Chablis Invests €4.8M in innovative methanation system for winegrowers

The BIVB in Chablis has confirmed that the Chablis Winegrowers Union is to implement a new innovative methanation system that will recycle all by-products from the winemaking process. This is a breakthrough in the region’s move toward greater sustainability.

The £4.8m methanation facility is expected to be up and running by the fall of 2021. It follows a six-month study in Belgium to test the feasibility of the project using a ‘pilot’ system, with wine by-products brought over from Chablis to find the most efficient method of methanation.

Methanation is the conversion of carbon oxides and hydrogen to methane and water through hydrogenation. It can also be used as a means of producing a synthetic natural gas, and as a way to store energy produced from solar or wind power, which would allow it to serve as a potential carbon capture mechanism.

Last month the Union’s general assembly voted in favour of the project.

The methanisation processing area will be located in the south of Chablis where 700 winemakers, belonging to the Union, will be able to bring the by-products of their winemaking to be processed.

Grape pomace will be passed through a machine to separate any seeds, which research found unsuitable for the process. These will instead be set aside for alternative uses such as cosmetics.

The remaining wine pomace will then be placed in covered silos where the fermentation process begins; then finally into the methanisation machine.

The biogas (gasses) produced by the machine will be directly injected into the Gaz Réseau Distribution France (GRDF) circuits, the natural gas distribution network in France. The remaining product left in the machine will be sold as fertilizer.

Louis Moreau, president of the BIVB Chablis, said: “We are proud to be one of the first wine regions to put in place a methanation process of this kind and on this scale as well. Sustainability is a key focus for Chablis and the rest of Bourgogne so our winemakers are always looking at new innovations on both small and large scale projects.

“We believe the new system will be a success and with a younger generation of winemakers who have traveled the world for their studies and then come home to Chablis, we will work hand-in-hand with them to bring in new practices to protect the environment and our terroir.”

https://www.chablis-wines.com/what-is-the-bivb/what-is-the-bivb,1872,7709.html?

Air Canada Sommelier Veronique Rivest Talks Wine in the Sky

Award-winning Canadian Sommelier, Veronique Rivest, is Air Canada’s very own sommelier. The Quebec-born Rivest explains how she chooses wines for Air Canada’s premium passengers.

Why did you choose to partner with Air Canada? Tell us about your role as Air Canada Sommelier

Veronique: I’ve worked with restaurants, hotels, and other establishments—but never an airline! It’s definitely an exciting avenue to explore. I’m really proud to be working with Canada’s national carrier, which is allowing me to showcase the work of many talented Canadian and international winemakers to a premium clientele who enjoy exploration and adventure.

What makes wine taste good (or bad) in the air?

Veronique: Environment has a huge influence on the way we taste, including who we’re with and the space we’re in. Then, flights bring up other considerations. I think about the way wine will make customers feel in the air—what will be uplifting instead of bringing passengers down and making them tired. We know from research that food and wine can taste different at 30,000 feet. At the start of my partnership with Air Canada, I did my own tasting in the air and discovered that modern planes might lessen, but not remove the effects of altitude.

Luckily the Boeing 787s are equipped with special technology to counteract dry cabin environment, which vastly improves both air quality and humidity and has a positive effect on taste buds—meaning the wines on our lists taste fantastic at cruising altitude!

How do you ensure wines will taste “right” at 30,000 feet?

Veronique: I try to select wines that are vibrant, without too much tannin or oak, to contrast with the cabin environment and keep passengers feeling energized.

What do you take into consideration when pairing wine with the in-flight menu?

Veronique: First and foremost, because the food and wine menus don’t change at the same time, I always make sure to select well-balanced wines. I then assess whether or not the wine is “food-friendly”, as some wines pair well with more foods than others. Overall, I look for wines that have fresh acidity, with moderate alcohol levels and bright flavours.

What types of wines make your lists?

Veronique: The wine list for Air Canada Signature Class changes every three months and is designed to pair with Chef Hawskworth’s delicious menu items. Depending on the routes, there are always four to five wines (a combination of reds and whites) on the menu, plus one champagne. In North America Business Class, the wine menu is meant to be paired with gourmet cuisine. And I always strive to feature at least one Canadian wine to showcase our country’s many great wineries and give passengers a little taste of home.

Here is a short video how she chooses the vintages served to Air Canada passengers. Also, find out what it takes to pair food and wine at 30,000 feet.

https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/about/media/media-features/wine-in-the-sky.html

Happy National Wine Day, santé!

