Creation Wines in Brittany and Burgundy

Creation co-owners Jean-Claude (JC) and Carolyn Martin recently set out on yet another adventure – this time starting in beautiful Brittany and then on to picturesque Burgundy. Carolyn reports:

On the 24th of June we were privileged to witness and celebrate the marriage of Sophie and Jackson Drake, the son and daughter-in-law of our business partners, Jonathan and Carol Drake. The wedding took place in Saint-Lunaire and these pictures tell the fairy tale.

It was Seneca who said, “Travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind.” Carolyn couldn’t agree more!

Travel opens one’s mind – it triggers new ideas and refreshes existing ones. Food markets are still all the rage in France (as in many other places in the world) and they are not only places to discover local and artisanal products, they are great meeting places for the community. Strolling around the fruit, seafood and cheese extravaganzas in Brittany made me think of the great potential of our Hermanus Country Market and the New Harbour for local tourism and economic development.

JC and I stopped over in Burgundy for three days where we met up with colleagues and friends to discover what has been happening in this wine wonderland over the year. Our first stop was for a barrel-tasting at Domaine Drouhin-Laroze in Gevrey-Chambertin. What a privilege to taste the 2016 vintage! The cellar is just beautiful and they have various Grand Cru Appellations. I just have to mention the remarkable delicacy and elegance of some of the site-specific Pinots.

Our next tasting in Burgundy was at Domaine Taupenot-Merme in Morey-Saint-Denis where we met up with Virginie Taupenot-Daniel who we met briefly in South Africa at The Winery of Good Hope a year before when we were invited by Alex Dale for a wonderful dinner. We had a really fun tasting as Virginie has serious wines and a great sense of humour! She has a close connection to South Africa and we look forward to welcoming her to Creation when she next visits.

Philippe Colin and Gwenaëlle Bidault organised our next tasting with five producers from Chassagne-Montrachet who we were lucky enough to entertain at Creation last November. This was a wonderfully insightful tasting showing how small parcels of vineyard, a few hundred metres from each other, can produce very different styles of wine and also how the winemaker’s style contributes to the terroir. Afterwards we were treated to an outstanding dinner at Ermitage de Corton where one of the highlights was the superb crayfish with grapefruit and orange carrots which paired beautifully with the fine Chardonnays of Montrachet.

Last but definitely not least was our epic tasting with Martin Prieur from Domaine Jacques Prieur – a fantastic experience with in-depth explanations about vintage differences as well as terroir specifics. It provided a great learning opportunity about vine age as we tasted a wine from 80-year-old Pinot Noir vines and in the same clos 20-year-old vineyards, planted half-half. Learning about the impact that clonal development has had on Pinot since the 1960s was also fascinating. We also tasted Beyond Burgundy Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and tried out some Gamay.