Sunday 14 January 2024

Free 2024 wine horoscope for scorpio in the fifth house of ABRACADABRA


You're a sign known for being a control freak scorpio, but 2024 is all about peace, love + serenity so it's time to chill the f— out. In the Chinese zodiac 2024 is year of the wood dragon. You too are  a dragon, an earth dragon, with your match in the kosmic mouse and your moon in Jupiter in the 5th house. Lucky you!

A tree can only put down roots where there is land. True, there are those jungle air-trees but you are not a jungle tree. You are in the Auvergne which is not the jungle and you have land! Not actual land like for vines (see: Auvergne) but a concrete cow barn after three years of Three Very Temporary Spaces Outside of Your Control in which you tried to make wine. You like control. You like order and… order and if you weren’t a dragon you would be a hobbit, and if you were a hobbit your moon would be in the sky which is basically the same sign. Yes, I see the irony.

So you are now a dragon that has land-ed which in cosmic convo means that in January your galactic guardian, transformational Pluto, sets up shop in Aquarius and your fourth house of home, family and roots for twenty years = stability! Predicability! Finally! (But don’t worry, there’s still room for spontaneity and maybe enfin that wine + italo part-y). You now have — mental — space to worry about other things. Perhaps like buying a labelling machine? A stock-taking system that matches reality?

You might be a tree but remember that wood also floats. We heard, you like control: but I would like you to go more with the flow. Don’t be heavy. Don’t be morose. Search what you seek! Don’t really know what exactly that is? Get out on a limb. Dare to dream.


The year starts with a promising transit as the full moon illuminates your 10th House of Social Status. And talking about stars and houses and how you need a bigger one, apparently now your project is a domaine! 3 February Domaine ABRACADABRA Hannah Fuellenkemper will be showing at Naturall in the Loire with a line up of stars even though I still don't think 'Hannah Fuellenkemper' is a wine name. 


(Here're some pics from Naturall last year).


Full moons are times of manifestation. Be the change you want to be. Put your wines in the sizes you want to drink! Litres! Halves! Mags! Crown caps in fluo-green and hot pink! Why is it only beer companies producing these??


As both of your ruling planets, warrior Mars and transformative Pluto, enter retrograde phases, it means it's time to learn how to use that fancy ass pump you bought, because so far you’ve spent a lot of money in order to pump air. Likewise may I suggest you finally get some vines and release something that was actually made with grapes from here? 


The moon’s north node says you need two more tanks with doors. Your mom says you need a working partner. Uranus says find an accountant. Aries suggests more sex in French. 


On life: remember that it is to be lived in the now! That it is transient and moves quick and that you are too young (35!) to feel old (35!!) Take up hobbies, create more art. Read. Write more. Check in with yourself: do you laugh enough? There is more to life than wine and you will become bored and jaded if you do not. Because — again: Auvergne — it might take until 2027 but hang on: the non-wine friends will come.


Oh, and this just in: my crystal ball says don’t stress too much about the fact all your red wines turned out pink in 2023. My bet's that pinks @ 10% stay hot. Do you really think there's a chance they might not?


Venus, the planet of abundance, moves into Sagittarius and your 2nd House of Possessions. Your moon is ascending! I don’t mean money stupid, it was your choice to give up law. Your wealth is your people. You are a dragon and they are your gold and for you to guard.


The Time of Taurus says it is time to accept that your friends will always be more economically active than you, but that if time is money then it’s you not them who is rich! You are the boss, boss. Remember this when you are bottling, labelling, cleaning or otherwise feeling like a robot-operated machine. 


Your other ruling planet, the transformative Pluto, goes retrograde from like, now, so it’s finally the moment to stop making expensive mistakes with your wine. Months-long macerations are out. Cinsault in everything is fine! The real, not astrological-sign mouse you infected your wines with will go — in time. You've come this far. In short, pluto's backward dance poses no cosmic obstacles to 2024 being your year. You do you.



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Saturday 30 December 2023

the year in retrospect (but basically you can skip to May bc that's when life started bc that's when I got my chai)


December is for looking back and forward and not for looking at the high numbers on the scale or the lack of numbers on your bank account. It’s the time of the year I feel to be on-repeat giving the run-down to my parents' friends what I’m up to, when I have to admit to my parents that once again I haven’t done all I’d planned to do and the moment for me to write personal and unattainable to-do’s with the safest start-date there is: next year. 


December is also the time of the year I have to renew this very hannahfk domaine name or in other words, the time of the year I wonder why I do. I'm hanging on bc recently someone told me blogs are (again?) cool. And bc I wish I wrote more. So here! It's not writing-writing but some words on my year in review.


Note 1: this isn’t my annual harvest report. The 2023 report is coming! It's by now tradition that it's late! In the meantime here are harvest reports 2021 and 2022.


Note 2: I will start in February because January was shit.



February: 


* I present at my first tasting! Which is not true because in 22 there was the Volcanic tasting in Geneva and since 2020 there's the summer tasting we do at Orfenor but neither of these are tastings in the loire which is obviously where I had to do a tasting to feel the ‘my first tasting’ feel. It was jammed, I ate 5 pieces of the best gallete de roi I ever had, I peed maybe once and I will be back! 3 Feb!



Started painting the 3,700 bottles I sold this spring. Also most of my clothes. I am open to collabs. I am also open to sponsorship from (or suggestions about) paint brands that actually stick to glass. 


* ‘Made’ a logo! Made new labels! I’m ABRACADABRA now, to the huge relief of all the French people on the phone who don’t understand me spelling ‘Fuellenkemper @ email address'. 



March:


I found a chai!!!! It’s an old cow barn but to me it’s a flat floor, high voltage electricity and ONE space with ONE key and it’s for ONLY me.


* Learned how to stack a pallet and stacked my first pallets. Thanks to Stefana for the diagram and to Pascal for showing me how to wrap them. 




April: 


* Finished painting 3,700 bottles spread on the floor over three different locations. Friends came to help label. One of these friends made me a table. I wrote about gratitude for the wonderful people I meet through my wine here. 





May: 


The day after the fête du Chassignolles tasting not at Chassignolles but in a dark theatre in Clermont I drive to the new chai to pick up the key to find out there was no key. But there’s space! I will take until mid August to complete moving into this space. 


Biiiig thanks to Rita-Rita for helping me move the first tanks.



* Speaking of the fête and tanks: I pick up my first tank with a door! Paid for with funds from the fête! 



Mid May:


There’s the Spring Tasting in London which is great and I return hungover but on a high. The next morning there’s a bottle delivery of 7 pallets and knowing I have to 1) fill them  2) pay for them and then 3) move each and every one of them to the new chai makes me cry.


* Bottled my two barrels of cab franc volatility from 2020 with Lisa! Thank you Lisa!


Mid June: 


Bottled two of my 22s, both to be released in spring 24:


1) AcQUeUx - DEux (cinsault in magnum) 

2) bAsTeT (carignan-bourbulenc not in magnum)


Moved these 2,000 +/- bottles and a fair few gas tanks worth of other stuff too. Particular mention to the in-house engineer at Belly Wine for help with one particular move. I wouldn't have been able to move my press without both of you.



July: 


Drove a flatbed Toulouse-way to pick up a new, very old, quite big, seriously heavy, press. Here are some take-aways from the day: Turns out I didn't need to be nervous about driving a flatbed. Also turns out one should measure the height of the ceiling AND of the door frame before buying very hard to manoeuvre things that need to fit under the ceiling AND through the door, and of course I didn’t! So it stayed outside and while offloading it Aimé almost died. 



* Threw the party of the year. Everyone came, including a surprise. Danced until 09h. THANK YOU FELIX! The press is now inside.

* Oh oh!!! And my pump (!!) arrived!!! 




Mid July: 


Bottled 2000 more 22s:


1) dEAd cAt sTraT (xarello - macabeau. Release spring 24) 

2) OccULLLLtt 22:22 (mauzac - grignolino, release winter 24)


M***-d them.


Rest of July: 


Continued moving bottles (to cut a long move short, in short I moved 6,500 of them plus personal stock).



Continued moving everything else.



If ever I have to move again I will only do so after a really big sale.



August:


* Set up the new cellar to host the best harvest team ever.


* Moved liquid in liquid form, 2000 L by gravity, alone. The night before I learned high voltage plugs are not uniform and that my brand new pump didn't fit the wall. I panic! Electricians are on holiday, it's August. I sit on one of my new plastic chairs and cry to Stefana on the phone.





16 August


MY 2022 CHAI IS EMP-TAYYY!



