Constance sommeliers trained by leading winemakers Thierry Germain and Stephane Derenoncourt

As part of our exciting Art de Vignes week our sommeliers had the wonderful opportunity of receiving training from Thierry Germain and Stephane Derenoncourt.

Sunset at North Beach

Sunset at North Beach

One of the world’s leading wine consultants and producers, Stephane Derenoncourt of Domaine de l’A was keen to talk about the benefits of Biodynamic wine producing techniques.

Thierry Germain, of the acclaimed domaine de Roches Neuves, is also an advocate of Biodynamic farming and explained to our sommeliers how he used his vineyard’s natural resources without pesticides and synthetic fertilisers to cultivate the highest quality grapes.

Wine menu

In honour of their visit Chef Aviraj collaborated with the sommelier team to create a menu based around the wines of Domaine des Roches Neuves.

  • Chef Aviraj aperitif selection – served with Samur, Bulles de Roche, 2010
  • Chilled red mullet fillet, green apple and citrus cigar – served with Saumur, L’insolite, 2011
  • Lightly smoked ‘bourgeois’ fish wrapped in Serrano ham, breadfruit scoop, glazed vegetable and red wine sauce – served with Saumur Champigny, La Marginale, 2010
  • Cherry surprise – served with Saumur Champigny, Terres Chaudes, 2011

More about Biodynamic wine growing

The term ‘Biodynamic’ refers to an agricultural movement defined by Dr. Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. The goal of biodynamic wine growing is to get a vineyard to be as self-sustaining as possible, using waste products from one area to be used as fuel for another area. It’s a system that looks at the vineyard as a living organism itself from the soil to the sun, all working in harmony towards a well-balanced ecosystem that is self-sustaining.

Biodynamic wines and growing practices go beyond organic farming methods and focus on soil sustainability and viability via crop rotation, composting, non-chemical interventions for pest management and astronomical cycles to provide continual vineyard input. This emphasis often means the qualities of biodynamic wine offer more balance, clarity and depth of aromas and flavours.

Find out more about Thierry Germain and Domaine des Roches Neuves  and Stephane Derenoncourt and his philosophy of wine.

 

Choosing wine from the menu

Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a total newbie to the world of wine, our Head Sommelier at Constance, Jérome Faure, is here to share his expert knowledge with you.

Jerome Faure
Jerome Faure

This week, Jérome takes a look at the difference between conventional and organic wines.

Conventional versus organic wine

A conventional wine is a wine produced from grapes grown using farming methods which include the use of chemical products.

Organic wine is made from grapes certified by a recognised body such as Ecocert, as organically farmed – AB (Agriculture Biologique) in the French system.

How wine is given organic certification

AB certification requires, above all, respect for a set of guidelines aimed at banning the use of all chemical products, such as pesticides, fungicides and fertilizer. At present there are no guidelines for how the wine itself is treated.

Gaining AB certification involves wine growers subjecting themselves to lengthy administrative procedures, which is why some growers are not interested in obtaining it. But at the same time, these growers may use few or no chemical products in their vineyards. So it’s possible to come across a wine without an AB label that is nonetheless made from organically grown grapes…

Choices, choices… which wine is best?

Red wine in glass
How to choose wine

You’ll find good wines among both conventional and organic types.

To oppose organic to conventional wine is simply to oppose certified to non-certified ones. As we’ve already said, many winegrowers are organic but uncertified, and others, even if not organic are very sparing in their use of chemicals.

Some go even further by working in accordance with biodynamics (the natural rhythms of cosmic forces), whether they’re certified or not.

If you’re dining in a restaurant, the best way to decide is to rely on the selections of a good sommelier.

The Constance Group takes great care in its choice of wines, and at Constance Ephelia in the Seychelles the wine list indicates which wines are certified organic or biodynamic.

Tell us what you think

Do you prefer organic over conventinal wine? Tell us what you think. You can get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook or use the comments section below.