Liz Palmer and
Val from Air Canada

CHAMPAGNE LANSON PARTNERS WITH LONDON’S ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

Champagne Lanson has just announced that they are the new official Champagne of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

The Royal Shakespeare has over one million visitors each year and they will now be pouring Champagne Lanson’s exclusive Père et Fils as well as its Vintage Gold Label 2008, its Extra Age Brut NV and its popular Lanson Rose Label Brut Rosé NV in all of its bars and restaurants.

The company operates three theatres in the market town – The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, The Swan Theatre and The Other Place – as well as four bars and restaurants including Rooftop Restaurant, Susie’s Café Bar, Riverside Café and Swan Café.

Vicki Fleming, head of catering, Royal Shakespeare Company, commented: “We are delighted to announce that Champagne Lanson, one of the oldest holders of the Royal Warrant has become our new official Champagne partner. Producing some of the world’s finest Champagnes since 1760, Lanson is the perfect fit for us. The brand epitomizes quality, style and celebration so is perfect for our audiences.”

“Sold by the glass in every theatre bar, the delicious Lanson Père et Fils Brut NV is the perfect aperitif to complement a theatre visit, while a bottle of Lanson Gold Label Vintage 2008 goes wonderfully with a special event at our award-winning Rooftop Restaurant. Lanson Brut Rosé NV, Lanson Extra Age Brut NV and Lanson Gold Label Vintage 2008 will all feature on the Rooftop wine list”.

Paul Beavis, managing director of Champagne Lanson, added: “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the Royal Shakespeare Company. It not only allows us to showcase our multi award-winning range of Champagne to its members; but we are also convinced that Lanson’s renowned freshness and added weight from extended aging ensures that our style of Champagne is also food-friendly.

“We are delighted that the Royal Shakespeare Company is able to showcase our range to its members and guests.”

High Tea at The Orangery Restaurant – Kensington Palace

High Tea at The Orangery Restaurant – Kensington Palace – Liz Palmer

This traditional afternoon tea is surrounded by over 300 years of royal history.

A few weeks ago, I spent the afternoon with my daughter and daughter-in-law devouring a lovely selection of finger sandwiches, tea cakes, scones, jam and clotted cream.  We chose the ever-popular Earl Grey Blue Flower tea and a flute of champagne to sip while overlooking the manicured gardens at Kensington Palace.

We all had a taste of what it’s like to be a royal!  Great experience and highly recommend it.

The History of Afternoon Tea

Prior to the introduction of high tea into Britain, the English had two main meals: breakfast and dinner. By the middle of the 18th century, dinner for the upper and middle classes had shifted from noon to an evening meal served at a fashionably late hour. This did not suit the Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria Stanhope (1783-1857). She seemed to suffer from ‘a sinking feeling’ at about four o’clock in the afternoon. At first, the Duchess had her servants sneak her a pot of tea and a few bread stuffs but then began inviting friends to join her at five o’clock in her rooms at Belvoir Castle. The menu centered around small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets and, of course, tea. The summer practice proved so popular that the Duchess continued it when she returned to London and high tea was quickly picked up by other social hostesses.

The 2018 Cellars in the Sky Awards

The Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky 2018 Awards, which recognize the best business and first-class wines served by airlines worldwide for 2018, were presented on Monday, February 18 at The Langham, London, by Charles Metcalfe, co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge.

Qantas was the evening’s biggest winner, taking the coveted Gold Medal for Best Overall Cellar, as well as the top spots in the Best First-Class White, Best First Class Sparkling (jointly with Air France and Cathay Pacific), Best First-Class Cellar, Best-Presented First-Class Wine List, and Best Business Class Fortified / Dessert Wine categories.

Cathay Pacific won two Gold Medals for Best First Class Sparkling (jointly with Air France and Qantas) and Best Business Class Red, while Malaysia Airlines took the top spot in the Best First-Class Red category, ANA won the award for Best First Class Fortified / Dessert Wine, and Qatar Airways took the top spot in the Best Business Class Sparkling category.
Oneworld was named Best Airline Alliance, while one of its member carriers British Airways took the Gold Medal for Best Business Class Cellar.

And a special note to US low-cost carrier Jetblue, which won a Gold Medal in the Cellars in the Sky competition for the first time, taking the top spot in the Best Business Class White category.

Business Traveller contacted airlines in summer 2018, and 33 entered.
Blind tastings of 240 bottles took place at London’s Grosvenor Hotel, Victoria, in December, with the four judges independently scoring the wines over the course of two days.

