Eva Reh of Domaine Bertagna

Slate Wine Club

MAY 13, 2021 • 5:00AM

Felix: [00:00:00] Hello, welcome to the slate wine club. I’m Felix salmon. And you may know me as the host of slate money or guide to the business and finance news of the week. But I am also as many slate money. Listeners will remember a bit of a wine lover. I like to drink wine, and I like to talk about wine and like to think about wine and.

Really underneath everything. I like the storytelling of wine. I really think that wine is about stories and memory and experiences and the idea of transporting yourself to a different place. These are the things that the heart of the. Slate wine club. It’s not about, you know, tasting notes and tannins and malolactic fermentation and micro oxygenation, and that kind of thing.

It’s about place and people and stories, and just getting to enjoy a variety of premium wines and learning about them from. These expert winemakers often who’ve been making wines, not just themselves, but in their families for hundreds of years. And these stories really helped me enjoy wine. They’ll help you enjoy wine.

But before we talk to today’s winemaker, you probably want to know why you should join the club and how to become a member of it. So as a slate wine club member, you will get expertly curated selections of premium wines made by some of the world’s. Best winemakers. Each shipment includes three bottles of unique high quality wines delivered right to your door.

And joining is easy. Just text slate, to eight seven eight, seven, seven, slate that’s SLA T E to eight seven eight seven seven seven. Five two eight, three once you receive of your wines. You’ll be able to sip each one while listening to an interview with the talented winemaker who crafted it. And that’s exactly what we’re doing today with Eva Ray she’s a German. She was born in the Mozel. Literally grew up sipping and spitting Reisling, but moved to burgundy to make some of the greatest wines in the world. White burgundies right now, we’re going to be drinking her 2018. Hautes Cotes de Nuits Blanc, which is a fantastic wine, but it’s pretty much about as young as eva rey’s wines.

Get it. Great. This designed to be drunk young, even though it was three years old, but as you’ll hear white burgundy, you can get very old and very special. So this could be a fantastic introduction to one of the great wines of the planet.

Eva Ray, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and telling us all about your now I’m going to say this with great excitement. White burgundy.

Eva: Yeah, you know white burgundies well?

Felix: I wish I knew it better. It’s the one part of the world that I always want to drink more of.

Eva: [00:03:00] It’s probably the best wine for the acidity for the profondeur. Well also having, especially the Pinot noir, having a baby do not take sip patch. It’s a surprise, which changes all the time, doing the venification process in the bottle as well.

So it’s complex vitality, the Pinot noir, especially, and the Chardonnays in Burgundy is only. So beautiful because it has a wonderful soul,, beautiful limestones, and it’s grown in one of the most beautiful places on the world.

Felix: [00:03:34] country is always beautiful, but burgundy is particularly beautiful.

There were only really two grapes in burgundy. There’s pinot for the reds and Chardonnay for the whites. But this is not the Chardonnay that American drinkers think of when they think of Chardonnay.

Eva: [00:03:52] I mean, America has beautiful Chardonnays as well, but I think the styles are quite different and the way the vines are made at different

Felix: [00:03:59] probably too is, as we said, a 2018 is three years old. Most of your other whites, you would generally recommend drinking a bit older than that.

Eva: [00:04:08] Well, it’s a very difficult question Felix, because it depends, which country you come from. Some people generally like younger vines. If you would go to England to Japan, they would be shocked to drink that after four or five years You know.  it’s really a question of taste. So I personally enjoy my wine when they still have some freshness and I can enjoy the fruits. So I prefer to start after perhaps six years with the vines, from the Cotes de Nuits.

Felix: [00:04:36] You see, this is where my English roots is showing. My grandfather was a big wine buyer in England, in the sixties and seventies.

And I think that’s where I got my love for older wines. Some people call me a necrophiliac when it comes to wines. I liked them very old, but, but this one, I like my wine’s fresh. I’ve just for a bit of this, so I can try and work out what you’re talking about here and try and understand a little bit about the uniqueness of white burgundy, and how it’s just like no other wine on the planet, even though it is made from probably the most ubiquitous grape on planet earth to you get chardonney pretty much. Everywhere.

Eva: [00:05:20] Absolutely. I think because chardonnay is relatively easy to adapt to different soils. Chardonnays also a wine which goes with so much different food.

Felix: [00:05:30] But me about yourself. I’m hearing that you are not French.

Eva: [00:05:34] No, actually my famil is from Germany, from the Mosel Valley . We are wine growers for Reisling.

Felix: [00:05:40] I mean, if you’re in the Mosel, that’s what you grow is Reisling, right?

Eva: [00:05:44] Riesling, exactly. But we also had a negotiation and during the second war, wine was very important for the soldiers. So the vintners were mostly able to stay home so that there was enough wine for the soldiers.

