Padstow Christmas festival competition

The Cornish town, made famous around the world by the TV chef Rick Stein, is a destination for food lovers all year round, but for four days in December it truly becomes a foodie’s heaven.

More than forty chefs from across the UK will be cooking up in the marquee on the quay at the 2015 Padstow Christmas Festival. Top names include Michael Caines, Angela Hartnett, Mitch Tonks, James Martin – the host of the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and Cornwall’s very own Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth.
As you walk down the hill into the coastal town, nestled between it’s headlands and the river, the smell of cooking fills the air. Your senses are bombarded – overwhelmed by the rich array of aromas, and you become captivated trying to distinguish between the freshly ground coffee beans, the warm mulled wine steaming in the crisp cold air, roasting meats, fish on the griddle, creamy hot chocolate and freshly baked bread.
Alongside the foodie fun the Festival is bursting with artisans selling their crafts. As you wander through the narrow aisles there are Christmas presents, often with a Cornish origin beautifully displayed on stalls on either side. The chatter and clatter of buyers and sellers rumbles from morning until nightfall, and it only falls quiet again when the moon is high in the sky over the estuary. Amongst the festivities there are the familiar sights and sounds of old friends catching up with each other. Thousands of people and thousands of pounds pass through the Padstow Christmas Festival over the four days.

After the hustle and bustle in the marquees there’s nothing better than to retreat to the ever-warm welcome of Bin Two for a glass of my favourite Chateau Civrac. Fine wine, good company at a Cornish Christmas Festival with the sound of children’s voices singing Carols – there couldn’t be a more perfect start to Christmas 2015.

the recipes

To celebrate the festival, I have teamed up with our best local chefs and together we have matched one of their recipes to one of my wines. The recipes matched are:

recipee1

Paul Ainsworth  – chateau civrac 2006

Nathan Outlaw – Chateau Civrac 2008

Andy Appleton – wild white 2013

Emily Scott – St Tudy Inn – late white 2012

James Tanner – chateau civrac 2005

Adrian Oliver – Old Mill Bistro – late white 2012

Jack Clayton – Gurnards Head – wild white 2013

Rick Toogood – Prawn on the Lawn – wild white 2014

Paul A Young fine chocolates – element

Recipes will be posted on this blog. You can receive all of these recipes by liking our facebook page and subscribing to our newsletter.

the competition

We are running a postcard competition for the festival by teaming up with the lovely people at BinTwo wine bar and coffee shop in Padstow

christmas treats competition front

Enter the competition to win a case of our selected Christmas treats. To enter, grab an entry card at the festival, fill in your name and email address and pop it into the special postbox in BinTwo. Draw takes place on 6th December. Delivery in time for Christmas. Happy!

sarah: www.chateaucivrac.com

 

Christmas treats

Late White x2 Christmas Beth Druce 2015

hello late white 2012

Since we introduced our late, hand harvested Semillon last year we have regularly been asked when the latest vintage will be available. Well I’m pleased to let you know that its now available

I’ve always wanted to make a sticky but the Cotes de Bourg is not a suitable place to make it because of the limestone soil. Semillon need good clay soil to flourish and the area east of Bordeaux is traditionally the best for this. With the aid of Ludwig my consultant we have therefore chosen to buy our grapes and make our sticky in the Appelation of Saussignac. This AOC is next to Montbazillac which is better known but in comparison to the wines of Montabzillac, Saussignac is less sweet and more savory. I think a better balance.
“A half bottle is never enough and a full bottle is too much”: Often said, so we decided to bottle it in 50cl bottles. Its 100% Semillion. The grapes are left on the vine until botrytised and then hand harvested, fermented in Barrel and then conditioned in oak for 18 months. This is a very limited production as only 300 bottles (or one barrel) were produced
Tasting Notes: With aromas of honey and dried apricots and a hint of orange zest, at 12%. £12 per bottle, click here to buy.

christmas tastings

Tastings this year have been fun.

IMG_1516Ive met lots of new people and its great to see the interest growing in artisan wines. There are still more tastings to follow this side of christmas so don’t miss out. like our facebook page and also follow wild wine club to get the latest event info in advance. Hope to see you soon.

