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Maison de la Mirabelle : The Rozelieures distillery in Lorraine, established in 1860, has been producing spirits for 150 years. Owners, the Grallet family, were growers of Mirabelle plums and used these to produce eaux-de-vie. Descendent Hubert Grallet continues to produce high quality eaux de vie at Maison de la Mirabelle. Hubert and his son-in-law Christophe Dupic, a cereal grower, are both keen amateurs of Scotch Malt Whisky and regularly visit Scotland to indulge their passion. As a joke, Hubert one day, as they were harvesting barley, suggested to Christophe the idea of creating their own whisky. And so the story began…All the whiskies produced at Rozelieures are Single Malt made from malted barley. As cereal farmers, they cultivate varieties of barley and produce their own malt, which is ground, soaked and extracted from fermentation. Traditional pot stills are used to double-distill and pure water is used directly from a source in the Vosges Mountains. The whiskies are matured in an array of casks from Kentucky, the Sherry region, Vosne-Romanée, Condrieu, Armagnac and Sauternes, giving the Cellar Master an infinite range of flavours for blending.
Les Vignobles L&G Arrivé : Château Bellevue is located in the midst of vineyards in Virollet (Charente-Maritime). It is a 108-hectare property surrounded by 6 kilometers of stone walls. The Arrivé family, winemakers since 1881, own the estate. They produce variety wines and liquors and have won numerous prizes.
CHAMPAGNE DOYARD-MAHÉ : Champagne Doyard-Mahé is based in Vertus at the southern end of the Côte des Blancs, the 20-kilometre ridge that runs southwards from south of Épernay down to Vertus. This is where the best Chardonnay grapes are grown. Carole Doyard has around six hectares of Chardonnay, all on Premier Cru land around the village of Vertus, and only uses the best juice from her grapes to produce Doyard-Mahé Champagne. The more astringent second press “tailles” are sent to the cooperative. Her great grandfather Maurice established the house in 1927 and was also a co-founder of the CIVC (Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne) in 1941. Representing the fourth generation, Carole started working with her father in the cellar in 2008 and the following year took on the vineyards.
PRÀBAN NA LINE : Years ago, Sir Iain Noble of Eilean Iarmain, founded a Scots Whisky company to supply the hardy Gaelic speaking Scots of the islands off the north-west coast of Scotland, where they only drink the best. They even suggest that a label in Gaelic “greatly improves the flavour”. Described in Gaelic as “Fior Uisge Beatha”, these are whiskies for real connoisseurs.
CHAMPAGNE : Champagne is France's mostly northerly Appellation Contrôlée area just east and slightly north of Paris. The soil is chalky and the climate is subject to late spring frosts. Known for its sparkling wines (the few still wines use the appellation Coteaux Champenois), Champagnes are made with a special technique (méthode classique) that keeps the bubbles of secondary fermentation in the bottle. The grapes types are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.
COGNAC : Just north of the Gironde estuary, this large region of rather dull countryside produces almost exclusively Ugni Blanc grapes, picked for distillation before they are fully ripe. The soil determines the quality of the cognac. In the heart of the region, the Charente district, it is chalky as in Champagne, producing the finest quality cognac, becoming progressively less so in circles moving away from the center.