Domaine du Closel Les Caillardieres


Chateau des Vaults

Porching in Texas, especially Austin, is practically a way of life. I live on my patio in the spring/summer time and love to enjoy a refreshing glass of wine after work. Today, I opened a bottle of wine I picked up in France: Les Caillardieres by Domaine du Closel-Chateau des Vaults. I was introduced to Les Caillardieres while visiting and working with Chateau des Vaults during my MBA program last summer. This is my last bottle of Chateau des Vaults wine so I guess I will have to go back for a visit soon!

Domaine du Closel is a family run business in Savennieres, France. Savennieres is located in the western part of France in the Anjou-Saumur region of the Loire Valley. The history of Domaine du Closel and wine production date back to 1495! Its mission is to provide high quality, rare, organic wine and provide a cultural experience for wine drinkers.

Les Caillardieres is produced in a sandy vineyard on top of the hill of the estate. Les Caillardieres is produced with Chenin Blanc grapes and the estate has unique geological influences (slate, volcanic stone, minerals) that give the wine a distinct flavor.  The flavor profile is very intense with lots of floral notes and dried fruit. The wine has a long finish and holds up well against food. I paired it with a crab, avocado, and tomato salad and the lime juice I used in the salad really brought out the citrus tones. It reminds me of warm weather and picnics on the porch! I just love it.

Les Caillardieres and crab avocado salad

I have not found Chateau des Vaults wines anywhere in Austin except at Vino, Vino for a very brief time. I hope more wine bars will do their homework and discover less known wines. The small, family run businesses often do not have the budget to promote or hire a professional in order to capture a larger market. They rely on agent promotion and word of mouth.

And so, here is my plug for Domaine du Closel wines. If you have the ability to order from Louis Dressner or your importer-do it! The wines are interesting, refreshing, satisfying, and pair well with salads, seafood, hard cheeses, and chocolate!

Pour yourself a glass, sit on the porch, and Winedown!

French Wine

I enjoyed many wines while in France. It was difficult to pick a favorite, but I definitely discovered a love for Bordeaux. I had never really explored French Bordeaux and was pleasantly surprised. It can be so intimidating talking wine with a producer whose family has been making wine for 500 years. I learned A LOT while on this trip.

My advice—drink what you like and what makes you happy. Don’t worry about anything else!

Chicken Run Organic Chardonnay

Lazy Saturdays are good for trips to the local farmers market and porchin’. For those of you that are not native Texans, porchin’ is a favorite past time when the weather is mild. I often spend entire weekends porchin’ with wine and a good book. It is very relaxing to hang out on the patio, listen to the birds, and disconnect.

This particular Saturday left me with a dozen farm fresh eggs, a bottle of Chicken Run, and lovely weather. I made up a salad nicoise for lunch and proceeded to enjoy a few glasses of the 2011 Chicken Run Chardonnay.

What prompted me to buy a wine called Chicken Run? Well, (1) it is a Chilean wine and due to my recent trip to Chile I was intrigued; (2) I thought the name was amusing; (3) It was on sale. What the hell, right?

Chicken Run was a light and refreshing patio wine. Not too heavy on the tongue and lovely with a salad! It was tart and crisp with notes of green apple and lemon. You can find Chicken Run at the HEB Volente location. It was perfect for a weekend of porchin’.

Austin transplants—get out there and enjoy some porchin’ before it gets too hot!

WineDownAustin goes to Chile–Emiliana Organic Wine Bar

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Chile is a wonderfully diverse country with excellent wine. During a visit to the ceros located outside Valparasio, I stumbled into the Emiliana Organic wine bar and restaurant. It was a hot day as Chile is at the end of summer and a glass of white wine sounded very refreshing.

I ordered the only white wine offered by the glass which was the 2011 Emiliana Reserve Chardonnay. The chardonnay was produced in the Casablanca Valley near Vina del Mar.  The wine was full, smooth, with grapefruit, lime, and pineapple notes. It was perfect for a hot day and I enjoyed several glasses with lunch.

The restaurant served a wide array of lunch entrees, but I couldn’t get enough of the seafood in Chile. It was so fresh and always excellent. I ordered the grilled rockfish on top of potato gnocchi with pesto sauce and topped with organic greens and grilled tomatoes. My friend ordered the homemade multi-colored pasta with organic vegetables. Both dishes were so good we ate ALL of it!

We enjoyed the experience so much that we sat on the patio for another glass of wine to finish out the beautiful afternoon. I am already planning out wine tours for future visits!

Winery Information:

Emiliana was the first organic vineyard in Chile offering sustainable vineyard management, efficient energy use, recycling, and managing industrial waste water. Emiliana believes in sustainability and social responsibility within the community. They are certified by the IMO which ensures the companies operate in accordance with good labor practices. The Fair for Life certification guarantees that human rights are respected in all stages of production and that working conditions are suitable and fair. Emiliana also offers organic gardens, scholarships and training programs, and housing programs for employees.