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Ask a Wine Advisor: Robin Dominique

Personalities  /  Jul 21  /  BY Zoe Vandenberg

Ask a Wine Advisor: Robin Dominique

by Zoe Vandenberg

Robin grew up in the South of France spending his summers in the vineyards from a young age. During his studies in Toulouse he decided to build a career in the world of wine and shortly after travelled across France, later going further afield to England and South Africa, to discover how others approached the art of winemaking.

Why wine?

Wine gathers people and makes them happy. Well, it certainly makes me happy. Also the world of wine is so vast, I’m learning more and more every day and meeting a lot of interesting people along the way. Wine is something that I cannot live without!

As you were growing up in the Languedoc, was organic and biodynamic wine a big influence?

This region is definitely known for being a great actor of the organic and biodynamic movement. This is thanks to the warm and dry local climate, minimizing risk of fungal diseases, which makes it much easier to practice organic viticulture than in other regions. And the number of organic and biodynamic producers is growing and growing which is fantastic. I’m really proud!

Today only a small percentage of the world's wines are organic and/or biodynamic, why is it important that we raise this figure?

The climate crisis is currently at the forefront of discussion and for good reason. It’s critical that the wine industry acts now and plays its part in the preservation of our planet. It’s no secret that conventional practices in the vineyard are detrimental to the local environment and consumers’ health. Organic and biodynamic practices are better because they greatly reduce the use of chemical products, in turn encouraging biodiversity in the vineyards. By limiting the impact of viticulture on the planet, we not only preserve the biodiversity unique to each terroir, but we also provide consumers with pesticide free wine. Having more organic vineyards around the world is the first step towards making these clean wines accessible to more consumers. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Out of all the wine regions you’ve had the chance to work in, which one did you find the most exciting and why?

I’ll always remember working in Châteauneuf du Pape, in the Southern Rhone. The terroir is amazing and presents quite a challenge, especially during harvest. Not only did I get the chance to work in every part of the estate, from the vines to the cellar, but I also got to fully understand why these wines are so reputed all over the world.

You’ve traveled a lot, what was your best trip?

Definitely South Africa. I spent 6 months working on a wine estate, which is a massive opportunity. But I also spent 1 month traveling across the country, going on wine tours, exploring local towns and beautiful landscapes, and of course some safaris snuck in there too. It was a once in a lifetime experience, a real adventure. I could spend the entire day talking about it. 

If you were having friends over dinner what food and pairing would you serve up?

I would start with oysters and a nice Chablis, a perfect match. The acidity of the Chablis with the salinity and the freshness of the oyster, mixed with a little bit of lemon juice, and you have a simple but exceptional starter. For mains, a nice plate of grilled fish and a white wine from Provence, the Mediterranean style. For the cheese lovers, I would continue with the Provence white, if there’s any left, and maybe open a bottle of red, a nice blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, either from the Rhône Valley or from the Languedoc Region. This is a perfect evening.

When you head back down to the South of France, what’s the first bottle you reach for?

If it’s summer time, definitely a rosé next to the swimming pool with family and friends.

If it’s colder, a nice red from Terrasses du Larzac with strong tannins and a lot of fruity aromas.

If you could choose a wine that best represents you, what would it be and why?

A rosé from Provence because it reminds me of the south of France, it’s great for parties, and it’s very easy going. 

Favorite Producer?

Domaine Isabelle and Denis Pommier. I love their story, and obviously their wines. I am a huge fan of Chablis and I have to admit that they know how to make spell binding wines. Not to mention they’re organic.

Why VIVANT?

I'm passionate about growing the organic and biodynamic movement worldwide and I believe that helping people better understand these practices by teaching them is a great place to start. VIVANT is a pioneer in the educational side of the wine industry which is super important nowadays.

Zoe Vandenberg

Zoe Vandenberg

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