Âllo, âllo, Bonjour! Spring may be on its way, but during February this place isn’t exactly a font of news that could be compared to the north of Africa at the moment.
Trending topics for this month are: sleeping wine, a leaking roof and cake-eating birds.

New wine in new barrels

The wine from the harvests of 2009 and 2010 is sleeping peacefully in her new barrels made from French oak. The old barrels are ready to be picked up bya Scottish whiskymaker. Every year we renew 30% of our barrels and sell the old ones.


For a video click on the image to the left



Men of steel, hearts of gold

Such an intermission in the wine battle offers the opportunity to point our focus elsewhere. For example on the roof of the tractor shed that has been leaking for ages. Our men Frédérick and Phillipe don’t make a big fuss about it: they simply tear off all the roof tiles and slam a new roof onto it.

After the attempts at helping have been politely yet decisively declined, little else remains for the wineboer than to take his leave. A prime opportunity to inspect a golden tip: an island where you can supposedly find the best wine in the world. Allez, on y va!

In search of the best wine in the world


Compared to the age of the earth our destination is still quite young. It was created out of a magma spring at the bottom of the sea just of the coast of North Africa, which kept spewing lava for millions of years and thusly created a red glowing mountain. Recently, well relatively anyway about 5000 years ago, the volcano calmed down. 2000 years later the first mainland inhabitants sailed over and carefully set foot on the still tepid land.


Through a miracle it managed to stay hidden for centuries after that. While in Europe no one batted an eye at a powdered wig, the technology of printing or gunpowder, the volcano inhabitants lived, separated from the rest of the world, still in caves, gnawing on turnips, scratching themselves slowly with a shard of a pot.
It wasn’t rediscovered until the 15th century when the Spaniards happened upon it. They called it Gran Canaria, aka 'The island of eternal spring'.


On this molehill of petrified lava of 600 square miles,
there is according to Nasa the best climate in the world.
Perhaps they also have… the best wine in the world?
We packed our bags


Two thousand years of evolutionary lag is fist notice in the kitchen; the local cuisine is still at caveman level. The most popular dish consists of a plate filled with tubers covered in volcano coloured drab, but ai ai ai caramba! Is that ever so delicious!   D The Spanish cuisine is like the country: rugged, scrawny, shiftless, but one of delicious earthliness. Especially when its accompanied by a sturdy bottle rioja.
For starters we could torture-test teeth and stomach lining with raw garlic, tomatoes which could very well have been petrified along with the island all those years ago and dry bread, to dunk in a well-rounded 'Mojo' spread pronounced as 'Moggo'. This bowl was also returned without any evidence of former content. The evening slid by like a shadow over the water.

In the sixties civilization arrived on Gran Canaria. Which opened the possibility of the consumption of a ‘Breakfast’; a series of greasy dishes which would give the average cardiologist an instant heart attack.  

These days the island is inhabited by tourists.
Strangely enough they seem to take over the habits of the cavemen, which manifests itself in the dress code; the ruling tenue de ville is a bare beer belly.

For the lower half of the body on the other hand they opt for a dressed ventilation-shoe.

The ages of most of the locals we still have to figure out.
On the local market we find a variable supply of Nordic walking sticks, the sporty walking stick, which makes strolling over the boulevard so much easier.
  On this island Holland’s worst fear has become reality: an occupier who doesn’t leave. The original language isn’t Spanish, but indeed: the language that sounds like you’re trying to swallow a mouth full of rusty razorblades...

Oh well, the wineboer sacrifices himself. Under the parasol we have a plate of fried squids, a mountain of raw unions, bread smeared with garlic and a tub of Moggo. Extraordinarily pleasant to wash away with half a bottle of Marqués de Cáceres blanco. after which we went, with an energy as if we ate a bar of krypton,
to work.

With suitable malicious pleasure (the newspaper indicates the Dutch weather with the C for Crap weather), we hire simple accommodation and start our search for the best wine in the world.



  Cliquez ici to continue and a video  

Bribery, nesting instinct and inebriation

The steady volume growth of the amount of corks, screw caps, labels and other wine garnishings make the wineboer an attractive prey for suppliers. Last Christmas this manifested itself in a satisfying collection of gifts from eager merchants. But what to do with a bribe-Panettone which we got from a Sicilian bottle merchant!?

  As always concerned with the fate of everything that crawls, swarms or flies, the wineboer puts together, with the lid of case of wine and 2 wires an ‘Ile volante’ and offers Panettone to his flying chateau mates.

This was not long without consequences. Swiftly the birds, mainly the French Mésanges charbonnières, started to converge on this Grand Cru among fat balls.

One of the bon vivants even wanted to settle ‘En permanence’. After a while when the animals started to show strange flight patterns, we googled the recipe for Panettone and much to our surprise it appeared that the every greedily eaten raisins in the cake had been soaked for a long time in Grappa. We didn’t want to expose our birds to that! Quickly we removed our gift from its shelf.

That however didn’t go down well. Indignantly the cheekiest of the bird came to the castle window to file a complaint. It almost seemed like he was twittering: 'Panettone! Panettone!' but that could have been our imagination.

Allez, Heartely Santé et à la prochaine!






Slurp! 2
€ 14,95 in the bookstore.
Or order here in our SlurpShop!