If you don't go to France, France will come to you.
Discover the wine & food news, fresh from France and waiting for you to taste.
International Chardonnay Day
25 May 2017
Chardonnay Day is a worldwide celebration of the Chardonnay grape variety and the wines made from it. Few regions express the notion of ‘wine civilization’ as well as Burgundy.
There, wine is the bedrock of tradition and skills handed down through the generations.
In Burgundy, from Chablis to Mâcon, winemakers and merchants await, ready to share a convivial moment.
Maison Vauron wishes you a great Chardonnay Day!
Cannes Film Festival 2017: It’s ON!
Cannes - 17-28 May 2017
For the next 10 days, the French Riviera will vibrate to the rhythm of the Cannes Film Festival, the worlds most prestigious and glamourous film gathering. The 70th edition starts this Wednesday 17 May 2017, and there is much to look forward to, from the line-up of films that will be screened, to the appearances and looks of Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities on the red carpet.
Under the presidency of the Spanish director, screenwriter and producer Pedro Almodóvar, the Jury will select from among the films in competition. The winners will be announced on Sunday 28th May at the Closing Ceremony, following which the Palme d’Or will be awarded for each category.
Emmanuel Macron - France's 25th president
Celebration at The Louvre, Paris - 7 May 2017
Independent candidate Emmanuel Macron will be the next president of France after beating his far-Right rival Marine Le Pen in the final round of the French election on Sunday. The former banker stepped down as the Minister of Economy and Finance last year to start his En Marche! (Onward!) movement, emerging from an 11-candidate field to become modern France’s first president from a nonestablishment party.
The 39-year-old former investment banker, who served for two years as economy minister under Hollande but has never previously held elected office, will become France's youngest leader since Napoleon. Vive la France!
Devastating frost strikes France
Bordeaux, Champagne, Loire, Languedoc... Overnight of 26-27 April 2017
Cold weather struck France's young vine buds again this week, and Bordeaux is the latest region to suffer frost damage. Many are calling it the worst frost since 1991, as temperatures dropped to nearly -5°C in some spots.
“It’s a severe frost-freeze event – all areas had been badly hurt. The damage ranged from 20% to 100 % in the most exposed areas”, said Allan Sichel, President of the Bordeaux Committee (CIVB). To limit the impact of cold, the winemakers used all possible means, including candles, heaters and even the down-draught from helicopters to try to save crops.
Champagne and Burgundy have also been hit by plummeting temperatures. “All areas of the Champagne are hit to very varying degrees,” said Thibaut Le Mailloux from the Champagne Committee (CIVC) industry group. It’s the same situation for the Languedoc vineyards where losses of 20.000 hectares are being forecast, especially in Corbières, Minervois and Cabardès vineyards. Touraine, Alsace and Jura are as much as concerned.
The whole French vineyard is clearly concerned by the frost. It is going to take some time to determine the full extent of the loss suffered by all the winemakers due to the frost. Unfortunately, the harvest of 2017 will not be abundant, but the winemakers will mobilize all their energy and resources to ensure that the little wine they produce is exceptional in quality.
Do you know why we eat chocolate at Easter?
Everyone knows the joy felt of a mountain of chocolate you can finally unwrap and dig your teeth into, but have you ever thought about why we eat chocolate at Easter?
Lot of us may chomp on chocolate eggs at Easter, but originally eating eggs was not allowed by the Christian church during the week leading up to Easter (known as Holy Week). So any eggs laid that week were saved and decorated to make them 'Holy Week eggs', then given to children as gifts.
Why are Easter eggs made of chocolate? Chocolate Easter eggs were first made in Europe in the early 19th century, with France and Germany taking the lead in this new artistic confectionery. Some early eggs were solid, as the technique for mass-producing moulded chocolate had not been devised. The production of the first hollow chocolate eggs must have been painstaking, as the moulds were lined with paste chocolate one at a time. As chocolate-making techniques improved, hollow eggs like the ones we have today were developed. They very quickly became popular and remain popular today.
