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August 18, 2014



I really love your blog. There's probably one other english language blog out there that provides similar in depth info on French winemakers. There is however one issue I have with it: You're only displaying a truncated RSS feed of your posts, so I need to click through to read full posts. This is inconvenient on a laptop, because of the context change, but really problematic on mobile, where your site just doesn't display well. Is this because of your advertisers? If so, could you maybe consider naming them with links at the end of each blog post instead and display the full RSS feed? That would be amazing.


Yes I know, it was a deliberate choice, I understand it's arduous to access the website correctly with a mobile, I haven't really worked on that and I'm pondering what to do. Still I'm reluctant to have the whole content read elsewhere than on the blog itself, and incindently my advertisers too I guess.


Dear Bertrand,
I love your blog and it is a great source of valuable information, even for professionals!
I just want to comment your complaints about French administration making things difficult for small farms/vignerons. It reads funny: first the results show that France does it very well because so many small vignerons do beautiful wines and make decent living. Second, situation is much worse in other European countries (like mine:). I see perfect balance between small farms doing pretty good handcrafted wines without a lot of paperwork (and without a lot of development that brings industrial technology etc.) and big industrial projects focused on growth :) with standard accounting. I think this is the thing that we envy French vignerons.
Anyway, great blog!


Hi Sklenicka
If you speak to many of these vignerons in private you hear a different story, they have seen an enormous worsening of the red tape and administration hassles over the years (add also the norms issue), I guess that if they could just return to the way the administration treated them in the 1960s' it'd all be fine. They may do well because wine buyers and the public support them, but this still has to be achieved through a non-necessary loss of energy dealing with the bureaucracy. Other countries may be worse in this regard but a country like France with such a long tradition in winemaking should be more interested in having its artisan vignerons work in better conditions. This is clearly not the case.


Fantastic blog, very pleasant and interesting to read ! even more when you talk about Loire Valley winemakers ! thanks


In Spain we also have the opportunity to taste these wines with its magnificent Supplier: www.Coallagourmet.com. A real pleasure!!


Absolutely fantastic post and blog as well! Thank you! After reading the post again and again more times I cannot imagine exactly that how this water-tight plastic sheet looks like that can help not to mix the water with the grapes cap (red fermentation thanks to Philippe Gourdon). Do you have a picture of it?


Hi István

No I don't have a picture but from what i understood it's just a basic plastic sheet like you can buy for hore renovation purpose to protect the floor when you paint the walls, the sheet has just to be thick enough to hold the weight of water (don't use of course the ultra-thin sheets that we sometimes use to protect the furniture from dust) and remain waterproof even when lightly folded (when it's bowl atop of the grapes). Thickness must be pobably between 80 microns and 150 microns (when too thick you can't fold it properly). I guess it can be either translucid or black, here is the typical sheet you find in home-improvement and garden supplies retailers :


Oh, well, I think I started to understand the method. :) So at first he removes the destemming basket after the fermentation begins (it was only for having the grape cap sinking down in the juice under the stainless lid), then comes the plastic sheet which should have to be big enough not only to cover the whole open top but to keep the water not to pour away to the wine especially when he increases this water column to 1 meter. Strike of genius. Thank you, Bert! I think I have to visit him immediately, I am a Chenin fan, can't wait tasting La Luna...


That's right, the plastic sheet must be large enough so that it goes up along the vat's internal wall and even a bit outside so that when the water volume will be very thick it doesn't leak water into the compacted grapes. You can make a blank test with something else than grapes in side the vats to see if your plastic sheet is thick enought to stay water proof. Then take the water away by syphooning it away carefully with a pipe and check the things underneath to see if water has leaked or not.


Really great piece!

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