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The Weekly Twitter Quiz #9 – Win a PDF Wine Travel Guide

March 5, 2009

Last week’s quiz question was cryptic, this one requires some sleuthing I reckon. No more clues, for now. If you are new to the quiz, welcome! It’s your chance to have some fun researching an obscure fact related to wine and travel somewhere in the world and if you’re fast enough you will win a PDF guide from our choice of 50 on-line travel guides, designed so that you can plan your own wine tour in France, Italy or Spain. Question coming up:

Weekly Twitter Quiz #9 – Question
Which wine village in Switzerland has the most vineyards? In which canton?

You must follow me on twitter to compete. The first correct answer that is replied to @WineTravel wins the prize.

I will announce the answer and name the winner on Twitter first and then on a new post here with the answer and some extended explanation.

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The Weekly Twitter Quiz #8 – Turckheim in Alsace

February 25, 2009
OBrand Grand Cru Vineyard above Turckheim

Brand Grand Cru above Turckheim

One of the must-see villages on the Alsace wine route, Turckheim is just to the west of the city of Colmar. Writer of the three Alsace wine region travel guides, Sue Style, who lives in the southern part of the region writes about the village: “One of the best preserved villages in Alsace, chock full of multi-coloured, higgledy-piggledy half-timbered houses and a night watchman who does the rounds each evening in summer. Some cheerful wine bars and a good hotel.”

The village makes a great base for a wine tour in Alsace: you can stay at the Hotel des Deux Clefs described by Sue as “Plushy, beamy, deliciously kitsch, family-owned inn in a classic half-timbered building built in 1540” and eat at the Auberge du Brand – “A solid address for Alsace classics (smoked pork knuckle with leeks, asparagus or wild mushroom ragout in season, tarte à l’oignon) and a good wine list strong on Turckheim producers (Zind-Humbrecht, Baur, Armand Hurst).” The restaurant is named after Turckheim’s famous Grand Cru Brand vineyard which is known for the quality of its Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris.

Zind-Humbrecht is of course a fantastic wine producer, making a wonderful range from its biodynamically-farmed vineyards. Olivier Humbrecht was the first French Master of Wine and I studied in London with him in the late 1980s – I failed in the end, but he passed, which is no mean feat for anyone, let alone a non-native English speaker.

This was a more cryptic quiz question than others, but was hoping that it would get the brains ticking and would not be easily found on AbleGrape or Google. Congratulations to keen wine student and website owner @SuppleWine of San Francisco, who correctly deduced the answer to be Turckheim after an initial attempt with nearby Kaysersberg, which is a high village ‘watching over the vineyards’. I deduce that @SuppleWine is an Alsace fan and await their message to confirm which PDF guide they choose as a prize.

Next week, the quiz will be on Thursday, not Wednesday so you have a whole 8 days for some advanced studies! In the meantime, do continue to follow me on Twitter and consider becoming a fan on the Wine Travel Guides Facebook page.

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The Weekly Twitter Quiz #8 – Win a PDF Wine Travel Guide

February 25, 2009

This weekly sport is becoming more and more challenging to me, at least. However, it gives me a chance to peruse the 50 guides on the website to get ideas for the question and that in turn inevitably allows me to correct some odd typo (sorry, folks I know there are some) or words bunched together (an odd habit of the HTML software we use). As a wine educator for many years, I love sharing odd facts and information on wine, and the challenge to add a travel element to the wine education has been great fun. There are now around 1/4 of a million words on the guides (no wonder there are some typos) and a Gold subscriber has access to them all! Download the sample travel guide to inland Provence by registering on the site and take part in this quiz if you are quick enough so that you can win a 2nd guide.

Weekly Twitter Quiz #8 – Question
Which old world village on which wine route watches you at night?

You must follow me on twitter to compete. The first correct answer that is replied to @WineTravel wins the prize.

I will announce the answer and name the winner on Twitter first and then on a new post here with the answer and some extended explanation.


The Weekly Twitter Quiz #7 – Cerdon in Bugey

February 18, 2009
Cerdon Tradition made in the Méthode Ancestrale

Cerdon Tradition made in the Méthode Ancestrale

We visited the Cerdon area on the Monday after the Percée du Vin Jaune festival weekend following a night’s stay in Bourg-en-Bresse. In the French department of Ain, Cerdon is a wine appellation that is part of the Bugey VDQS region. Bugey is often linked with Savoie, but Cerdon is much closer to the wine region of Jura. All very confusing, as so often in the world of French wine. We only had time for two visits but they were could not have been more instructive and more different.

First up, what is the wine Cerdon? It’s the only rosé sparkling wine made in the Méthode Ancestrale that is an official appellation. (The VDQS designation is part of the official appellation system in France – one that is due to be phased out and the Bugey region hopes desperately, after 10 years of trying, to be elevated to AC). Cerdon Tradition is made usually from  90-100% Gamay, but the Jura grape Poulsard may also be blended in. The colour comes from either direct pressing or more often a short maceration, and the juice is then fermented very cold and very slowly, with fermentation stopped at about 6% alcohol. It’s then bottled and stored in a cold room at around 10°C (50°F) and fermentation continues for around two months. When it’s time to release the wine it is transferred, filtered and re-bottled traditionally in one operation, though larger producers store for a day in-between.

