News letter Juillet 2011

ORDRE DES CHEVALIERS BRETVINS BAILLIAGE DE LA GRANDE BRETAGNE

Grand Maitre : JEAN-MARIE LORÉ Bailli de la Grande Bretagne : JOHN CUNYNGHAME From : Chancelier : Gerald Alfille, Wyck Cottage, Woods Green, Wadhurst, East Sussex TN5 6QS Tel : 00 44 18 92 78 27 39. e-mail ga@interactpartners.co.uk

NEWSLETTER Juillet 2011

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

Bailliage de la Grande Bretagne. Chapter Thursday 17th November 2011 Our autumn chapter will be at the Oriental Club, Stratford House, 11 Stratford Place, London W1C 1ES (just off Oxford Street) Cost of £99 per person to include 4 course banquet, all drinks for the reception, dinner and digestifs. Your booking form to be returned to our Maitre de la Monnaie is at the end of this newsletter. We do hope members will do their utmost to attend our one and only formal bailliage function in the year. Guests are welcome and as previously explained, for those under 35 years of age there is a 50% reduction in cost for attendance (£49.50 each)

Guernsey Bailliage 10th Anniversary Chapter 23rd – 25th September

A very exciting program has already been circulated to our members. It would be good if we could send a delegation to represent our Bailliage. For those that have mislaid the program here is a brief synopsis :- Friday evening a Friends of Muscadet dinner. Saturday chapter on Herm Island with Bretvin parade, etc. and lunch on the Island. That evening Bretvins dinner on Guernsey. Sunday a parade in St. Peter Port followed by lunch then departures. The cost for the whole weekend (excl hotel) is around £200 per person, but as each event is costed separately you can chose what you wish to attend. Accommodation has been reserved at the Cobo Bay Hotel and The Farmhouse hotel (both same company) Apparently good deals are available for travel and hotels through your travel agent

Golden Bottle Celebration of the GOLDEN BOTTLE will take place this year on Sunday October 9th, at CHATEAU THEBAUD, in the heart of Sèvres et Maine area. This burrough is awarded with the Golden Bottle for the 7th time.

Bailliage visit to Piemonte June 2011 I can now report to our confrères that we had a highly successful trip to Piedmont, one of the Italian regions most suited for high quality wines. Our group of 26, thirteen chevaliers and their wives fitted well into a small bus ideal for negotiating the narrow roads in the area. By luck or good fortune we selected the Hotel Castello di Sinio for our accommodation over the 4 days of our trip. It really was a lovely “Castello” beautifully converted and the owner-cum-chef and her staff did their utmost to ensure we had a memorable stay. ….as ever in remote parts of mainland Europe the “plumbing” sometimes leaves much to be desired…enough said on that subject !! We had 2 dinners at our hotel ; first and last nights….both gastronomic 6 course meals accompanied by good local wines. Those with that little bit more stamina, sat out after dinners under the stars on the terrace with the odd grappa …or two !! Our Bailli organised 2 excellent vineyard visits. Our first visit on the Friday was to the winery of Michele Chiarlo…I say winery because our visit was restricted to his modern wine-making facilities at his estate, and the vineyards could not be visited dues to heavy rain the previous day. We had the pleasure, and privilege, of having Michele Chiarlo himself who came out of semi retirement to welcome the Bretvin group. This was thanks to our Bailli who knows Michele well being a current supplier to Hallgarten. The head office site had an impressive bottling plant which we passed on our way to the winery …rows and rows of oak barrels and stainless steel fermentation vessels. Michel spoke about his enterprise with pride and passion. The estates are now being managed by the fourth generation of the Chiarlo family. After an extensive wine tasting such as Barbera D’Asti, Barbaresco and the mighty Barolo, we moved into the dinning room for a light lunch of 4 courses….naturally accompanied by the estate wines. We returned to our hotel for a quick change before going to the small town of Barolo where we visited a rather unusual wine museum call Wi-Mu. There were mixed feelings about Wi-Mu with opinions ranging from ….futuristic…a new way of presenting the heritage of wine…not what you expect from a museum….boring !! But it did stimulate conversation !! Then on to a small local restaurant where we were treated to a dinner … this time only nine courses plus coffee and Barolo ad lib. Saturday we visited the Sartirano estate to be welcomed by Paolo Sartirano. A truly charming man who went into great detail to explain the visual difference of the grape varieties and the effects of local soil conditions had on the eventual character of the wines he produces. The views over his vineyards were stunning. Most of our group said that they learnt more about the vine and wine production on that visit than on any of our previous jaunts abroad. As ever we saw his bottling plant that was not in production that day due to it being a Saturday…then on to the winery with numerous stainless steel fermentation vats which can be seen in the photos in this newsletter. Paolo explained everything in such detail which helped to make us more informed about the great wines from Barolo and Barbaresco which, after all was the purpose of organising the visit to that region. Paolo laid on a wonderful lunch on a terrace overlooking a lake. Lunch was accompanied with abundant selection of his estate wines. Again, we were being so well entertained that after the wonderful lunch in a wonderful setting we decided to curtail our afternoon program and restrict it to just visiting Alba. It is considered the capital of the hilly area of Langhe, and is famous for its white truffle, peach and wine production and hazlenuts which is why the confectionery group Ferrero is based in Alba. Several of our group purchased fresh whole white truffles…not sure how many euros per gram, but well worth sharing with only your best friends !! That evening we walked to the local pizzeria where we were treated to ginormous pizzas sloshed down with local caraf wine….a far cry from the “casrello” gastronomic menu. On the Sunday we did what good Bretvins should do…met up with members of the Savona Bailliage in Carcare a town just north of Savona. The day was organised by Dame de la Duchesse Ann Monique Casseville. We were seeing the sights of Caracre when we were stopped by a young man who introduced himself as the “representitive of the town Mayor” who had been specially sent to welcome the “delegation of British Bretvins” to Carecare. In the srteet we had a welcome speech in Italian translated by the wife of a Savona chevalier….we felt really privaledged to be greeted in such a sincere manner. At one stage of our 7 course lunch we had ravioli (fantastic) followed by spaghetti (still more fantastic). Monday return home. Coach drive to Turin with just an hour or so to see some of the sights of this very elegant city then on to lunch at a “Slow restaurant” The “Slow” movement was started in Piedmont as a wine and food association to combat the spread of “Fast Foods” Its aim is to support the enjoyment of eating and local culture ie using only local ingredients. There are now some 60,000 Slow Food restaurants worldwide with many in the UK. From lunch then to the airport ATTACHED ARE WINES FROM THE 2 VINEYARDS WE VISITED. AVAILABLE TO OUR BAILLIAGE FROM HALLGARTEN AT HIGHLY DISCOUNTED PRICES !!

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