#MWWC 16: Finish | Jamais Fini

binNotes | a food, wine & travel blog

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

#MWWC  16: Finish   | Jamais Fini

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MWWC logo

“There are many ways to the truth, and Burgundy is one of them.”- Isak Dinesen

Note:  binNotes interrupts her regularly scheduled posts for a special edition of The Monthly Wine Writing Challenge.

The monthly challenge, brainchild of thedrunkencyclist, pits wine bloggers worldwide in a quest to out-scribe one another on a topic provided by the previous month’s winner.*

 Kudos to last month’s winner, jvcuncorked. His topic of choice this month: Finish.

 #MWWC  16: Finish | Jamais Fini

Fleur de Lis Rouge

Love affairs rarely make sense. And yet, passion drives the world.

As a girl, I fell in love with words. Like Frank McCourt, author of “Angela’s Ashes”, I found words ‘like jewels,” collecting them, protecting them, hoarding them.

This passion never wavered. Eventually, I also discovered the art of wine, the ‘red thread’ that binds us all.

In 2009, the two merged during a life-altering trip to Burgundy, where I fell down the rabbit hole of this maddening, beautiful, enigmatic wine region.

The visit resulted in successfully pitching a historical novel set in WW II Burgundy France.

Some years, two French wine designations, one horrible first draft, and several edits later, my manuscript nears the finish line.

Like fine wine, it’s taken time to tell the story.

Time, much toil, and plenty of derision from a few family, friends, and former co-workers after leaving a reliable corporate career to pursue this ‘leap of faith. ‘

More derision from a few members of the wine and writing world as I thudded through.

Creation takes courage.

The words, the characters, and Burgundy – her people, history, and traditions – fueled me when I doubted.

A loyal cadre of wing guys and soul sisters (and you know who you are) picked me up when I fell down, urging me towards the finish line.

It’s been tough.

And yet…it’s also taught me a valuable lesson.

I learned that writing is not about ‘telling,’ but about listening; a valuable insight when interviewing wine makers for the Red Thread™.  My own struggles help me appreciate theirs all the more.

Word-smithing the Red Thread™, binNotes, and freelance gigs allows me the pleasure of side trips into the present tense of non-fiction.

And pouring at a boutique winery on occasion keeps things in perspective, providing interaction with real, not fictional, folks.

Each competes for attention with Lady Fiction as she moves towards the finish line.

It’s a balancing act. We all have our own.

Finish. Noun, and verb.

Nearing the finish line brings a bittersweet finish to a inspiring, illogical journey awash with serendipity and struggle.

However….a writer needs to write, just as a fish needs to swim.

And so…sequel already started…so much for finish lines.

 Jamais Fini

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About the author.

Care to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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* Special thanks to  The ArmChair Sommelier  for devising the MWWC  logo.

Burgundy’s Alternative Wine Auction | Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges

 binNotes | a wine blog

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

Burgundy’s Alternative Wine Auction  | Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges

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In the shadow of Burgundy’s mega-watt Hospices de Beaune lies an alternative wine auction – the annual Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges.

Held each March, the Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges makes up for in attitude what it lacks in media attention. This year, the 54th Annual Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges takes place March 14th & 15th, 2015. Activities include a fitness-friendly semi-marathon, luxury chocolate festival, exclusive tastings and dinners, and a wine auction at Château du Clos de Vougeot. Proceeds benefit Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges and the ELA Foundation.

Every year, wine aficionados travel from throughout France, Europe and the United States to the Cote d’Or for a chance to wave their paddles over more than 100 barrels of premier and villages cuvées. While most proceeds fund the hospital, one barrel benefits a designated charity. Bidders employ the expertise of local negotiants to steward them through the process, from tasting, to auction, to élevage  the ‘raising up of the wine’ to final aging, bottling, unique auction labeling and shipping.

Each barrel roughly equals three hundred bottles, or approximately twenty-five cases of wine, important facts to consider when working out the logistics for final delivery of the finished wine. 

Founded in 1270 by the sisters if Hotel-Dieu in Beaune, Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges moved to its current site in 1633; remnants of the original structure remain. Originally built to care for lepers, over the years the hospital expanded to aid soldiers, respiratory patients and others in need. Currently, the 132-bed public health facility caters primarily to the elderly.

