Champagne Bureau, USA Launches Interactive Map of Champagne Region


The Champagne Bureau, USA today has launched an interactive map of the Champagne region.   Here you can explore the towns and areas that make up the world-famous wine appellation that produces the unique sparkling wine called Champagne. From the city of Reims to the Côte des Bars, the interactive map allows users to click on different towns and locales to learn more about the areas, including their unique history and fun facts.

View map here:


Source:  The Champagne Bureau, USA


An Interview with Charles Keusters, Director of Food & Beverage, Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic

interviewCharles Keusters arrived at Casa de Campo December 2014 following a four-year run with Meliá Hotels International. His assignments included management positions with Paradisus Palma Real; Paradisus Punta Cana; INNSIDE Madrid Hotels; and ME Madrid. Charles earned his Hospitality Administration/Management Diploma from Les Roches Marbella. In addition, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Haverford College.

Casa de Campo Brief

Casa de Campo set the benchmark for luxury travel in the Dominican Republic back in the 1970’s and continues to elevate the standard.

This elite “sporting life” property is situated on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, in the town of La Romana.

Luxury accommodations include 185 guest rooms, suites with private terraces, and over 50 villa homes some with private pools. Casa de Campos’s 7,000-acre property offers an abundance of recreational and relaxing activities, including: three award winning and truly spectacular golf courses “Teeth of the Dog”, “Dye Fore” and “The Links”, designed by award-winning designer Pete Dye; La Terraza Tennis Center; a 245 acre shooting center; polo and equestrian center; and variety of water sports. For relaxation and enjoying the sun, the spa and private beaches are a must. Six of the full-service restaurants provide International cuisine and wines all with breathtaking views. Casa de Campo has its own airport, heliport and marina; guests are welcome to arrive by air or by sea.

Liz Palmer

 What Food and Beverage concepts have you implemented since your arrival?

Charles Keusters

 My main objective is to give Casa de Campo villa owners and guests an experience they cannot find anywhere else – to make it a culinary destination.

The owners and guests have access to anything they want here. I like the culinary culture and always looking for new ideas – for my future plans, I’m looking to set up a riverboat where the chef will cook on the boat for guests. I’m also incorporating health and wellness into the menus and working with the chef to incorporate more indigenous vegetables and fruits into the menus along with local fresh fish, which is at our doorstep.

Liz Palmer

As Director of Food & Beverage of Casa De Campo, how do you manage your day and can your outline a typical workday for us?

Charles Keusters

It’s rarely the same every day for me.

I oversee private functions, all the restaurants, and catering for private yachts and planes.

Breakfast is usually at 7:30 am at Logo. Here I have breakfast and review my day. Then I do a-walk-around the property to see if everything is in order. 8:30 am there is usually a briefing with the General Manager. 9:00 am I have an executive committee meeting which includes the operations team where I review pricing and budging. After this meeting I walk around and oversee the various events around the property. Throughout the afternoon and evening I great guests and listen and respect their comments and suggestions.

Liz Palmer

What defines luxury to you?

Charles Keusters

Luxury is comfort, innovation, uniqueness, and anticipation, which are defining elements. Service also plays an important part.

Liz Palmer

Does Casa De Campo have a wine cellar? If so, how large is the inventory? Who maintains it? And who chooses the wines and prepares the wine list?

Charles Keusters

We have an 8,000 bottle cellar, with an inventory of French, Italian, Spanish, Chilean, Australian and New Zealand wines.

I manage and maintain the cellar and am currently reviewing the wine lists to make some future changes.

Liz Palmer

What is your favorite glass of wine to sip at the end of the day?

Charles Keusters

Wine is a personal experience – I like Italian and Spanish reds. Especially Cepa 21 from Spain.

Liz Palmer

Charles, how do you keep up on industry trends and cultural needs of global clients?

Charles Keusters

I’m personally interested in international industry trends. I read magazines, food blogs, and am constantly reviewing Instagram.When I travel I love to explore other cultures and their dishes.

Fresh from the Villers-Marmery vineyards of Champagne Henriet-Bazin, a chardonnay vine in flower

Fresh from the Villers-Marmery vineyards of Champagne Henriet-Bazin a chardonnay vine in flower. This principal growth stage falls between Leaf Development/Inflorescence Emerge and Development of Fruits.

Doc Schéma fleur de vigne + cadre copie

Principal features of a chardonnay vine in flower.


Source: Nicolas Rainon

Tanguy Martin of Hotel TerraVina has been named Moët UK Sommelier for 2015

Martin’s victory came after a tough final at the Savoy hotel in London today, where he competed against Romain Bardary of the Vineyard at Stockcross, and Arnaud Bardary from Maze in London.

Bardary was placed second, while Bourger was third in the competition, organized by the Academy of Food and Wine Service (AFWS) and The Caterer, and sponsored by Moët & Chandon Champagne.

It was Martin’s third time in the competition, having placed third last year. Commenting on his win, Martin said: “It is incredible. It is the third time I have been in the competition and I have worked hard for this. The standard was incredibly high so I am delighted to have won.”

All three finalists were submitted to a grueling three-hour competition in front of an audience made up of judges, former winners, their peers from the industry, sponsors and journalists.

As part of the competition they were required to: inspect a wine list and identify a number of errors (that were not to do with spelling or pricing); undergo a blind taste test of two wines, one red and one white, as well as describing and identifying them; identify four spirits served in black glasses; serve three tables of former winners in a restaurant role play situation; and finally to pour a magnum of Moët & Chandon Rose Imperial Champagne into 16 glasses.

Each of the finalists showed different strengths but the judges, including Eric Zwiebel from Summer Lodge and Roger Jones from the Harrow at Little Bedwyn, chose Martin as the overall winner.

Among Martin’s prizes for winning the competition was an engraved jeroboam of Moët & Chandon Champagne, and a ‘money can’t buy’ mentoring programme. The AFWS and The Caterer will facilitate a series of educational sessions featuring the UK’s top sommeliers.

The day’s competition started with the 12 semi-finalists of the 2015 competition being whittled down to six finalists, before the final three were selected to compete in the grand final in front of an audience.

The 12 semi-finalists were:

Arnaud Bardary, Maze by Gordon Ramsay, London

Ladislav Basta, the Kitchin, Edinburgh

Romain Bourger, the Vineyard at Stockcross – Wales & South West Sommelier of the Year

Tobias Brauweiler, Hakkasan – London Sommelier of The Year

Mathias Camilleri, Medlar, London – winner of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Sommelier competition

Zigmars Grinbergs, Hotel du Vin Brighton – South East of England Sommelier of the Year

David Kubler, the Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu, Hampshire – 2015 regional runner-up

Olivier Marie, Coq d’Argent, London

Tanguy Martin, Hotel TerraVina – 2014 Moët UK Sommelier of the Year runner-up

Laurent Richet, Restaurant Sat Bains – North of England Sommelier of the Year

Stuart Skea, Champany Inn, Linlithgow, West Lothian – Scottish Sommelier of the Year

Niels Sluiman, Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham

Now in their 36th year, the awards are run by the AFWS and The Caterer, and are internationally recognised by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI). They seek to find the best wine waiter or sommelier based on wine and spirits knowledge and front of house beverage skills.


Source: The Caterer