Looking for a Provence Boot Camp Try Extreme Wine
Serious athletes often push their physical boundaries to new extremes; climbing higher mountains, running longer distances, or entering Navy Seal inspired team-relays on muddy courses…
Now, serious wine buffs can compete too!
Connoisseurs who are looking to close their personal “wine gap” by moving beyond buying familiar labels and ‘trusted’ regions can enter their own boot camp in Provence – Extreme Wine.
June 2015 will mark the 8th year that the Chêne Bleu Extreme Wine five-day course is held at Domaine de la Verrière in Crestet. Domaine de la Verrière is a family run and operated vineyard with luxurious accommodation and technology-enabled meeting space perfectly suited to the attendees of Extreme Wine.
The instructors Clive Barlow MW and Nick Dumergue have a combined 50-years of wine-industry knowledge. The program registration accommodates a maximum of 14 students, and no previous training required. During the course, the group is fully engrossed in wine, wine, and more wine. At the end of the fifth day, each student is encouraged to take the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 equivalency exam. It is a multiple-choice test of the knowledge gained during the concentrated training week.
Executive Director Karen Glennon tells me that the Extreme Wine course has consistently beaten the global average pass rate for the WSET programs. It is a fact that she is not only proud of but attributes to the structure of this immersion program.
Thus far, students of Extreme Wine have come from many parts of the globe as individuals and sometimes as couples, but always with the goal of improving their wine knowledge. Often attendees feel that they would like to improve their skills in wine and food pairing, in selecting from a restaurant menu, in understanding wine value for money and a host of other reasons. At the end of the week, they leave with improved skills in all areas, a WSET certificate and some lasting friendships with kindred spirits.
- Day One – Wine tasting summary, wines of the world, how to taste
- Day Two – How to taste on your own and putting it into practice
- Day Three – Vineyard tour, understanding terroir, soil PH, vine varietals
- Day Four – Visit a Châteauneuf–du-Pape vineyard
- Day Five – Pulling it all together
In between, all the concentrated classroom time, glass-laden tasting tables, and oenophile discussion are gourmet meals prepared by Domaine de la Verrière chef Fabrice Leclaire. Each locally sourced meal is designed to work specifically with the wine tasting selections from that day. Dining is al fresco; Provencal weather permitting.
The week is intense, deliberate and punctuated with fun.
Have you ever played “call my wine bluff?”
Have you ever met a master winemaker in person?
Have you ever had a presentation by a global fine spirits distiller?
Ready to sign-up? Here are the details of the Extreme Wine program.
Image credits: All images provided by and published with the permission of la Verrière’s Chêne Bleu Extreme Wine