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DateLine Sunday, 17 February 2008

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Viticulture en France



French Ambassador with Paul Topping, Managing Director, Alpha Orient Lanka and Ariff Jamal, Senior Lecturer of L’Ecole Des Vins

Vintage is the process of culling ripened grapes and making the finished product - we call it wine. The vintage wine is one made from grapes that were all primarily grown in a single specified year.

France has the world's second largest total vineyard surface and competes with Italy for the position of ranking the world's largest wine production. France has been the most influential country in the wine world.

The names of French wine regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne are well cheered all over. The style of top french wines have long been the benchmark for wine making in most wine producing countries of the world. French wine therefore plays a vital role in French identity and pride.

Wine making process

Wine making is an art, moreover it is a science as well. Apart from the process of fermentation, the creativity of the wine maker also plays an enormous role in producing the "superb quality wine" in the market. There is no specific recipe for making wine. It depends on the creativity of the wine maker.


Presentation of the awards

Grapes are harvested in the cool morning hours and moved to the winery in open bins. After choosing better grapes they are then transferred to a crusher. There the stems are removed and grapes are crushed.

After crushing, the juice from grapes is put in to the fermentation vats, where alcohol fermentation takes place. When yeast is added, the conversion of sugar into alcohol and carbondioxide takes place at this stage.

Grape juice is formed in small oak barrels to continue its development until bottling. Fermented liquid is then transferred to different vessels. Sometimes they let wine age in stainless steel tanks.

After barrel aging, the wine is fined and filtered. Bottling is the last step of the wine making process. Wine is bottled in sterile environmental conditions and sealed with a cork. At wine haven, the air is removed from the bottle's headspace immediately before the cork is inserted.

Diploma course in wine - making

The Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (SLITHM), in affiliation with L'Ecole Des Vins Bourgogne of France conferred the " Connoirsseur Wine Diploma" to those who followed the second consecutive diploma course in wine - making, conducted by the Labels Wine Academy recently.

The unique event was marked with the giving away of nine prestigious diploma awards and twenty certificates to students who had completed a three month course. The graduation ceremony was held recently at the residence of the French Ambassador to Sri Lanka, H. E. Michel Lummaux.


The French Ambassador H. E. Michel Lummaux with Mrs. Lummaux

Many distinguished guests were present at the ceremony including Managing Director of Alpha Orient Lanka - Paul Topping Senior Lecturer of L'Ecole Des Vins Bourgogne France ( French wine school) Dr. Ariff Jamal who flew from France to Sri Lanka especially to conduct the theory and practical parts of the diploma programme, The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management - S. G. D. Palihakkara and the Principal of the Sri Lanka Hotel School - Kamal Hapuwatta.

The diploma course was sponsored by Alpha Orient Lanka/ LABELS in collaboration with the French Embassy in Colombo. The classes were held at the SLITHM under the supervision of the French Embassy.

The candidates were senior level staff from the Hotel School, five star hotels and popular restaurants. The participants have exhibited the excellent ability of training those who are interested in the field in future.

The examination was held before the diploma was conferred at the French Trade Commission in Colombo.

The certificate is internationally recognized and the verification of answer scripts were carried out at L'Ecole Des Vins Bourgogne France under strict international standards and globally accepted guidelines.

Paul Topping, Managing Director of Alpha Orient Lanka, giving his ideas of the programme stressed " The aim of the programme is to collectively uplift the service standards of the hospitality industry in Sri Lanka. This is why we had decided to sponsor the Connoisseur Wine Diploma programme.

It is also important to evaluate and uplift the involvement of the private sector in developing tourism sector and the wine category in Sri Lanka and it will be a great opportunity to discover the usefulness, aim and the future of this course and to share the experience of this diploma with the participants as well as the diploma holders".

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