The Clairette Blanche comeback special

From one perspective, Clairette Blanche is lucky to be alive. Difficult to grow and produce, there is no sound commercial justification for keeping this obscure white grape around. Moreover, due to the vagaries of Gallic appellation law, it is not widely recognized and is seldom mentioned on French wine labels. And yet, growers in the […]

Fighting for glory: Chenin Blanc grape variety

We owe Chenin Blanc an apology. For decades, this versatile white grape of the Loire Valley has scarcely been given the international recognition – and respect – it deserves. Lost in the hype over Burgundy’s (admittedly magnificent) Chardonnay wines, Chenin Blanc was relegated to the status of an also-ran. Indeed, collectors would often struggle to […]

A Swiss prodigy: Chasselas

Even the most casual and disinterested wine drinker can recall a handful of French white grapes: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and perhaps Viognier. But Chasselas? We doubt it. Rarely mentioned on wine labels, Chasselas is one of the great underdogs of French wine – obscure and underrated. Yet, if handled with care, Chasselas can produce delectable […]

Everlasting love: Chardonnay grape variety

Chardonnay is Burgundy’s most successful – and famous – viticultural export. Although for a while, the Burgundians would like to claim dominion over this inimitably fashionable grape, it is very much a global phenomenon. From Sonoma Valley to Australia’s Margaret River, the world is full of premium Chardonnay wines. This is partly because, unlike Pinot […]

The mystery of Bourboulenc

The enigmatic Bourboulenc has yet to reveal its secrets; its geographical origins are the subject of a fierce debate, while its genetic ancestry remains a mystery. Moreover, we cannot be sure how and when Bourboulenc was introduced to the South of France, and is now cultivated by a small number of growers across the wider […]

Burgundy’s other white grape:Aligoté

Many collectors believe, not unreasonably, that Chardonnay is the sole genius behind the magnificent white wines of Burgundy. From the Premier Crus of Chablis to the iconic vineyards of Puligny-Montrachet, only one white grape is allowed under the appellation rules. Yet this corner of France has long held a closely guarded secret. A surprising volume […]

Guide to Spanish White Wine

Wine buyers and sommeliers always ask the same question: how did a country once obsessed with the color red become renowned for producing superlative white wines? Was it massive investment from overseas, Spanish derring-do, sheer luck – witchcraft? The answer is probably all of the above (bar sorcery!) But whatever the catalyst for this unprecedented […]

The rebirth of Caíño Blanco

Winegrowers are a sentimental bunch – they often lead with their heart, throwing caution to the wind. Take Caíño Blanco, for instance. This obscure white grape was on the verge of extinction in the 20th century, unloved – and undesired – by most producers in Galicia. With varieties like Albariño and Godello starting to make waves in […]

Catalunya’s shining star: Parellada grape variety

Catalunya, as any self-respecting citizen will tell you, “is not Spain.” Indeed, Catalans have long felt a disconnect from mainstream Castilian culture, boasting their own language, customs, and distinct identity. Any visitor to the region’s glorious capital, Barcelona, can feel it in the air. From politics to gastronomy, Catalunya dances to its own tune. So, […]

Loureiro strikes back

The Galicians refer to this little-known grape as Loureira. The Portuguese, meanwhile, stick with Loureiro. But regardless of cultural traditions, Loureiro translates as “laurel” in both languages. It refers to the unmistakably pungent aroma that invokes the smell of freshly picked bay leaves taken from the laurel tree that morning. Yet Loureiro is perhaps one […]

Guide to Balsamic Vinegar

Lusciously dense, glossy dark brown, and with an intense kaleidoscope of flavor, balsamic vinegar is known as the Black Gold of Italy’s Emilia Romagna region for good reason – the distinctive bottles of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale are the precious jewels of the table. The traditions and procedures surrounding the sumptuous elixir are deeply ingrained in […]

An obscure treasure: Treixadura grape variety

How should we define the role of white varieties like Treixadura? From one perspective, the grape occupies a very ignoble space in the winemaking culture of Galicia; Treixadura was traditionally used as a relatively small part of a constituent blend, rarely championed as a standalone varietal. The reason for this long-standing relegation is not entirely […]

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Cellar Tours Private Luxury Food & Wine Tours

Cellar Tours

Cellar Tours is a Luxury Travel Specialist, operating since 2003 and offering exclusive Mercedes chauffeured Gourmet Vacations in Chile, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. We specialize in luxurious custom designed vacations, events and incentives related to food and wine. We are proud members of Slow Food, UNAV (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).

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