Fall is harvest time for France’s vendange tardive wine (which translates to “late-harvest wine”). The best-known vendange tardive variety is a sweet white wine made in the Alsace region, but an unusual late-harvest wine is being produced in the country’s Champagne mecca, Reims. Its grapes come from root stocks that were imported from Palestine and planted by the Jesuits 300 years ago. The precious grapes produce a dry white wine. The vineyard, known to be one of the oldest in France, is classified as an historic monument. But, sadly, with just 30 plants, the very confidential production will be tasted by only a few connoisseurs.
September 4, 2007