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Alsatian Education

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Drone shot above Humbrecht Hills

It's the ultimate terroir.

Carney has flown out to Alsace this week to meet up with Waterford Distillery's Mark Reynier and indulge in a growers' masterclass.  The group, including 2 of Waterford's farmers Trevor Harris and John McDonnell, as well as Edward Kehoe from Minchmalt, have been getting their hands dirty au nord-ouest, researching biodynamic organic farming.  The enthusiasts have spent 3 days in the region visiting the Zusslin, Windholtz, Bingert and Zind-Humbrecht domaines.  Biodynamic agriculture is similar to organic farming, but includes a selection of esoteric concepts drawn from the ideas of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner.  Initially developed in 1924, it was the first of the organic agriculture movements.

Alsace has a proportionally huge number of bio-producers and these biodynamic wine growers are hyper-passionate.  Steiner's philosophy goes beyond the obvious avoidance of chemicals and synthetic treatments, to a much more holistic regard for the land.  The rewards of the inherent observation, tenderness and sensitivity are clearly apparent in the wines of the region and it is exhilarating to imagine how these concepts will translate from Harris, McDonnell and Mooney's fields into Waterford's whiskys.

Crows Nest Films are making a series of documentaries about the innovative creation of Irish whisky and this most recent endeavour is a particularly exciting twist on production.  Carney, seen here dual-wielding the Canon C300 and 5D in Ribeauvillé's Riquewihr, also whipped out the DJI Phantom 4 Pro to drink in the landscape.  The films will be released soon and you'll be able to see them on Waterford's website, YouTube and Facebook.