Welcome to Western Sydney Business Access

 fb tw yt in 

12 June 2016 Posted by 


One of the extraordinary wines of France

By Darren Harris

IN the late 19th century the vineyards of Europe were wiped out by the phylloxera aphid.

This bug was introduced from the America’s by avid Victoria-age botanists in their quest for knowledge and whilst the native American vines were resistant to phylloxera, the European varieties were not. The result was catastrophic.

Around 80% of all grape vines in Europe were lost. Curious 19th century methods to stop the problem included burying a live toad under each vine to draw out the poison! Needless to say they did not work.

Frantic research determined that the only sure method of combatting phylloxera was to replant with vines grafted to resistant American rootstock.

Interestingly, over a century down the track a few parcels of ungrafted pre-phylloera vines still exist in Europe. Perhaps the best known is a parcel of Pinot Noir that belongs to Champagne Bollinger from which they make their rare and expensive Vieilles Vignes Francaise.

However, not so well known is a tiny 0.55 hectare plot of Chardonnay in Petit Chablis. The enormous old vines have survived because the high water content proved impossible for the wine louse to navigate in the late 19th century.

This parcel belongs exclusively to the Poitout family, who make one of France’s most extraordinary wines.

Petit Chablis Franc de Pied L'Inextinct is the product of these low cropping, ancient vines. Only 1000 bottles are produced annually.

For the first time the wine is available in Australia; and even better the wine is from the tremendous 2014 vintage, regarded by aficionados as the best vintage in the last decade.

For a petit Chablis it is not cheap - but then how often do you get to drink a wine so drenched in history?

For more information go to:


Darren Harris is managing director of Grand Millesime, specialist importers of fine French Wine.


Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
Mobile: 0407 783 413
Email: info@wsba.com.au
Mail: PO Box 186, Kurrajong NSW 2758
Office phone: 61 2 4572 2336

Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.