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Garage Chateaux, small producers of great wines

London-Cru

Garage Chateaux, small producers of great wines

London Cru has put the spotlight on a new trend, the urban wineries – garage wineries with small artisanal productions of excellent wines

London-Cru

London-Cru

Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Forget about the granddads vinifying their friends’ grapes in demijohns. Here we are not talking about simple every day wines for families. The garage winery is the place where great wine lover’s dreams come true: this is a person who spends whole nights on wine blogs, who travels hundreds of miles to take part in exclusive wine tastings, who as a present requests a bottle of Petrus for their 40th birthday and puts their snap taken at Romanée Conti on their home page. In other words one who wishes to make the perfect wine with his own hands but cannot buy a winery worth 10 million euro.

So that is why our wine lover builds his cellar beneath his home, and fills it with

london_cru- grape selection

london_cru- grape selection

all the best apparatus: he buys excellent grapes, one or two egg shaped cuvee (decidedly up-to-the-minute) for vinifying, and the barriques or tonneaux of the best brands for the ageing… maybe a pump, but nothing more….a small amount of technology and a lot of manual skills required. The results are often very good and allow our amateur wine maker to give 800 bottles of his wine to his friends.

There are also those who do things on a larger scale such as London Cru (see a lovely article in Enoiche Illusioni) who has 4 cement vats containing

London-Cru-vinification

London-Cru-vinification

Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon coming from Languedoc-Roussillon and, Barbera coming from the province of Cuneo.
The images of the cellar in the heart of the British capital have gone around the world creating a lot of curiosity, especially from the cockneys who had never before had the opportunity of visiting a winery. A mass participation for the selection of the grapes and the vinification, a real party. And the London Cru is not an isolated case, there are other garage wineries in Williamsburg, New York, Vancouver and Portland…
Sometimes the micro-productions can be the spark for something more structured and are useful to the grape grower to progress towards a real cellar, but, in most cases it remains amateurish. In other words the garage wines phenomenon is on the increase: there are in fact the first consultant wine makers, who offer their services for the vinification and ageing, there is a rating of the best 10 urban wineries in America, and finally there is a competition for bottles from amateur winemaking .

So go ahead, if you really are wine lovers, have a go, it will be a wonderful experience.