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Heart-to-heart

Murlin at Dionysos time

19 February 2024

The Charlois group has many customers all over the world, including Greece. A delegation spent a few days visiting Murlin and the group’s various sites in the Nièvre region.

 

Three days in France, including two full days in Nièvre to discover cooperage, of course, but also forestry and stave mill trades. The program was copious for a Greek delegation led by Katia Belli, Greek sales agent for Berthomieu-Ermitage cooperage, and Pierre Guillot, TBE sales agent.

 

 

Customers and wines

Four of Greece’s most prestigious and best-known estates, four estates that mature their wines in barrels made in Charlois, four estates committed to authenticity, know-how and transmission, four estates that enjoy seeing and understanding the wood from which their barrels are made. Four estates from different terroirs, growing both native and international grape varieties. Four estates which enjoyed discovering Murlin, Nièvre and its surroundings, from Saint-Martin-du-Puy, where Ateliers du Chêne is located, to Vézelay and Sancerre.

 

Dionysus, God of Wine

Greece and wine have a long history going back some 4,000 years BC, rooted in the culture of ancient Greece with its many mythological references to Dionysus, the God of Wine. Today, Greek viticulture is enjoying a second wind thanks to a new generation of passionate winemakers, including our visitors, who are focusing on producing quality wines combining tradition, know-how and modernity.

 

Berthomieu has a strong foothold in Greece

Berthomieu-Ermitage cooperage has a strong foothold in Greece: “We are fortunate to have some of the most prestigious estates on the peninsula among our Greek customers. The most historic, the largest, and estates that have undertaken to work with indigenous grape varieties,” explains Katia Belli, TBE sales agent in Greece. It’s important for them to discover Murlin, the forest where it all began, and how our barrels are made, not only those of TBE, but also those of our Manufacture Tonnelière La Grange”. A great way to appreciate the quality and rarity of oak as a raw material. For Pierre Guillot, TBE sales agent based in Bordeaux, “It’s important for us to ensure our customers come at least once to visit the Group’s facilities and different sites. Very often, they know us through our brands, barrels and related products for oenology”.

 

Meaning of visit

For our guests, in addition to the change of scenery, their stay in the Nivernais region was full of lessons and surprises. “It’s incredible, magical to see this forest, these trees over a hundred years old, from which we make barrels in which we mature our wines. This nature, these ancestral skills, people, welcome, meaning of visit. It was all perfect. What’s more,” says Katia Belli, “for Pierre and me, it’s also an opportunity to create special links between our customers and with our customers. They didn’t know each other before this trip, but now they do. And there’s no doubt that exchanges will continue. As is traditional, the tour ended with a tasting of wines, aged in oak barrels, of course. An opportunity to discover Greek wines, wines made from indigenous grape varieties brought up to date by the winemakers. Reds and whites grown in the various Greek regions, such as Agiorgitiko, an ancient red variety native to the Peloponnese.

 

Stéphane Ebel

 

 

Our visitors:

 

Domaine Skouras

This estate spans two regions: Arcadia and Nemea.

Arcadia is located in the heart of Peloponnese, home to Mantinia vineyards, whose main grape variety is Moscofilero. Mantinia surrounds the town of Tripoli and spreads over a plateau surrounded by mountains at an altitude of 650 meters. This is one of the coldest regions in Greece. Low temperatures mean a late harvest until end October, favoring the development of floral aromas with intense acidity.

Nemea is Greece’s most important wine-growing area. It stretches from Argolida to Corinthia. The main grape variety is Agiorgitiko, an ancient red variety native to the Peloponnese. This wine-growing area comprises 17 villages, forming a unique viticultural region with varying altitudes, soil types and microclimates.

 

Domaine Kir Yianni

Nestled on the edge of Mount Viermon, in the Amyntaio region, this estate is famous for being owned by the most historic family in Greek vineyards, the Boutari family. Stellio Boutaris is the fifth generation of winemakers to head the estate. Kir Yianni’s rich and varied soil is home to some of the finest Greek and international grape varieties. Xinomavro, one of the rarest (red) grape varieties in north-western Greece, Roditis (white), one of the oldest and most widespread Greek grape varieties, Magalusia (white), which almost disappeared in the 1970s, is now one of the most valuable indigenous varieties. Merlot, Syrah (red), Suavignon blanc and Chardonnay make up the international grape varieties grown on the estate.

 

Domaine Cavino

Cavino is located in Aigion, a small town in an exceptional region between land and sea, with a very special microclimate. The estate is unique in the way it produces both wines and spirits. For its wines, it uses mainly local grape varieties: Roditis, Lagorhi, Sidéritis, Agiorgitiko, Mavro Kalavrytino and the famous Mavrodaphni. International varieties are also used, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Riesling for whites, and Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet-Sauvignon for reds.

 

Domaine Muses Estate

This estate’s vineyards are located in the Muses Valley, a region ideal for viticulture with mild, wet winters and dry summers, with long periods of sunshine. The vineyards are located at an altitude of between 450 and 520 meters. The main grape varieties grown are Assyrtiko, Savatiano, Malagousia, Roditis, Robola and Trebbiano (autochthonous varieties), Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc. For reds: Merlot, Syrah and Grenache rouge.

 

 

Every year we welcome many visitors to Murlin. Mostly wine and spirits professionals, but also hotel and tourism professionals, pharmacists… They come to discover forest and oak, our trades and ancestral know-how: forestry, stave-making, cooperage. They come to discover our atypical wooden constructions and our cosmetics made with oak extracts, La Chênaie. In this series of reports entitled “Heart-to-heart”, we share with you the richness of these passionate encounters.

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