Felix: [00:05:56] Love this story so much. Because it’s so gloriously European, when the world went to war and it was the most terrible time in European history, that the one thing that you really needed to make sure kept on going was the wine production. And if you’re a winemaker, you didn’t need to become a soldier because you had something more important to do.

Eva: [00:06:17] There’s a fantastic book called Wines and War. It’s a really amazing book about different stories of different wine families for how they tried to hide the wines from the soldiers and how they closed down some parts of the celler or put the wines into lakes. And then finally the labels were swimming off so after the second war my grandfather was going on with the Negocion, but to also bought some simple table wines in France and the company he used to work with was in burgundy and he really fell in love with burgundy, but the bank had to side with a different way of wine-making and of course, of the lifestyle, the French lifestyle, and then he had the possibility to buy his first vineyards in Chambolle-Musigny in 1954.That was very early. Then my father had the same love for this beautiful spot, and we had the chance to buy Domaine Bertagna in 1982.

Felix: [00:07:16] And do you still have the vineyards in Chambolle-Musigny?

Eva: [00:07:19] We still do. Yeah. You know that vineyard turns 100 year next year.

Felix: [00:07:23] SO you are the  the third generation of your family to farm these fields and make this wine in Burgundy. And then going back to the Mosul that goes back, how far?

Eva: [00:07:34] five generation. Yeah. A little bit longer.

Felix: [00:07:36] Is the climate roughly the same in the Mosul and in Burgundy?

Eva: [00:07:39] Germany is cooler. It gets really hot in summer time and there’s a lot of humidity. And if you look at all the pictures, come this part, you can see there used to be loads of flakes, so the water level is very high. The other thing in Burgundy, which is really interesting are the cellars and never made deep. Because of the water level being so high, which is really good for the balance. Cause we have a lot of humidity in the cellar, but you also have a lot of humidity outside. You just get out of the shower in summer and then the water, into the shower again.

Felix: [00:08:10] Does it still get cool at night or does it stay hot in the summer?

Eva: [00:08:15] At the moment, I don’t know. This year we have really bad frost damage.

Felix: [00:08:17]  This year has been terrible, right?

Eva: [00:08:21] I’ve been there for 33 years and I’ve never seen anything like that ever before for the white wine. Never, ever, it was going to be very little chardonnay, so enjoy your bottle Felix.

Felix: [00:08:29] Well enjoy the 20 eighteens and the 20 nineteens because the 2020 ones are going to be like, hen’s teeth. If you can find them at all, you literally grew up in the cellars, right. Making these wines surrounded by these wines.

Eva: [00:08:42] Yeah. I grew up on the Mosel. That was actually really wonderful. And you could see All year long people working in the vineyards. And I think one of my favorite experience at that time is at the end of the school day because my family home was outside of the village. I needed to wait till my father finished work. So I loved running around the cellar and asking everybody, what are you doing now? What are you doing now, why are you doing this? So I was about six, seven years into the next step, actually, Felix, we already had our own wine classes when we were very small. They were tiny little classes. So we could try, we were only allowed to try something. We had to spit it out.

Felix: [00:09:22] I feel like that’s the right age to start drinking Reisling.

Eva: [00:09:25] I think it’s a perfect age to try, not to start drinking,

Felix: [00:09:29] TO develop a taste. Of course you have a vineyard dog.

Eva: [00:09:35] Oh yes. Pino is the name of the dog he’s mostly pinot blanc. he can get pinot gris at the end of the day during the harvest he’s pinot noir.

Felix: [00:09:45] I love the idea of him getting out in the field Becoming pinot noir. that’s just the most glorious vision. One of the questions I’ve been asking everyone on this podcast is, is white burgundy the best wine in the world? Yes or no.

Eva: [00:10:03] it’s probably the best one on the galaxy. It’s really complex. And very elegant, and the pinot noir is definitely something very unique because it’s a very grape. It’s a grape who changes. All the time stays with his main character, which comes from the soul. You know, we have some vines, we have more character of spices, have a flavor or a tropical flavors, which have had nearly every year probably specific. So, but during that time in the glass, or they have a time where they’re close and then they have a time where is particularly open up.

And you open a glass, we get some wine into the glass and it gives you a first feeling. Then you wait a little bit and then you try your second dip and you think, Oh, wow, this is now, completely different than before and it’s opening up and it’s showing all the potential. So that’s, I think that makes our wines really special.

Felix: [00:10:54] And Mosel Riesling would be number two.

Eva: [00:10:58] Oh, Mosel Riesling is the second best wine in the world.

Felix: [00:11:07] Thank you again to Eva Ray for joining us today and for telling us all about her amazing white burgundy. If you’re not a member of the slate wine club already, joining is easy. Just text slate, to eight, seven, eight. Seven seven seven five two eight three to set up your first shipment and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying premium wines.Like the 2018 white burgundy. We just tasted not to mention developing a better appreciation for the expert winemakers who fill our glass.