What's the Easter Bunny then? The story of the Easter Bunny is thought to have become common in the 19th century. Rabbits usually give birth to a big litter of babies (called kittens), so they became a symbol of new life. Legend has it that the Easter bunny lays, decorates and hides eggs as they are also a symbol of new life. He doesn't do all the work alone though. In Switzerland, Easter eggs are delivered by a cuckoo, and by a fox in parts of Germany.
Happy hunting everyone!
French chocolates & candies (& much more in store!)
The Food Show - New Zealand's top consumer culinary event
Christchurch 7-9 April 2017 / Auckland 27-30 July
Every year, tens of thousands of people flock to The Food Show in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. The Food Show connects smart exhibitors with thousands of dedicated foodies to experience first-hand the latest and most delicious food and drink, test-drive innovative new devices and appliances, and witness world-class demonstrations and classes.
This year Maison Vauron was represented in the Christchurch Food Show by our unique cheesemonger Gilles Mereau and South Island’s sales rep Pierik Herruel. Rendez-vous in Auckland on 27-30 July for the next Food Show! Bring a friend or the family and embark on a culinary adventure like no other.
Photo : Gilles, Pierik & Nicolas © Maison Vauron
Easter! Let’s celebrate chocolate!
14-17 April 2017
Each autumn, Easter comes with its colourful eggs and chocolate bunnies, bells, hens and other yummy creations. Each year, the most famous French ‘Chef Patissier’ such as Cyril Lignac, Laurent Jeannin, Patrick Paillier, Christophe Michalak and many more, let their imagination run wild to create the most amazing Ester chocolates, so unique that they would bear comparison with works of art.
Photo : Le Bristol, un oeuf délicieusement poëtique. Par Laurent Jeannin.
Kiwi Jason Rosen has won the Rhumbellion Final!
Some very exciting international news as Jason Rosen from Revelry and Mea Culpa cocktail bar on Ponsonby Road takes out the 2017 Trois Rivieres Rhumbellion Grand Final in Martinique. Driven by the success of the first edition, the famous french agricole rum brand wants to disrupt the codes once again and make ‘rhum agricole’ a Must for bars around the entire world. Well done Jason!
Photo © Maison Vauron
Temporary exhibition ‘Bistrot! From Baudelaire to Picasso’
La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux - March 17th to June 21st 2017
The exhibition Bistro! From Baudelaire to Picasso will take place from March 17th until 21st June 2017. Containing around a hundred works, the aim of this exhibition is to highlight the essential role played by cafes and bistrots, convivial spaces, in creation and society from the 18th century until mid-20th century.
Some of the artists featured in the exhibition: Louis Aragon, Charles Baudelaire, Otto Dix, Robert Doisneau, Raoul Dufy, Jean-Louis Forain, Jörg Immendorf, Pablo Picasso, Jean-François Raffaëlli, Mark Rothko, Patti Smith, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edouard Vuillard and many others.
Photo © Maurice-Louis Branger
Salon Sugar Paris
20-22 April 2017
Today, french pastry is constantly changing and developing. This domain where creativity can be expressed without limits attracts more and more amateurs or professionals, whatever their level. A real community around sugar has formed: famous pastry chefs, bloggers and influencers, TV shows dedicated to amateurs... Since the Cake Design emerged, possibilities have multiplied, and the creations are both tasty and spectacular. For all these reasons, Sugar Paris is the only show specialized in these two arts. Pastry temple for some or simply a 'gourmand' treat for others, let yourself be guided by your senses and enjoy this moment of sweetness.
Championnat de France du Dessert
Nancy - 21-22 March 2017
Every year, CEDUS (Centre d’Études et de Documentation du Sucre) organise the French Dessert Championship to award the best pastry cook. Created in 1974, this contest aims to reveal the future dessert trends and the next big names of the French patisserie, for junior as well as professional. The blind tastings are done by a pastry chef jury. This year the jury President is the Chef Philippe Etchebest, 2 Michelin stars and famous for the French TV shows Top Chef and Cauchemar en Cuisine (Kitchen Nightmares). "In1984, I finished second on the French Dessert Championship [...] Today, I am honoured and very proud to preside the 43rd édition of this amazing contest which each year rewards great talents and stunning dessert".
