(Photo: © VindeTahiti.com)
(Photo: © VindeTahiti.com)

Do you know coral wine?

#Rangiroa #Polynesia

  Polynesia: Maupiti + Rangiroa + Moorea - October 2012

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

Before disembarking at Rangiroa to dive, in october 2012I did not know that wine was produced there! It seems incredible, but yes, we cultivate the vine in full Pacific, in the Polynesian archipelago of Tuamotu.

Vines between ocean and lagoon

(Photo: © VindeTahiti.com)
This is where the vines grow, on this coral islet of Rangiroa. (Photo: © VindeTahiti.com)

It happens on a motu (coral island) of the immense atoll Rangiroa. Between the lagoon and the ocean, stretch the rows of vines of the "Vin de Tahiti - Domaine Dominique Auroy".

The white coral I tasted during my Polynesian stay in 2012.
The white coral I tasted during my Polynesian stay in 2012.

The coral soil is enriched by natural compost (crushed algae and shoots). Papaya and tiare protect the vineyard from the spray.

At the rate of two harvests a year, these vines give three whites (closed reef, white coral and white fluffy) and a rosé (pink nacarat).

During my trip in 2012, I unfortunately did not have time to visit the vineyard, but I tasted the coral white (southern harvest 2011), at the cocktail hour, facing the lagoon. Moorea.

It is a soft wine with a beautiful golden color, I remember the fruity and mineral notes. "A blend of Italia and Muscat grapes from Hamburg", specifies the website of the domain (www.vindetahiti.com).

I am absolutely not a specialist, but I found it very good! I imagine that I enjoyed it all the more because I was under the coconut trees, in an enchanting setting. I obviously recommend tasting (with moderation) in these ideal conditions ... ????

A crazy bet

I did some research on this amazing vineyard project. It was imagined in the 1990s by businessman Dominique Auroy. "I think I made wine provocatively, at first," he writes in his book Tahitian wine. Passion then caught up with him, he says.

Initially, he planned to set up in several Pacific islands. But it will take a lot of obstinacy, acclimatization tests, selection of grape varieties and irrigation work before the first harvest, in the early 2000s. The 6 hectare estate is today capable of producing up to 35,000 bottles per year (for more information, I invite you to read the article on the harvest of October 2015, in The Dispatch of Tahiti).

Why did you choose Rangiroa? Because, in particular, "Its limestone soil and coral, which gives a taste of gunflint close to some Sancerre", explains Sébastien Thépenier, wine oenologist for a dozen years, quoted by The Express in July 2014. An almost ideal terroir, compared to other archipelagos: "Less dry than the Marquesas, less humid than Tahiti, and not as isolated as the Austral archipelago. "

(Source of the vineyard images: www.vindetahiti.com)

  Polynesia: Maupiti + Rangiroa + Moorea - October 2012