I started April off with a post about the Terroirs & Signatures de Bourgogne Tasting of Select Old Vintages event that Houston wine professionals were fortunate to enjoy. I wanted to finish April up with more thoughts on that day. Following the event, I was pleased to be included in an intimate group of wine journalists for dinner at the Mockingbird Bistro hosted by Francois Labet, winemaker and chairman of the BIVB Marketing Commission. He had been the keynote speaker at the seminar and tasting and I was looking forward to to the chance to hear more about current vintages and what is going on in Burgundy.
I was interested to learn about the BIVB's strong commitment to sustainable development and their efforts at raising awareness amongst their members. Producers and growers are promoting biodiversity to manage water consumption in wineries. They are doing such things as growing grass between the rows, they are involved with European projects such as LIFE+BIoDiVine (biodiversity in vines landscape) and they are part of the Vintage project in developing support tools to treat disease. As a result of these efforts, 70% of the region’s vines are no longer treated with chemical weed-killer. The BIVB is also launching a sustainable development diagnostic tool for wine growing businesses.
Francois, himself, has been specializing in organic wines since the early 1990's and he avoids the addition of any additives. He feels this is the only way the wine can really showcase what the diverse terroir of Burgundy can produce.
Francois was interested in Houston's growing reputation as a "foodie city" pointing out that the wines of Burgundy have always been the greatest of food wines. From the crisp white wines to the rich red wines, to the elegant sparkling Crémants, the wines of Burgundy can be straightforward or complex, yet they all pair well with a wide range of food and that is exactly what we have here in the Bayou City.
It was an exceptional night of food and wine and Francois Labet was an excellent host. His love of his home was evident as was his desire to share it with us that evening. I am more inspired than ever to plan a trip to Bourgogne and see it all for myself. In the meantime,
Be on the look out for an upcoming post about where I'm finding great wines from Burgundy in our area.