Participating airlines were: Aegean, Aer Lingus, Aeroflot, Aircalin, Air Canada, Air France, Air Italy, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, American Airlines, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Dragon, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, EVA Air, Finnair, Garuda Indonesia, Iberia, Icelandair, Japan Airlines, Jet Blue, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Sri Lankan Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, and Virgin Atlantic.

LIST OF WINNERS AND SHORTLISTED AIRLINES

FIRST CLASS
BEST FIRST-CLASS RED

• Gold Medal: Malaysia Airlines – Joseph Drouhin Côte de Beaune 2015, Burgundy, France

• Silver Medal: American Airlines – Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2016, Sonoma County, US

• Bronze Medal (joint): ANA – Château Léoville Barton 2012, Saint-Julien, Bordeaux, France; Qatar Airways – Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 2009, Saint-Julien, Bordeaux, France

BEST FIRST-CLASS WHITE

• Gold Medal: Qantas – Penfolds Reserve Bin 15A Chardonnay 2015, Adelaide Hills, Australia

• Silver Medal: Qantas – Flametree SRS Wallcliffe Chardonnay 2016, Margaret River, Australia

• Bronze Medal (joint): Cathay Dragon – Lamblin and Fils Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaumes, 2016, France; Malaysia Airlines – Palliser Estate Chardonnay 2016, Martinborough, New Zealand

BEST FIRST-CLASS SPARKLING

• Gold Medal (joint): Air France, Cathay Pacific, Qantas –Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2006, Franc

• Silver Medal (joint): ANA, Qatar Airways – Champagne Krug 2004, France; Singapore Airlines – Dom Pérignon 2006, Champagne, France

• Bronze Medal: Oman Air –Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal, Brut, 2009, France

BEST FIRST-CLASS FORTIFIED/DESSERT WINE

• Gold Medal: ANA – Barbeito Madeira Malvasia 20 year old, Portugal

• Silver Medal: Cathay Pacific – Warre’s Otima Single Year Tawny Colheita Port 2006, Portugal

• Bronze Medal: Qantas – Morris of Rutherglen Wines Old Premium Rare Liqueur Muscat, Australia

BEST-PRESENTED FIRST-CLASS WINE LIST

• Gold Medal: Qantas
• Highly Commended: ANA

BEST FIRST-CLASS CELLAR

• Gold Medal: Qantas
• Silver Medal: ANA
• Bronze Medal: Cathay Pacific

BUSINESS CLASS
BEST BUSINESS CLASS RED

• Gold Medal: Cathay Pacific – Elderton Shiraz 2015, Barossa Valley, Australia

• Silver Medal: Air New Zealand – Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2014, Central Otago, New Zealand

• Bronze Medal: Air Italy – Olianas Perdixi 2016, Gergei, Sardinia, Italy

BEST BUSINESS CLASS WHITE

• Gold Medal: Jetblue – Sandhi Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2015, California, US

• Silver Medal: Aer Lingus – De Bortoli La Bohème Act One Riesling, 2016, Yarra Valley, Australia

• Bronze Medal: Oman Air – Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Montagu 2016, France

BEST BUSINESS CLASS SPARKLING

• Gold Medal: Qatar Airways – Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, Blanc de Blancs 2006, France

• Silver Medal: EVA Air – Delamotte Blanc de Blancs 2007, Champagne, France

• Bronze Medal: Malaysia Airlines – Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, Blanc de Blancs 2007, France

BEST BUSINESS CLASS FORTIFIED/ DESSERT WINE

• Gold Medal: Qantas – Baileys of Glenrowan Founder Series Classic Muscat, Victoria, Australia

• Silver Medal: Air New Zealand – Forrest Botrytised Riesling 2016, Wairau Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

• Bronze Medal (joint): Oman Air – Château Guiraud 1er Grand Cru Classé
en 1855, 2014, Sauternes-Barsac, France; Aeroflot – Grahams 10-Year-Old Tawny Port, NV, Porto Duro, Portugal

BEST BUSINESS CLASS CELLAR

• Gold Medal: British Airways
• Silver Medal: Qatar Airways
• Bronze Medal: Jetblue

BEST-PRESENTED BUSINESS CLASS WINE LIST

• Gold Medal: EVA Air

OVERALL AWARDS
BEST AIRLINE ALLIANCE

• Oneworld

BEST OVERALL CELLAR

• Gold Medal: Qantas
• Silver Medal: Cathay Pacific
• Bronze Medal: ANA, Qatar Airways
• Highly Commended: American Airlines