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christmas treats

Our seasonal Christmas treats case this year contains 6 bottles of festive favourites (2 bottles of Wild White 2014, 2 bottles of Chateau Civrac 2008 and 2 bottles of Late White 2012) priced at £65 this will be a perfect present for a wine loving friend or just a treat for your Christmas table. click here to buy

Christmas Treat Selection 2 Beth Druce 2015

mark: www.chateaucivrac.com

Harvest report 2015

Ive been making wine in Bordeaux for 10 years this year so I probably should have some sort of celebration. I believe Im the only Cornishman making wine here so this is a a note back home to all the other winemakers and wine enthusiasts who follow me.

Another eventful year of winemaking is drawing to a close and once again we have been challenged and tested by nature and are now starting to analyse the fruits of that labour and the quality of the wine that has been produced.

Overall the wines are very good. Quantities are 15% lower than last year but the quality is better. Merlot presented excellent raspberry aromas after harvest (allways a good sign). Alchohol level of 14% which shows the super maturity of the fruit at harvest time. A feature of the Merlot at Civrac is also the natural smokey note which is becoming part of its individuality. Malbec is showing superb density of colour as expected, a very attractive spicey nose and 13.5% alchohol. Cabernet benefited enormously from the extra warm days of September and early October. Warm dry days and cool evenings allowed the fruit to mature to 12% alchohol and exhibits juicy blackcurrent flavours.

The winemaking is actually my favourite time.  It’s a one person job: Well actually it should be two. You see fermentation creates lots of CO2 and that with having to climb up and down the vats makes the winery quite a dangerous place to be. Actually people die every year due to being overcome by CO2.

the first juice from the Merlot at 14% potential alchohol

Winemaking is part scientific process, part art. The science bit is well documented and provided that you understand the way in which yeast works; feeding on sugars and producing heat and alchohol then it can be controlled. We control this process mainly by controlling temperature and oxygen contact.  its also interesting to experiment with the yeast variant used: we have experimented over the years with various cultured yeast that can enhance certain fruit flavours and minimise harsh tannins.

The art is in guiding the science bit to produce a final wine that is technically balanced ((fruit, acidity, tannin, colour and aroma) and is aesthetically attractive to the final consumer: Thats down the to experience and personal tastes of myself, Sarah and Ludwig. Not always a unanimous decision but thats what makes if fun.

ferment added to the must brings a new wine to life

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All through fermentation we are forming an impression of the vintage; its characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. So much so that when it comes to blending we already have a good idea of what will be the best combination. Ive just finished the final pressing of the red wines (normally about 10 days after alchoholic fermentation has finished). This is a symbolic end to the whole year and certainly a pretty messy affair but after it is finished we know that that particular years harvest is complete. Now comes the long period of maturation and homogonisation that transforms the wine from a group of individual components into a wine with its own personality.

Of course the final product will not be consumed for some years. That makes the tasting of the wine at these very early stages incredibly difficult. You need a special skill and experience to know how a wine tasted now will evolve over a period of 3,5 even 10 years.

Maybe I just need another 50 years of experience.

It’s personal!

ripe Cabernet

After the madness and people for harvest have disappeared it’s actually my favourite time. It’s the winemaking. It’s a one person job: Well actually it should be two. You see fermentation creates lots of CO2 and that with having to climb up and down the vats makes the winery quite a dangerous place to be. Actually people die every year due to being overcome by CO2.

the first juice from the Merlot at 14% potential alchohol

Winemaking is part scientific process, part art. The science bit is well documented and provided that you understand the way in which yeast works; feeding on sugars and producing heat and alchohol then it can be controlled. We control this process mainly by controlling temperature and oxygen contact.  its also interesting to experiment with the yeast variant used: we have experimented over the years with various cultured yeast that can enhance certain fruit flavours and minimise harsh tannins.

The art is in guiding the science bit to produce a final wine that is technically balanced ((fruit, acidity, tannin, colour and aroma) and is aesthetically attractive to the final consumer: Thats down the to experience and personal tastes of myself, Sarah and Ludwig. Not always a unanimous decision but thats what makes if fun.

ferment added to the must brings a new wine to life

IMG_1998

Fermentation also extracts colours and aromas. here 1 week old Malbec.

