“God made water, but man made wine .”
Mack Van Tong
used to be a member of our 'Dream Team' of harvesters - the most
meticulous of our workers, who were charged with picking and sorting
the grapes for our top wine. He also has a magic touch with anything mechanical. On Ahmed's retirement as foreman after
three decades of working the Rives-Blanques vineyards, this hard-working
soft-spoken Laotian was his obvious successor. Mack has come to
know every vine, every stone, and every peculiarity of our microclimate
like the back of his hand, and is a valuable and much respected
member of the team.
All the grapes for our appellation wines
are harvested by hand. It takes 24 harvesters two weeks to do what
a mechanical harvesting machine does in a single day. Our harvesters
are highly trained, experienced regulars who know how to select
only the best grapes. Some of them have clocked up as many as ten
harvests in succession with us.
Eric Vialade (Manager/Wine Maker)
is a third-generation wine-maker of
the respected Languedoc wine-growing family of that same name. Schooled
in Bordeaux, winner of more medals than he can count, and official
taster for the Guide Hachette, Eric has run the property with a
safe and sure hand for over thirty years, and is an acknowledged pioneer
in environmentally friendly viticultural practices.
passion to profession: Jan and Caryl Panman
lived and worked
in a dozen countries on four continents before Limoux's wines and
its beautiful countryside stopped them in their tracks. They are
involved in every stage of the wine-making miracle at Rives-Blanques, complementing the talents of Eric and Mack. Now in their second decade at Rives-Blanques, the Panmans are as rooted in its soil as are their vines.
(Caryl is also responsible for this website, so any complaints
should be directed to her.)
represents the scientific expertise of the Dubernet
Laboratoire d'Oenologie, one of the world's leading oenological
laboratories, and has been associated with the vineyard for over 20 years.
She is a regular visitor, and comes by every three days during harvesting
and fermentation to oversee the chemical analyses of the wines. We are also privileged to have Marc Dubernet of the eponymous laboratory, as part of our special tasting committee.
is the latest, and a most important, addition
to the team. Oenologist and agronomist, Technical Director of the
renowned Chateau Gruaud Larose, he is known throughout the land
primarily for his work with Bordeaux Grand Cru and Premier Cru Classé chateaux. He visits Rives-Blanques every two weeks with invaluable advice on land management, and lends his inisight and wealth of experience to our wine making. We
are proud and honoured to have him on board
as a member of our team.
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