Maison Mirabeau WinesTasteWines and Spirits of ProvenceWinter in Provence

Why Winter at our Vineyard in Provence is Busy

Come December and January; it’s wintertime at Domaine Mirabeau. Even if we are in Provence and the days are generally quite warm here, the nights are chilly and drop to sub-zero temperatures. The trees and vines have lost their last leaves. While it’s time for nature to sleep and repose itself, we, the Domaine Team, are kept busy! Pascal, our Domaine Manager, prunes the vines – we have 14 hectares to keep him busy.

Why Prune?

Pruning is a severe but beneficial part of a grapevine’s life cycle.

The pruning looks harsh, but we know grapes grow on one-year-old wood. Buds on older branches yield leaves or shoots. So, we get rid of the old branches to get fruit on every branch in the next growing season.

Another pruning occurs during veraison (fruit ripening period) in the summer. This is where the grape bunches are thinned out so that all of the bunches will be well-nourished (and not exhaust the vine), so they won’t be too crowded together, allowing air to move freely around them and keep them healthy.

Wine Pro Tip: Grapevine branches are great for BBQing! If you live near a vineyard, ask them to save you some branches next time they prune so you can use them in your BBQ pit.

Some Winter Recipes

The Best Mulled Rosé Wine Recipe
One could say, this seasonal cocktail is back by popular demand! Following the many requests from its warm welcome at Covent Gardens last Christmas, we’re delighted to share the recipe for our mulled rosé wine. Great way to keep warm during these cold winter months. Santé everyone!
Check out this recipe
Mulled Rosé Wine Recipe
Provencal Lamb Daube ‘Gui Gedda’
This slow-cooked daube is just the thing for cold winter nights. These wonderful aromas wafting through your kitchen as tender lamb cooks gently in a rich, savoury rose and herb-infused broth. And if you have the willpower not to eat it right away, it truly is best made a day in advance and then reheated upon serving.
Check out this recipe
Provencal Lamb Daube Gedda
Braised Oxtail with Potato and Celeriac Purée
This dish is suitable for mid-winter chill, slow-cooked, and well-seasoned serve the braised oxtail with potatoes on the side.
Check out this recipe
Wintertime Braised Oxtail Stew
Squash Puree With Cumin
This puree is simple to prepare and a colourful fall/winter weather side dish. Serve with grilled meat or fish.
Check out this recipe
Squash Puree

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Maison Mirabeau Wine

Stephen had been in the corporate world for 15 years and in August 2008 turned down a promotion that would have meant more money but also more stress, longer hours and less time with his young family. For many years the Cronks had been dreaming and talking about moving to France to make their own wine, but the moment never seemed quite right to make the big leap.

Soon after, a good redundancy offer seemed the perfect opportunity to turn the dream into reality and after selling their beloved house, they left the leafy suburbs of south-west London in August 2009. Their worldly possessions were packed up on the back of a truck and with barely a word of French between them, the family headed south to a small village called Cotignac, in the heart of Provence.

The Cronks spent a year getting their bearings, learning to live the provençal way, as Stephen was criss-crossing the country researching and finding the best vineyards to work with. The next step was setting up a small wine business with the principle objective of making a Provence rosé that would be regarded as one of the very best from the region, while building a brand that people would grow to love. In order to achieve this aim, they put together a highly experienced winemaking team and threw their heart and soul into the brand and innovative communications with their customers. Mirabeau is now being sold in more than 30 markets, has won medals and earned acclaim from some of the world’s toughest wine critics, but what really makes Stephen happiest is that their wines are an integral part of people having a great time together.

Read more about the Mirabeau Wine story here.

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