Throughout its benevolent history, grateful locals have donated to the Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges. The estate today comprises 12.4 hectares, including choice parcels from within the wine communes of Nuits-Saint-Georges, Primeaux-Prissey, Vosne-Romanée, and Gevrey-Chambertin. Planted mostly to pinot noir, the estate does include a few acres of chardonnay used to craft a small amount of premier cru white.

Moreover, the addition of an updated cuverie in 2002 ensures enhanced productivity methods and increased quality levels.

It’s no secret that as the price of Burgundy soars, more and more wine collectors consider Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges an attractive alternative to the pricier Hospices de Beaune wine auction. All the more reason to enjoy the fun – and wine – while Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges remains relatively obscure!

For more information: www.hospicesdenuits.com

The 54th Hospices Nuits-Saint-Georges wine auction happens March 14-15, 2015.

Care to share? Feel free to leave your comments below.

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Copyrighted binNotes 2015. All Rights Reserved.  All images courtesy Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges.

TGLF | Saint Vincent Tournante Wine Festival

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by. L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

 binNotes latest feature in The Good Life France is out!

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Greeting, dear readers! You can read my latest feature on Burgundy’s St. Vincent Tournant in The Good Life France here.

TheGoodLifeFrance.com

TheGoodLifeFrance.com

Care to share? Feel free to leave your comments below…Santé!

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Copyrighted 2012-2015. All Rights Reserved. |  Images: Courtesy St. Vincente Tournante

SVT | Burgundy’s OTHER Famous Wine Festival

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

by. L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

“Jamais en vain, toujours en vin.” (“Never in vain, always in wine.’)
-Motto of Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin

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You may know about Burgundy’s annual Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction held each November. Maybe even about the entire Trois Glorieuses, of which the auction is a part. But did you know about Burgundy’s OTHER famous wine festival – the St. Vincent Tournante?

Celebrated in late January each year, the festival honors the January 22nd feast day of St. Vincent, patron saint of wine.

Originally organized by medieval wine guilds under the Church’s aegis, the event eventually fell into obscurity. However, during the 1930’s, the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, or Brotherhood of the Knights of the Tastevin, revived the festival as a means of attracting attention to Burgundy and its wines.

It worked. Today, the event draws thousands of visitors to a carefully choreographed collaboration between the Confrérie, the Church, and local winemaking mutual aid societies. These brotherhoods offer assistance to local vignerons in times of need.

St. Vincent Tournante ‘revolves’ from village to village each year. While the hosting town varies, the ritual remains fixed: a sunrise procession led by the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, each brotherhood carrying banners and carved effigies to the Graves of the Fallen (originally honoring those fallen in World War I), then on to Mass, followed by a roast pig dinner and ceremony.

In 2015, Gilly-les-Citeaux | Vouget hosts ‘The Way of the Monks’ St. Vincent Tournante, marking 900 years of Cistercian wine making tradition in Burgundy with a walk from the castle of Gilly-les-Citeaux to the Cistercian Abbey of Clos de Vougeot.

Burgundy owes much to these industrious holy men. The monks considered wine making a spiritual endeavor, seeking to reveal God’s voice through soil, fruit, and wine – deeming pinot noir the most expressive conduit.

The Cistercians not only cleared the lands of Clos de Vougeot and other areas in Burgundy, but also tended the vineyards, erected stone fences (clos), and maintained meticulous records. Their records proved the bedrock to Burgundy’s codification of lieu dits and climats, as well as the inspiration for the more intangible concept of  terroir.

It’s no miracle that the monks of Clos de Vougeot turned Burgundy’s limestone into sublime wines. Passion, hard work, and a desire to give voice to the land – these traditions continue today.  St. Vincent Tournante offers a rare opportunity to share in this unique spirit of Burgundy.

 Santé!

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Copyrighted 2012-2015. All Rights Reserved. |  Images: Courtesy St. Vincente Tournante

Happy Holidays | Feliz Navidad | Joyeux Noel |

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

by. L.M. Archer,  FWS | Bourgogne ML

Happy Holidays!

