What’s going on at Domaine La Taupe?

May is a beautiful time of change here at the Domaine; the sun reigns its light upon us more and more everyday. All the harbingers of late spring in the Loire Valley are suddenly erupting: roses, elderflower, acacia. Most exciting of all, perhaps, is the emergence of teeny, tiny grapes all over the vineyards. Late summer, they will mature to juicy, succulent mature fruits, ready for harvest.

The change is welcomed with open arms after a cool and rainy spring in which we narrowly avoided early morning frost, mostly unscathed. Frost on budding vines can be a detriment to the entire crop. Luckily, we only received minor damage in our Cabernet Franc parcel, despite the 0 degree morning temperatures we faced all too often last month.

However in wine making, there is always a new challenge on the horizon! Rain helps the plants explode with life in spring, but too much and you face yet another potentially fatal risk: mildew. As anyone in the Loire will tell you, this has been a very wet spring, and so we are working hard to combat mildew, diligently administering biodynamic treatments in the vineyards. Growing wines organically is a constant reminder of both the beauty and power of nature. There is always risk involved, but that’s why we have to work with nature and not against it.

On top of all this, ébourgeonnage, the process of removing unnecessary buds from the vines in order to direct more energy towards the important, fruit-bearing leaves, is underway. Every plant is unique and requires individual attention and care. We examine each plant one by one and determine the best course of action for each one. Needless to say the vines are keeping us trés occupé!

Outside of the vineyard, the month started fabulously with a very special La Taupe winemaker’s dinner at Apollonia in Amsterdam. Bert first met Apollonia owner, Romy Claessen, as a colleague at Bruutwijn. Romy has since moved on and up with her own exciting projects, but nothing is more exciting than to be able to reconnect with old old friends for new collaborations.

Each course of the four-course, entirely vegetarian menu paired a La Taupe wine with a beautifully crafted, seasonal dish. From white asparagus with leek mayonnaise accompanied by our 2021 Surin Sauvignon Blanc, to a night cap of rhubarb buttermilk sorbet with pistachio and laurel, paired with our Triangle Cabernet Franc, every course was utterly delicious- a true celebration Spring.

The evening was a smashing success, friends, new and old, and strangers alike all enjoyed a jovial night of food, wine and conversation. The energy and love we felt in the space reminded us of why we do what we do. Natural wine brings people together.

Bert also made a trip to Rome to attend Quartiere Vino Pigneto, a natural wine festival, the weekend of May 11th. La Taupe wines were eagerly received as the only French wines present

at the event, and it was a good chance to expand our worldwide friendships in the beautiful, ancient city of Roma.

Tastings are always a good way to connect with likeminded lovers of natrual wine and forge new connections, and we are excited to share we’ll be at another one, Les 12 Caveaux D’Hercule, in Paris on May 31st! Would love to see you there, event info can be found here.

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