Vin jaune by literal translation means yellow wine. It makes its home in the Jura region of north east France. All four of the AC’s in this region make this incredible wine. The late harvested savignon grapes are then aged in small oak barrels for a minimum of six years, although some producers are known to age them even longer. The oak barrels are deliberately porous to ensure gradual oxidation and evaporation of up to 40% of the wine where there is no topping up. A flor yeast develops on the surface of the wine rather like the fino sherries of Spain. This aging method creates a distinctive flavour reminiscent of bitter nuts and some spice as well as green apple. Producers recommend leaving in the bottle for a further ten years before drinking. The bottles themselves called ‘clavelins’ are 62 cl in volume. This is because for every litre of wine placed into barrel and left for six years, only 62 cl of the resulting wine is left.
Back in November 2009 I visited the cool climes of the Yarra Valley which is about 30km to the NW of Melbourne, Australia. Both De Bortoli and Yering Station provide great wine tasting opportunities and even some great kiddy distraction - entertainment while the Mums and Dads tuck into the tastings. My kids loved the chunky chalks provided at Yering Station and they were literally invited to scribble all over the vast tasting room concrete floor and walls - inspirational!
Malibu is primarily known for its beaches and celebrity living but more recently the humble vine has started to move in next door. There are two American Viticultural Areas (AVA’s) within the region - Malibu Newton Canyon and Malibu Saddle Rock. The Malibu Newton Canyon AVA boundary is approx. 4 miles from the Pacific within the Malibu city limits at an elevation of 400-850 metres approx. above sea level. Malibu Saddle Rock AVA stretches north, south and west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains.
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