The big tip about Cerdon is that the ideal time to buy it is in the spring or in summer at the latest, because it’s best enjoyed when freshest – as it ages, the pretty and vibrant pink colour fades and it loses some of the lovely strawberry fruit. This lightly bubbly pink wine is a delicious, semi-sweet sparkler with only around 8% alcohol; you could also try it with strawberries. As for the region, it’s a sleepy place but with some dramatic mountain scenery – the vineyards (less than 200 hectares or 500 acres) are some of the highest in France, going up to more than 500 metres (or 1600 feet) altitude.

Vineyards around Mérignat

Vineyards around Mérignat

We visited the largest winery Lingot-Martin who have a very decent standard of quality and whose wines are widely available in French supermarkets in the Rhône Alpes region and they export a little too. They make several styles as well as a Traditional Method Brut and have a good, practical tasting room on the main road. We also went to a tiny producer, Raphaël Bartucci up in the hills of Mérignat. He farms his vineyards organically and makes just one delicious cuvée with sales highly restricted (Just 420 bottles go to the USA each year).

Congratulations to world traveller and blogger @globtrav who has swfitly chosen the ‘Around Epernay’ micro-region guide from the Champagne Region as their prize.

Do follow me on twitter for updates on Wine Travel Guides and musings on wine, life and travel. You can also fan our new Facebook Page where you might like to join in on discussions about which wine regions are best to visit to enjoy a private wine tour. It will help spread the word about the website too, which in turn leads to more subscriptions so we can publish more guides! Join me next week for the weekly quiz and your chance to win a PDF wine travel guide.

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The Weekly Twitter Quiz #7 – win a PDF Wine Travel Guide

February 18, 2009

Welcome, especially to any newcomers who’ve found this through the new Facebook page. Every week I give you a chance to win one of our micro-region guides (in addition to the sample guide which is available when your register on the site). We have  now reached a half-century … no less than 50 guides with 46 guides to France plus 2 guides to Tuscany and the latest additions, 2 guides to Rioja. Be the first to give the correct answer to this quiz on Twitter and you can choose any one of the guides them as your prize. Here goes:

Weekly Twitter Quiz #7 – Question
Name the pink wine made by an ancient method close to Bourg-en-Bresse.

You must follow me on twitter to compete. The first correct answer that is replied to @WineTravel wins the prize.

I will announce the answer and name the winner on Twitter first and then on a new post here with the answer and some extended explanation.


The Weekly Twitter Quiz #6 – l’Etoile in Jura

February 11, 2009
The village of l'Etoile in the snow

The village of l'Etoile in the snow

We’re continuing the theme of Jura in France here. The sleepy little village of l’Etoile is located just north of Lons le Saunier – birth-place of Rouget de Lisle, the composer responsible, amongst many finer works, for writing La Marseillaise. It is also home to the cheese factory that invented and still makes the cubes of processed cheese whose finest virtue is their distinctive packaging – La Vache qui Rit. You will see a huge cow face logo up above you as you drive on the ring road around the town.

L’Etoile gives its name to a very small wine appellation in the Jura, which is only used for white wines, though in Jura that includes the famous yellow wine or Vin Jaune. The vineyards of l’Etoile are on a clay-limestone soil, but there are distinct, tiny, but visible to the human eye, star-shape fossils scattered around the soil – this area was a sea many millions of years ago – and the word in French for star is, you guessed it, l’étoile. Apparently the village is also so-named because of the five hills around it that form a star-like shape.

Chardonnay is the most planted grape variety and is used for the sparkling Crémant du Jura (a separate appellation) and for the simple white l’Etoile, which is usually made in an oxidative way matured in non-topped up barrels giving the flavours of apples and nuts combined with a searingly dry taste – you need rich creamy dishes to accompany this wine. The classic white Jura grape Savagnin is also grown and this is used for the famous l’Etoile Vin Jaune. Some deliciously sweet Vin de Paille can be found too made from a blend of these two grapes, sometimes with a touch of the red Poulsard variety, dried for several months before pressing.

Nicole Deriaux of Domaine de Montbourgeau makes ultra traditional l’Etoile wines, and another favourite wine estate that I mention in the ‘Around Lons le Saunier’ guide is Domaine Philippe Vandelle. It’s a fascinating area to explore on a wine tour.

Congratulations to entrepreneur and wine lover Leslie Haas Clanton of Richmond, Virginia who is about to tell me which of the 50 wine travel guides (2 on Rioja about to be live …) that she wants as her prize.

Do follow me on twitter for updates on Wine Travel Guides and a glimpse of where I’m travelling, what I’m tasting and more fripperie. Join me next week for the weekly quiz and your chance to win a PDF wine travel guide.

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The Weekly Twitter Quiz #6 – Win a PDF Wine Travel Guide

February 11, 2009

It’s simple: enter our weekly quiz on Twitter by following me and sending a reply on Twitter with the answer to the question below. If you tweet the first correct answer, you win a choice of what will be – very soon I promise – one of 50, yes 50 travel guides to European wine regions. We have 46 guides to France (one of which, Inland Provence, you can view and download just by registering on the website), 2 guides to Tuscany, and in the next few days, 2 guides to Rioja in Spain. So scratch your heads – very quickly – tweet the answer and you will be in with a chance to win. If you don’t win, you could always subscribe

Weekly Twitter Quiz #6 – Question
Star-like fossils give their name to which wine appellation? Where?

You must follow me on twitter to compete. The first correct answer that is replied to @WineTravel wins the prize.

I will announce the answer and name the winner on Twitter first and then on a new post here with the answer and some extended explanation.


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