Here we are back again in the Bordeaux area. Last time we talked about the “Left bank”, let’s talk today about the “Right bank”. Also call the “Libournais”, beacause Libourne is the major city situated in the middle of the right bank. The soils are composed of limestone, clay and sand. One of the particularities of this area is the landscape, which is very diversified, you will find some plateau and terraces, slopes and valleys, and can have the effect on the quality of the wine. The climate, like in the left bank has the influence from the ocean, with good hours of sunshine and a good humidity that helps to regulate the temperature. Continue reading →
France is a wonderful wine country with a great variety of grapes, climates and soils and some talented and devoted winemakers. For a better understanding of French appellations and different wine styles I decided to do a Tour de France Des Vins (France’s wine Tour).
As a native of Bordeaux I wanted to start with this part of France. Bordeaux is divided in two parts, known as The Left Bank and The Right Bank, due to the two rivers (“La Garonne” and “La Dordogne“), which separate the vineyards from Bordeaux into two banks. In Bordeaux a variety of different grapes is planted, such as Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot for the reds and roses and Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle for the whites and sweet wines. In Bordeaux there are also 57 appellations and 6 main classifications.
A few rays of natural sunlight peer through the partly closed window blinds of an office at The Professional Culinary Institute (PCI) in Campbell, CA. The light almost seems to dance across the gleaming hard wood floors that wrap around the modern curves of this food and wine Mecca. I don’t believe I should be in this part of the building; I kind of snuck in when someone opens the electronically locked door. Curiosity has gotten the best of me I suppose. I knew even then, before my training had begun, that there was something special about this place. I had a feeling that my life would be changed here forever. I felt as if I had finally found what I always knew I was searching for. Class at PCI would begin for me in a week, but I felt a little reconnaissance was in order. Just then the door to the cellar and wine classroom opened. Out came David Glancy a Master Sommelier and wine department chair at PCI. I introduced myself and asked to take a quick peak at the classroom where I would be learning how to become a sommelier. The room was amazing to say the least. Three rows of seating where each student had his or her own sink and tasting station equipped with under lighting built into the desks. Flat screen TV’s hung on either side of the classroom and a giant projection screen in the middle. Facing the students on the opposite side of the classroom was a giant glass wine cellar that looked to hold at least a thousand bottles. This was going to be home for the next few months, this is where I would learn the art of the sommelier.