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ripening grapes in the Loire

ripening grapes in the Loire




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France comes to London – French Wine Growers Fair

Domaine le Fort

Domaine le Fort

For the first time this November there will be a French Wine Growers Fair in London (21-23 November 2008 at the Barbican). The Salons des Vignerons Independents (Independent Winemakers Fairs) are well established in France and we usually try to get to one of the fairs in Lille, Strasbourg or Paris which take place each November/December. (for more info see www.frenchduck.com) – these tend to be huge events with up to 1000 winemakers attending and offering the public the opportunity to meet the people who make the wine, do some tastings and stock up for the winter.
London’s French Wine-Growers Fair attempts to replicate the format in London from 21-23 November 2008 – with 130 traditional wine makers showing their wines – more than 500 wines on taste – and the opportunity to buy at vineyard gate prices (although regrettably with UK excise duty and VAT payable).
One of the exhibitors is a favourite of mine – Domaine le Fort from the little-known appellation of Malepère AOC near Carcassonne in the Languedoc. This is a small but beautiful domaine which is centred around a building which looks as though it was a fort for the French Foreign Legion, where Stephanie and Marc Pagès make delightful wines such as the Tour du Fort, a blend of Merlot, Grenache and Cabernet Franc, aged in oak. Not otherwise available in the UK, this could be a rare opportunity to taste and buy wines which seldom get to our shores, often because the volume of production is insufficient for the supermarkets and other importers.

Half-Price tickets (£10 reduced from £20) available from www.frenchwinegrowersfair.com – Domaine le Fort is on stand 22
For more info on Domaine le Fort see www.domainelefort.com

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