Foire Internationale de Lyon
17-27 March 2017
Oyez, oyez braves gens! Foire de Lyon history dates back to the middle ages. Ancestors of shopping malls, trade fairs took place once a year for a whole month. Heir to this tradition, today Foire de Lyon is still the best place for some goos deals. Business place of course, the event is also a space for new experiences and conviviality.
Salon International de l'Agriculture
Paris - 25/02 - 05/03 2017
For the last half century, the Paris International Agricultural Show has been the annual meeting place for all the key players of the agricultural world. It is the leading event of the sector, not only in France but all around the world.The show is organized around 4 sectors: livestock breeding sectors, products and gastronomy, Crops, plants, nature and lifestyle, agricultural services and professions. For 2017, the Paris International Agricultural Show has decided to showcase a rare breed of dairy cow which once nearly disappeared: the Bretonne Pie Noir. The breeding organisation for that particular breed has selected Fine to represent it. Also, the 2017 theme, inspired by current events, is 'Farming: a passion, a set of ambitions'.
Fete du Citron de Menton (Lemon Festival)
11/02 - 01/03 2017
Every February, the little town of Menton on the French Riviera runs one of France’s most popular events: the Lemon Festival (Fête du citron). Organised by the Tourist Office, the event has been taken place since 1928. Today, each festival uses 120 tonnes of citrus fruit to decorate its gigantic structures and floats. The festival has now become the second largest event on the French Riviera, after the Carnival of Nice and before the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Monte Carlo. It is held around the same time as the carnival of Nice. Each year, the festival is organised on a given theme and this 84th edition will pay tribute to Broadwayand the musicals.
France, winner of the Coupe du Monde de Patisserie contest
France achieved first place in the 2017 edition of the Coupe de Monde de la Pâtisserie contest – the international reference event in the trade created in 1989 by Gabriel Paillasson its president founder. Among the 22 teams composed of 3 specialists (sugar, chocolate, ice- cream) from 4 continents, the team from France completed a flawless run in 10 hours of tests, followed by Japan and Switzerland.
Michelin-stared restaurants Guide 2017
France - 9 February 2017
The international benchmark of good food, the Michelin Guide has been awarding stars for more than a century. In February, the prestigious gastronomic guru released the much awaited results of this year’s gained and lost stars for France’s restaurants. The big news is that chef Yannick Alléno’s Le 1947 at the Cheval Blanc hotel in Courchevel in the French Alps is France’s newest three stars restaurant. Also, there are 12 new two stars restaurants, including Gordon Ramsay's Le Pressoir d'Argent in Bordeaux and 57 new one star restaurants, including Fanny Rey's eponymous restaurant located in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence – the only female chef amongst the new stars! In 2017, 70 new stars were awarded, bringing total Michelin-starred restaurants to 616, an increase of 16 from 2016.
Photo © Patrick Kovarik/AFP
"Joie de Vivre" at L'Atelier du Fromage by Two Cowboys
In December, L'Atelier du Fromage was pleased to be featured by Two Cowboys production. Their goal is to promote local producers, business and their communities while they travel the world looking for interesting people, places and stories. Here is the video about your favourite french café/restaurant on their trip through NZ.
LA CITÉ DU VIN, a world of cultures
Situated in Bordeaux, La Cité du Vin is a unique cultural facility where wine comes to life through an immersive, sensorial approach, all set within an evocative architectural design. La Cité du Vin gives a different view of wine, across the world, across the ages, across all cultures and all civilisations. La Cité du Vin invites you on a lively, eye-opening journey around a world of wine and culture.
At first sight, the architecture of the building certainly makes an impact. It is a journey in itself, creating a place filled with symbols of identity: the knotted vine stocks, wine turning in the glass, the swirls and eddies of the Garonne river. Allow yourself to be transported by this sensation of movement, of uninterrupted flow between the exterior and interior of the structure. Located at the heart of the Bordeaux wine region, in the city itself, La Cité du Vin is an international showcase and an open door onto the world’s vineyards.
A must-see experience during any stay in Bordeaux, but also a place to go for residents of the Bordeaux region, La Cité du Vin is there to be seen, experienced and visited.