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July 3, 2016updated 02 Nov 2022 10:51am

From Meursault to Mauritius: An Indian Ocean Paulée

By Thierry Dessauve

The annual celebration to mark the end of the harvest has spread from the famous Meursault original to all four corners of the world and all four seasons—to New York, and San Francisco, and now Mauritius. The five-star Constance Le Prince Maurice Hotel and Resort on the island held its first five-day wine extravaganza from May 24 to 28, featuring a different producer at dinner each evening. The four producers, all of whom were on hand to present their wines and share in the festivities, were Domaine Dorrance (South Africa), Clos du Caillou (Southern Rhône), Domaine Frédéric Magnien (Burgundy), and Patrick Baudouin (Loire).

The event was masterminded by the Constance Hotel Group’s Master Sommelier Jérôme Faure, and the general manager of Le Prince Maurice, Christophe Plantier, who led a highly professional team of sommeliers who have passed through the Constance Hospitality Training School. Each afternoon, one of the producers presented a two-hour masterclass to the staff, ensuring that they were as enthused as they were informed about the wines they would be serving that evening with a four-course dinner, two in the beautiful floating restaurant, Le Barachois, one at Le Spiaggia, and one at the Deer Hunter Lodge (the latter at Constance’s other hotel on the island, Bel Mare Plage). The celebrations culminated in a Paulée involving all four producers on the Friday evening.

Each producer showed a range of wines and vintages, all matched perfectly with the eclectic but always meticulously prepared cuisine. Explaining the central idea behind the event, Faure said, “We wanted to bring some of the world’s leading producers, from different countries and regions, to share their wonderful wines in the beautiful and relaxed surroundings of our island paradise, where discriminating guests have the cuisine, the service, and the time to enjoy them to the full.”

Faure also presides over a spectacular humidity- and temperature-controlled cellar at both hotels, stocked with fine and rare wines shipped there in refrigerated containers. The master wine list at both resorts has been recognized with the highest three-star ranking in The World of Fine Wine’s World’s Best Wine Lists awards for the past three years, and that at Le Prince Maurice is a contender for the coveted title of Best Overall Wine List in Middle East and Africa in the most recent edition, full results of which will be published on on June 17.

It is hoped that the Paulée de Mauritius will be an annual event, and bookings are already being taken for a separate Food and Wine Festival at the same hotels in March 2017. See the Constance Group’s website for further details.

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