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Organic wines in vogue

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Celliers d’Asie’s swank new premises, just off Samdech Tep Vong Street, will become a haven for serious wine lovers, with branch manager Scott McNeill planning wine-tastings and dinners for the coming months.

“We’ll start hosting smaller events focusing on our ‘winery of the month’ program and visits from representatives for our seminars and wine dinners,” he told Insider.

This follows the success of the inaugural wine-tasting night on April 5, when almost a hundred people sipped the reds, whites and rosés with gusto.

Three new organic wines were introduced from the Boissonneau estate in Bordeaux, France: Vinum Natura from Château Vallon des Brumes, red and white, and a rosé under the Chateau de la Vieille Tour marque. The red was light, the rosé fuller bodied than usual with this style of wine, and the white was fresh and lively.

Christian Boissoneau, whose family has held the vineyard since 1839, said that the smoothness and purity of taste stems from the decision to go organic in 2007. “After promptings from my son, we decided that this was the best choice.

It’s better for the workers, consumers and the environment. As a result, the quality of our soil has improved, and the juice from the grapes is purer and more expressive.”

But these are not Celliers d’Asie’s only organic wines. The stock includes a Chilean cabernet sauvignon, Tormenta from Miguel Torres, and from Sicily, Purato Catarratto and Purato Nero d’Avola.

Also from Italy were two new-comers from the Banfi estate in Tuscany: Centine, a dry, fresh rosé; and San Angelo, a rich, fruity pinot grigio.

Guillaume Blanchard, regional manager for Banfi, said, “The Banfi wines are very minerally, and we’re one of the only producers so far south in Italy to create a pinot grigio thanks to the huge quantity of sea shells in the soil. We even found a five million year old whale fossil there.”

Banfi were the first vintners in the world to receive the ISO14001, an international award for exceptional environmental responsibility. For Blanchard, environmental con-sciousness is part of the investment the estate makes in its future.

“We collect rainfall, use drip irrigation techniques and our winery has one of the highest ratios of trees to agricultural land. It increases costs, but you can’t keep taking from the soil. It’s a natural, living thing.”

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