat and avoid the bag-in-box stage, you also avoid a SO2 adding which is always better (the wineries usually add some SO2 at bottling). But if the bag-in-box is the only option, why not, that's economically cheaper anyway.

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