Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring is coming - Time to book your tour!

Spring is coming in France (Alsace and Burgundy in our case) and Italy (Tuscany!Time to book a tour with us and enjoy life :)

Matinée traction animale 3ème édition - Pulling horses working in the vineyard

For the third year in a row mister Boris Kachelhofer and Jean Paul Schmitt wines in Scherwiller organised a "Pulling work-horse morning" in the wine fields. There were some 6 horses from different owners present.

By the way some winemakers really own a work horse to be used by themselves and some also rent them out to other wine makers.

Of course in the old days, before there were tractors, everybody had to use horses to plow and work in the dirt. But machines took over. In the philosophy of biodynamy the use of machines has many disadvantages. There are vibrations in the soil. There is the pollution of the exhaust fumes. Most important probably is sitting high on a machine that moves over the grapes, you cannot see well what you are doing from up there. The "feel" of the dirt and being close to the herbs and plants is very important. You could say that a biodynamic farmer/wine maker "reads" his land and the grapes.

It is amazing to see how well trained or actually I should say: how clever the horses are. My first notice was that the horsemen do not shout at the horses at all. On the contrary they talk in a soft calm manner with the animals. The horses of course understand "stop" and "go" but they also know when they have to go faster or for example pull. Then they know left and right or to go in a circle. Left and right can also be really one step to the side and then straight on again.

You could see that the horses often understood in which small corridor they had to go when they were directed in a certain direction..

Depending on the structure of the dirt and for example the angle the animals can work from a couple of hours to 5, 6 hours per day. Taking my photos and being close to them I could really hear them breathing hard, so 5 to 6 hours is amazing then.

Going uphill just with my camera I already felt my legs after a while. Imagine how these horses must feel at the end of a days work. They probably do not get a massage afterwards, although I am sure they are well taken care off.

 All and all it was very interesting to see again how much work it is to be a bio dynamic winemaker, also from this perspective.. Only logical that the prices from their products are a bit higher too.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Colmar celebrates Spring!
(Fête le Printemps).

From 7th to 23th April 2017, Colmar holds their fifth annual Spring festival : Colmar celebrates Spring (Fête le Printemps).

For us at JoliSoleil - JSwinetours it would be logical to offer you some wine tastings

and a walk around Colmar to see all this. So why not combine the best of both worlds?

A wonderful occasion to catch the first rays of sunshine in the enchanting atmosphere of old Colmar! This is a longstanding event in Colmar life. For two weeks, hens and chicks, ducks and sheep, and trout and carp come to town in a lovely bucolic setting. Colorful flowerbeds decorate the town squares. See little houses decorated by Colmar school children.

Two seasonal markets await you in Colmar’s emblematic squares, Place des Dominicains and Place de l’Ancienne Douane. 70 exhibitors sell traditional Easter objects and specialties. A whole range of Springtime products can be found.

Between the two markets, take a nice walk around, and discover the architectural richness of the town. Stroll down little cobblestone streets, admire timber frame homes, charming streams, quaint squares, and historical monuments. Colmar is full of well-kept treasures that are sure to win your heart.

As you stroll along, you’ll enjoy all sorts of fun and musical events to celebrate the return of Springtime: mini-farm, eagle show, egg hunt, barefoot path, boat rides, horse-drawn carriage rides, little train, outdoor concerts, and more!

Three major arts & crafts sales exhibitions at the Koïfhus
Coquilles d’art , Déclinaisons Textiles and Eclats de terre: three sets of creators selected for their excellence, their originality and their astounding craftsmanship present their works.

The Music & Cultur Festival
From swing jazz to classical, 14 concerts will be held at Colmar’s heritage sites (Saint-Matthieu’s Church, and the Catherinettes Hall).

Discover the programm (in french - in german)or mail us if you want more information in English..

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Looking back to 2016 en forward to 2017 !

Looking back to 2016: We did three exclusive more day tours in Tuscany
and numerous one and more day tours in Alsace and Burgundy.
We met so many interesting and sweet people again this year. Thank you all !

For the first time we shipped local wines in cooperation with IZIwine and Burgundy Online to mainly the USA but also to countries like Australia. More to come in 2017 with our WineClub.

Last but not least we did some great genealogy research (thanks to Terry Smits) and tours. Ancestry research brought us to Verdun, St Avold, numerous locations in Alsace and also to Germany.

"A bientot en 2017"
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