Philippe Menguy, Bollinger Champagne

Founded in 1829, Champagne Bollinger is still 100% family owned today. Bollinger is one of the last family houses in Champagne, and this is what allows for the uncompromising choice on behalf of quality and style that offers wine-lovers something different and unique. They produce the vintage Vieille Vignes Françaises, Grand Année and R.D. as well as the non-vintage Special Cuvée. Founded in 1829 in Aÿ by Hennequin de Villermont, Paul Renaudin and Jacques Bollinger the house continues to be run by members of the Bollinger family. Bollinger Champagnes are affectionately known as “Bolly”.When 007 can tear himself away from Vodka Martini’s, he turns to Bollinger.
 “I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it—unless I’m thirsty.” Lilly Bollinger.
Out thanks to Ken Kinsella and Adrian McAleer of Findlater Wine and Spirit Group, for organising this visit, and our special thanks once again to all at Findlaters for their continuing sponsorship of the prize, which includes Bollinger Champagne, for the wine exam of the 12 week certificate course.
Photograph – Philippe Menguy, Ken Konsella, Adrian McAleer and Darina

Australian and French wine morning

We had a  great wine morning with John McDonnell of Wine Australia fame  (also please see the feature article on John and Wine Australia in The Sunday Business Post, 28 February 2010 ) and also Pascal Rossignol of Le Caveau, Kilkenny  (Pascal is originally from near Gevry-Chambertin, Burgundy). The students were treated to a masterclass in Wine Australia from John and a masterclass from Pascal, featuring the wines of Burgundy, Rhone Valley and the South-West of France, with some fascinating comparative tastings of Australian and French wines. Our very special thanks, once again, to John and Pascal for their fantastic on-going wine presentations to the students of the Ballymaloe Cookery School 12-week certificate course.

Pascale Rey, Domaine des Graves d’Ardonneau, Premieres Cotes de Blaye, Bordeaux
We were delighted to welcome Pascale Rey to the school where she gave a presentation and tasting to the students. The students tasted two wines with Pascale.

Domaine des Graves d’Ardonneau Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc
Domaine des Graves d’Ardonneau Premier Cotes de Blaye Cuvee Prestige
In 1973, Simon and Huguette Rey believed in the quality of their land and their wines, and they have made Domaine des Graves of Ardonneau an area spearhead Premieres Cotes de Blaye, collecting medals and awards in the guides.
A true family estate, the Domaine des Graves of Ardonneau now meets three generations on the operating Christian who joined his parents and his wife Pascale in 1982 before their children – Lawrence, who studied oenology and Fanny – do not take part in turn in the adventure. Together they work to develop quality wines, combining tradition and technology innovations.
The estate, which has grown over the years, now comprises about fifty acres, mostly planted with merlot and sauvignon.
Our thanks to David Dennison, David Dennison Fine Wines, Waterford, for organizing this visit.
The Wine Vault, High Street, Waterford, Ireland.
Tel – 051 853777 Fax – 051 853874
e- mail :
web :
Photo attached – Pascale Rey, David Dennison, Darina and Colm