News / natural wine

Domaine Labet, Jura

Inspiring Labet..

Some Jura winegrowers are producing such phenomenal wines, in such tiny quantities that they tend to capture the imagination. The Labet family in Rotalier (same village as Jean-Francois Ganevat!) are a good example. We were really excited to have secured our first allocation for Ireland late last year, after more than 4 years on their 'waiting list'. 

Luke Byrne, a customer and friend of ours, who works with the wonderful Green Man Wines in Terenure, got his hands on a few bottles. This is the resulting Instagram post:

'Julius Caesar the Roman geezer, squashed his wife with a lemon squeezer.

Great to see Labet over here, always a treat to drink, like huffing gas and licking batteries.

. Les Varrons - Effortless. Weightless Watermelons held down by a thick lactic pear casing and a charred confectionery peach core.

. Metis - A wild wine, reigned in by some leather straps. A cowboy rides this wine, hes covered in shit and he smokes Pall Mall but boy does he look good. Larry Lambic.

. Lias - Blend up some apple pie and chase it with some Greek yogurt. Eat nettles and stay focused. The longer it's open the more focused it becomes. Bottle dipped in toffee wax and covered in sour orange peel, I'm enveloped in autumn fruits. I'm slipping on hot wet stones.

Like a shooting star these wines came and left. I'm not one to hold onto anything so I drank them all in quick succession, I regret nothing. They would have aged beautifully.' 


Luke Byrne - @luekbrungis





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A lovely message from Nicolas and Karine, Beauregard-Mirouze (Corbières)

A lovely message from Nicolas and Karine, Beauregard-Mirouze (Corbières)

We received a beautiful video-message from Nicolas and Karine Mirouze of Beauregard-Mirouze in Corbières, Southern France this morning, we are delighted to see they are keeping well. Their vineyard are farmed organically, respecting and following Nature's rhythm. Fancy a little tour of their vineyard? click on the link here: Once on their site, 
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Fantastic natural wines and where to find them - John Wilson, Irish Times

Fantastic natural wines and where to find them - John Wilson, Irish Times

Two high priests of the natural wine movement visited Ireland recently. Both paid homage to “the Pope”, the late Marcel Lapierre, a producer in Morgon who started it all back in early 1990s. Jean Foillard owns vineyards in Morgon in Beaujolais and Thierry Puzelat in the Loire valley. Inspired by Lapierre, they began to take wine back to its roots.

“We did not invent anything, we simply returned to what our grandfathers did,” says Puzelat.

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Jonathan Nossiter's Natural Resistance documentary


Natural Resistance, Jonathan Nossiter

  On Friday March 6th, The Cork French Film Festival will be screening the Irish Premiere of Jonathan Nossiter's Natural Resistance at Ballymaloe House Grainstore, Shanagarry, Co.Cork. Natural Resistance is a movie/documentary about 4 Italian Natural winemakers. The screening will be followed by an Italian inspired rustic supper and 4 wines made by producers featured in the movie will be served to accompany Gillian Hegarty's (Ballymaloe House Head Chef) dishes. We are delighted to have been asked to supply the wines for this brilliant event. Furthermore, Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pyrene, the largest importer and ambassador of Natural Wines in the UK will introduce both the movie and Naural wines in general. Tickets for the evening can be purchased here   We hope you can join us!  
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Ballymaloe Cookery School, 12 week-certificate

Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wine presentation

Ballymaloe Cookery School, 25th February 2015

Ballymaloe Cookery School 2015

Any occasion to team up to with Colm McCan, Consultant Sommelier at Ballymaloe House and Wine presenter at Ballymaloe Cookery School is always very welcome, so it was a real pleasure to visit Shanagarry once again and introduce some 'hand-made' wines to the Cookery School 12 week certificate students. In front of a full class, the wines showed quite well and were well received.

The wines showed were:

Coste Piane Prosecco di Valdobbiadene ‘Naturale’

Valli Unite ‘Ciapé’ – Cortese – Colli Tortonesi DOC

Bodegas Menade, Rueda ‘Verdejo’

Cantina Tollo, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ‘Biologico’


Arianna Occhipinti, SP68 Rosso IGT Terre Siciliane

Many thanks to Darina, Colm and the team at Ballymaloe Cookery School for the opportunity to introduce these wines to the class, and indeed many thanks to the students for your attention and feedback, very best of luck with the exam next month!