It’s one man against the grapes in the vat. Experience helps but every year that I have made wine, the conditions have been a little different and therefore the process used is modified a little. For example, more sugar from more mature fruit can mean longer fermentation and a hotter must that can terminate fermentation a little too soon.

Of course the final product will not be consumed for some years. That makes the tasting of the wine at these very early stages incredibly difficult. You need a special skill and experience to know how a wine tasted now will evolve over a period of 3,5 even 10 years.

Maybe I just need another 50 years of experience.

Harvest festival

    Well the grapes have survived to this point. All that can go wrong now is me messing up in the winery: right?. I’m sorry, does that sound too negative? Sorry, but it’s about now that I pointlessly go over in my head all that things that I may have not done correctly this year, or at least all the things that I could have done better. You see they say that a good wine comes from good grapes: You can still make a bad wine from good grapes but you can’t make a good wine from bad grapes.  So the pressure is now on.

 The weather this year for harvest could not be better. 25 degrees and sunny by day 5 degrees and dry by night. So more important ripening sun and no dangerous night time humidity. We’ve waited a little longer than everyone else to take advantage of this ‘parent from the wine gods’. The Merlot and Malbec are looking great, the Cabernet Franc is looking good and the Cabernet Sauvignn to s still a little behind. Hopefully these last warm days of 2015 will ripen them fully before the frost starts. 

  Everything you do in the vineyard all year long counts when it comes to the final stage of making the win;so I’m driving down to Bordeaux now think of all the things that I might have got wrong. Nothn g I can do about it now but it seems t be part of the winemakers psyche.

A big problem now is getting an enthusiastic and loyal workforce. It’s a problem every year and I was complaining about this the other day whilst in a fab Cornish bistro in st Agnes called No4, run by Nola. I was chatting with ‘Cosmic’, a festival organiser. As if obvious, he suggested that as it was at the end of the festival season then there would be many people on the festival circuit that would jump at the opportunity. Brilliant! The result is here , the response was immediate and the prospect of the Civrac vendage festival now lives for 2016. Well that’s 1 less worry then…

Indian Summer Sipping

Hello Wild White 2014!

Our new vintage Sauvignon Blanc has just landed…

We are pleased to introduce Wild White 2014. After the success of our 2013 vintage and the great conditions for Sauvignon Blanc we combined top class juice and sympathetic work in the winery to produce what we think is our best Sauvignon Blanc yet. The result is 2014 Wild White; lightly barrel fermented and plenty of zingy tropical fruit.

Save 20% with our Indian Summer offer!

Be the first to taste the new vintage of our Wild White Sauvignon Blanc. To celebrate the predicted warm weather we’ve created an “Indian Summer Sippiing” mixed case for just £49. Each case includes three of our NEW 2014 Wild White along with three bottles of our food friendly “Jolie” Rose. There’s only 50 available so order quick before they’re gone!

Click here to order

T&Cs: This offer is limited to 50 cases. UK mainland delivery only, flat rate of £10 delivery for up to 12 bottles.

Cornish Cool

Why is Cornwall so cool? Ok I’m biased but Cornwall is currently such a cool place for food and drink and lifestyle. It seems that every week there is another new feature journalist here or another article extolling Cornwall as the new food and drink destination and highlighting the qualities of Cornwall and its’ aspirational coastal lifestyle.

whipsiderry2

You only have to take a look at a new book ‘saltwater kitchen cookbook‘ by Louise Searle to get a feel of this: Inspired by surf and good quality simple food. What is it that gives Cornwall this eclectic mix? … Maybe it’s life next to the sea; maybe it’s the way travelling surfers have brought back tastes and culture from all over the world; maybe it’s because, as a poorer county, simple pleasures are positively embraced. For whatever reason it really is an exciting place to be.

Last friday night, I was lucky enough to take part in a new element of this movement: #wildwineclub  and Debbie Warner aim to bring food and wine together in beautiful unexpected places. Friday’s matched food and wine tasting was on the beach at Whipsiderry under a towering cliff as the tide came in and the sun set. A huge fire pit was the kitchen for fresh seafood from Adam Banks and I provided the wine that Debbie had matched with Adams food.

photo by Lewis Harrison Pinder

You can read more about this evening, the food and the wines matched by visiting here: