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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
29 Feb 2008

I was sent an email recently by a Stéphane Morganti, a French student who has spent the last six months working in vineyards in French Polynesia, as the French call what we British call Tahiti.

 

For a report on terroir he was writing he wanted to know whether I knew of any other vineyards planted on rangiroa soil as on the Tuamutus archipelago shown here. Well I certainly don’t. Do you?

 

Further investigation revealed Domaine Dominique Auroy, which has Carignan, Muscat Hamburg and Italia (the last two being table grapes) planted by a coconut grove on this beautiful-looking spit of land between a lagoon and the ocean. Harvesting twice a year, and shipping the grapes across the lagoon to the winery as below, Auroy manages to make about 30,000 bottles of red, white and rosé a year. Has anyone tried it?

To find out more about tropical viticulture, consult this entry in your online Oxford Companion to Wine – which I now realise is incomplete. Tahiti will of course feature in the fourth edition…