Picture courtesy of Ketty of French Foodie in Dublin blog

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Food and Wine Magazine April 2014 - The Independents...

Raymond Blake writes about Le Caveau in this month's Food and Wine magazine:     
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Natural Wine Tasting at Ballymaloe Grain Store

Wine Tasting at Ballymaloe Grain Store Ballymaloe Grain Store was the venue for our ‘Real wines – Celebrating the Artisan growers’ presentation last Sunday. Pascal Rossignol of Le Caveau was joined by Eric Narioo  owner of Les Caves de Pyrene, a UK wine importer championing the cause of Natural wines and his wife Anna Martens, owner/winemaker of Mount Etna winery Vino di Anna.  Once again, we greatly appreciated the impeccable organisation of Ballymaloe, lead by sommelier Colm McCan and his team. Pascal (right) at the Ballymaloe Grain Store Natural Wine tasting night We presented 8 wines, each of them bursting with individuality, charm and life. Answering a question during the presentation Eric Narioo predicted that in 20 years, most wines would be produced naturally, given the overwhelming enthusiasm with which an entire new generation of winegrowers around the World are embracing these methods. The demand is certainly growing, with the ‘natural wine bar scene’ in major cities such as New York, London or Paris still in full swing and with more and more restaurants allowing greater space to Artisan wines on their lists. In effect, Natural wines may never replace conventional wines, but they certainly offer a brilliant alternative to wine drinkers in search of emotion and authenticity,  and as in the words of Patricia Nelson recently posted on Slow Food website
‘In the end, there is definitely room to accommodate both markets. Natural wines counter what seems to be increasing homogeneity, and it is heartening to see producers and retailers embracing craft practices while creating products that do not present an ever-pervasive sameness.’
Natural Wine Tasting at Ballymaloe Grain Store

Wines We Presented At Ballymaloe Grain Store

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Focus on natural wines

Natural wines, low intervention wines, artisan wines, real wines, call them what you will, truth is, we love them and can't get enough of them. From the winegrowers point of view, producing natural wines is as much a professional occupation as it is a way of life. What we like so much about them is that they truly reflect their plot of land, the grapes and their vintage. These wines feel alive, and they probably are since they come from vineyards free of any chemicals, with roots deeply implanted in life-bursting soils. In the winery, only the healthiest fruits made it to the vats, no excessive manipulations took place, natural, local yeasts were responsible for the fermentation, with an 'as long as it takes' approach, and no modern additives were used if only in some case, a dash of sulphur (so2) at bottling stage. Good natural wines will showcase fruit purity, energy and balance. Typically, they will have lower alcohol level, be flavour-ripe yet have a balancing natural acidity and/or tannins which make ideal food partners. Here is a list (far from exhaustive) of the natural wines you can find in our wine shop and website: Cascina Degli Ulivi, Bellotti Rosso – Dolcetto – Barbera Cascina Degli Ulivi, Bellotti Bianco Cortese Pierre and Catherine BRETON Bourgueil Trinch! Frantz Saumon, Montlouis Minérale + Pithon-Paillé, Anjou Blanc Mozaik Chenin Blanc Clos du Tue-Boeuf Cheverny rouge Clos des Grillons, Cotes du Rhone Blanc Gran Cerdo Tempranillo Alfredo Maestro Tejero, Vina Amalte – Castilla y Leon Adega Cachin, Peza do Rei, Ribera Sacra Coste Piane Prosecco di Valdobbiadene ‘Naturale’ Villalobos- The Wild Vineyards – Carignan Reserve Louis-Antoine Luyt, Cinsault ‘Quellu’ Bobar Syrah, Yarra Valley            
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LitFest 2013, Ballymaloe 3rd - 6th May 2013

This coming May Bank Holiday week-end, the Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine will bring some of the world’s best known chefs, critics, commentators, kitchen gardeners, foragers and wine experts to East Cork. The festival will be held at Ballymaloe House and Ballymaloe Cookery School. In addition to the usual festival activities (readings, talks, panel discussions) there will be demonstrations, tastings, producer visits, foraging expeditions, lunches and dinners. The objective of the Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine is to bring together a wide, varied and international group of cookery writers, journalists, bloggers and critics whilst also offering a varied programme for professional and non-professional food enthusiasts from Ireland and abroad. We are delighted to be involved in what promises to be one absolutely brilliant week-end! see the full list of events here: and the wine events here:  
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