Black Saturday and White grapes: The insider’s guide to a Brit’s French holiday.

Black Saturday is traditionally the first Saturday in August and is the day to avoid travelling on major French roads as it coincides with ‘Les jours de grand depart’…or not, as is often the case. This year the dreaded day is Saturday 4th August although you are advised to avoid travelling on any Saturday from late July through August and if you must, choose a day mid-week or Sunday.

The places to avoid are around Paris, of course, but also routes south from Lyon and Bordeaux. A helpful web-site for planning your route and when to travel can be found at: Bison-fute

Once you get there you’re likely going to want a glass or two of the local wine so here is a little aide memoire courtesy of The Wine Cellar Insiderwhich we think will be helpful when translating the labels. Remember in France the label does not always tell you the type of grape usually only the region!

Appellation – AOC defined area where the grapes were grown in.

Centenaire – Produced from grapes grown on vines more than 100 years of age.

Cru – A wine, chateau or vineyard that has been classified.

Cru Classe – Vineyard that has been classified.

Domaine – Similar to chateau, a place where the wine was made.

Grand Cru – A higher level of classification. The term Grand Cru takes on different meanings, depending on the region or AOC law.

Grand Cru Classe en 1855 – Specific to Bordeaux showing the chateau was classified in the 1855 Medoc Classification.

Grand Vin – The best wine from a producer.

Millesime – The vintage the grapes were harvested in.

Negociant – The wine was bottled by the negociant and was probably produced from purchased grapes or wine.

Premier Cru – A wine of First Growth status.

Premier Grand Cru Classe – A wine of First Growth status.

Proprietaire – Owner of the chateau or vineyard.

Recoltes – A wine made from estate grown grapes that is usually of high quality.

Vieilles Vignes – Old Vines

Vigneron – The owner, grape grower or vineyard manager.

Photo: NDTV Food

August 3, 2018 11:55 am

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