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Holiday Greetings, dear readers worldwide!

A heartfelt thanks to all of the incredible wine makers and industry professionals who shared their stories with binNotes© | Red Thread™ in 2014:

binNotes takes a break to spend time with family through the holidays.

Join me back here after January 5, 2015 for more of The Red Thread™.

Santé!

Care to share? Please leave your comment(s) below.

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Copyrighted ©2014. All Rights Reserved. 

Top 3 Takeaways: Burgundy’s HdB 2014

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by L.M. Archer, FWS

Attention Burgundy Lovers!

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Hospices-de-Beaune-auction-10004678

 

Top 3 Takeaways: 2014 Hospices de Beaune | Burgundy

The highlight for any Burgundy lover, 2014 marked the 154th annual Hospices de Beaune auction, celebrated every third Sunday in November.

Named for Beaune’s charitable hospital founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, Chancellor to the Duke of Bourgogne Philip the Good, the auction features wines from Domaine de Hospices de Beaune, an assemblage of vineyards bequeathed by prestigious patrons over the centuries. Proceeds from the auction fund the charity.

binNotes’ top three (3) take-aways from the 154th Hospice de Beaune auction:

 

Hospices de Beaune 2014

1. Record-Breaking

This year, Domaine des Hospices de Beaune sales reached € 8,082,525, breaking earlier records of €6.3 million euros set in 2013. The 2014 figures reflect 417 barrels of red wine and 117 of white wine.
NOTE:  Burgundy accounts for just 0.4%  in wine sales globally. What do these astronomical 2014 auction sales mean for the future of one of the world’s smallest wine regions? Only time will tell.

Ludivine Griveau

2. History-Making

Domaine des Hospices de Beaune named Ludivine Griveau its first woman winemaker. Griveau, former principal winemaker at  Maison Corton­ André, takes the reigns from Roland Masse, Hospices de Beaune wine maker for 15 years, who retires this year.

NOTE:  Hats off to Hospices de Beaune for this history-making move.

Hubert de Montille

3. Leave-Taking

While Burgundy’s 154th Hospices de Beaune auction rolled on, Burgundy’s wine community mourned the loss of legendary vigneron Hubert de Montille, made famous in the movie Mondovino, who died on November 1st.

Hubert de Montille died in style – eating lunch with family and friends over a glass of 1999 Pommard Rugiens. Irrepressible, irascible, uncompromising, Hubert de Montille built on his family’s legacy through determination, pragmatism, and a quest for the sublime.

NOTE: In late 2013, binNotes attended a wine-tasting dinner featuring Peter Wasserman, who regaled us with stories of his family’s cherished friend, M. de Montille.

binNotes leaves you with Peter Wasserman’s tribute to the man – may we all live, and die, so well.

Hubert De Montille,
“He was my father’s best friend. Hubert was for lack of a better word one if the greatest men i have had the honor to know. From the earliest memories of being at table with “les grands” the adults, Hubert was the one who taught me how to appreciate good food an great wine. Where as one could butt heads with one parent or another one could not deny Hubert. It was unthinkable. He would have us taste everything we drank, describe it, and if the description was not correct we would have to go back at it until the master was satisfied. He made sure to let us know that it would be a long apprenticeship. He once told me that i would not know how to taste properly until i was at least forty, and Aubert De Villaine to add: and then you will realize you know nothing. Truth be told they were both correct. Hubert was a powerful influence in my life. I will remember the great man till the day I die. He was and will remain one of the great men of Burgundy.” -Peter Wasserman

Santé!

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Care to share? Leave your comment below – and thanks for stopping by.

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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved.  

Images courtesy: wine-searcher.com |Hospices de Beaune |  Decanter.com | Mondovino.com

Guest Blog Redux: International Food and Wine Pairing Round Up

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by L.M. Archer, FWS

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International Food and Wine Pairing Roundup

Here’s the newly migrated link to my recent guest blogger contribution ito the 2014 International Food and Wine Pairing Blogger Roundup, hosted by London wine merchant Roberson Wine.

Cheers!

Roberson Wine Featured Blog

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 Have a happy 4th of July!

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Thank you:

Carlo – TUG

Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved.