Romantic visions of picking grapes in a small French village with friends and family have danced through your head, surely, at least or twice during your oenophile lifetime, right?

Well, think again!

In several regions of France it is BIG BUSINESS, especially in this region here, shown in this short vine video where Republicaine Guards patrol the pickers.

Yep…Big Business doesn’t mess around!…

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LRWWA_2013_BookFinalistThe jury is in, and the winners announced last week for the 2014 Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards.

Held in London’s Piccadilly at the Royal Academy of Arts, the ceremony was attended by an international assortment of members of the wine trade and publishers from around the world as well as writers and journalists. It was noted that the event is becoming ever-increasingly more…

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God Bless The Baroness

by Paige Donner

Last summer, while attending Vinexpo in Bordeaux, I had the great good fortune to be issued a Press invitation to the Gala Dinner held at Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac, hosted by Madame Philippine de Rothschild. 

“The Baroness” Madame Philippine de Rothschild

The gala dinner that The Baroness (as her friends referred to her), Madame Philippine de Rothschild, was putting on was in…

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God Bless The Baroness

by Paige Donner

Last summer, while attending Vinexpo in Bordeaux, I had the great good fortune to be issued a Press invitation to the Gala Dinner held at Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac, hosted by Madame Philippine de Rothschild. 

“The Baroness” Madame Philippine de Rothschild

The gala dinner that The Baroness (as her friends referred to her), Madame Philippine de Rothschild, was putting on was in…

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Trendy Wine Bars circa 2014 Infographic

This comes grace à la our friends over at VinePair. Check out their awesome blog and Wine101…

Listen to Paige Donner, Host of World of Wine on World Radio Paris.

More at World Radio Paris 

Paige Donner hosts World of Wine on World Radio Paris

Listen to more shows at World Radio Paris

Ten years after releasing the acclaimed film, Mondovino, Jonathan Nossiter is back in theaters with his newest film, Résistance Naturelle.

It examines vineyards in Italy that are cultivating their grapes organically and others that are using chemicals and pesticides. He then compares the soil quality and harvest yields of the different cultivation methods. It’s not strictly a documentary as he…

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by Paige Donner

“Chanel has her No. 5. I have my Charles Heidsieck Champagne cellar No. 9.”

Cecile Bonnefond, President of Charles and Piper Heidsieck

All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2014 all rights reserved

Champagne Charles Heidsieck Reims photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014 IMG_0415 Champagne Cellars Charles Heidsieck photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014 IMG_0397 Champagne Charles Heidsieck Reims photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014 IMG_0412

All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2014 all rights reserved

The Charles Heidsieck cellars in Reims, Champagne are legendary. They are some of the best examples of the crayères, the chalk-stone cellars, that are so emblematic of Champagne. These were first excavated by the Romans some 2000 years ago. The stones were then used to the build the city of Reims, a city that was once the capital of France.

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If you take a look at the picture here of cellar (crayéres) No. 9, you will see that it resembles the shape of a bottle. The team, led now by Cecile Bonnefond, took that as inspiration to model a new bottle for Champagne Charles Heidsieck. So the bottle shape is inspired by Crayères No. 9 from deep inside the depths of their champagne cellars in Reims.

The cellars have even more historical significance as they were used as shelters during the wars of the last century. There is no elevator to get you back up once you’re several hundred feet below ground. So if you do ever get the chance to visit these cellars in Champagne, wear comfortable shoes.

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Charles Heidsieck Champagne Cellars Reims by Paige Donner “Chanel has her No. 5. I have my Charles Heidsieck Champagne cellar No. 9.”

by Paige Donner

Theirry Desseauve in front of the Carreau du Temple Paris photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014 IMG_0486

What?! you say?! A new wine event for Paris?! Yes. And it’s by Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve, the same wine experts/journalists who bring us Le Grand Tasting every year.

This inaugural event took place on Monday at the fabulous new Carreau du Temple. New venue, new wine event. Now how perfect is that?

All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2014

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You can catch my interview with Thierry Desseauve on my World of Wine program on World Radio Paris next week. Until then, a few photos from the event. By the way, le Winelab is designed to showcase and highlight smaller French (primarily) wine producers. The ones that people in the know, know about, before they get super expensive.

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le Winelab by Bettane + Desseauve by Paige Donner What?! you say?! A new wine event for Paris?! Yes. And it’s by Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve, the same wine experts/journalists who bring us Le Grand Tasting every year.