18 August 


Harvest starts. 



September:


* Harvest ends the 15th in the Ardèche chez Gerald which for me is fun because I end where I started. 


* We bottle the remaining barrel of Λ b Λ Α n Α Θ Α n Α Λ b Α in my ex-garage. It will be released in winter 2024. I know everyone hates this cuvée name, I'm not sorry.



* 2/3 of my old work spaces are now officially empty.

* We have an end of harvest party for the Auvergne vigneron on 22 September. Nicoline picked sunflowers and I drink long-promised margaritas and don't last later than 12. HBD to YOU j-dawg!!


November:


* I move the last 700 bottles I have to move and work space 3/3 is finally empty. I try to forget how I already moved these 700 bottles to this space a year ago but obviously I have not forgotten it.


* I get an official stock check by the douane! To the person who denounced me: feel free to reach out so I can thank you personally for your concern.



30 December:


It's the end of the year and I'm getting antsy about the things I haven't done and the cost of things I have. I blew up a barrel (even if an empty one) and have 800 litres that stopped months ago at a density of 1001. I turned 1000L of souris into 2000L which isn't so bad when you know the risk I took could have made it into 4! I still feel overwhelmed and make very avoidable mistakes but all in all, considering I consider this my third real year, things are really getting better. Some context. Maybe you don't remember, but last year this time I was writing about building a temporary cellar! 


Review complete. 



// Massive thanks as always and forever to everyone who helps and supports me and drinks me and reads me and buys my wines from me and distributes me and lends me material when in need. Thanks to those who make me laugh and for listening when I cry and for your patience and encouragement and advice. Thank you also to those who have come from so far and have become close. Rarely, in a way, do I work alone.


See you next year.




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Monday 25 December 2023

Holiday wine is the new garage wine


No garage wine this year like I said there should be every year but instead a 16-potential, potential-wine from leftover grenache picked on holiday on 15 October, de-stemmed and finger-stuffed into two glass bonbon on the street and left to hopefully ferment on a table in a café in Padern.

Thank you to Pierre for inspiring our project with your project — and then for saying yes and lending us your space and stuff. To Marius for your eggrapoir and help for our harvest, to Manu for growing the grapes and to the 1/4 of the village that helped out.

— Café des Sports, Padern

                                                                            














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Thursday 27 July 2023

NOTFALLSPUR 2021

Or almost ‘noodfalspur’ until I thought to check the spelling and stopped, literally, the printing press when the spell check told me I was spelling it in Dutch, which I speak more of than German which I am, and which wouldn’t have made any sense because on the signs on the motorways the warning ESCAPE LANE is written in German, Italian, English and French, only — and not in Dutch, which I’m not.


But it’s actually in French that the name makes the most sense: voie de detresse but the name was taken so I took the next best and then asked its taker to make me my label, my first! which makes sense in other ways too but first I’ll explain the first part: the distress.


In twothousandtwentyone I moved cellar threedaysbeforeharvest and by ‘cellar’ I mean tenyearsoflifestablity and an actual cellar to a garage with nothing but a press. The shortest version of the story is that I called some friends who at the time weren’t really friends who the next day found me a garage, bought me a wine starter kit comprising of 2 buckets a sieve a ladder a yellow thermometer and a bug light and lent me a tank. The next-length version is that they emptied the garage and it was a chai by the time I got back from learning how to drive a truck and had picked my first tonne of grapes the following day.


(These are 228L of they).


If wine is meant to be made with good vibes then don’t buy mine because this vintage was powered by adrenaline and when I needed to generate more of it: hate. Not that it was all bad! Like the little engine that said ‘I can I can’ I learned I could — and did — despite the considerable odds: I made wine on the closing door of a breakup in a garage and the people busy buying it selling it representing it now basically tell me it’s great.


So, this Rousanne also has a bit I think of Viognier that I don’t tell anyone about and also some random planted together red and when I pressed it directly it came out on the darker side of pink and I remember posting about this on Instagram with the caption ‘white wine making going gr8’. 700 litres of it went with the Cinsault to make Day Glow and these 228 went into a barrel I bought from Aurelien who had bought it from Fred and when I went to pick it up had to drop someone off at the Emergency Room because he cut open his finger. More distress! 


Ok so what else. Well the barrel stood in the corner in a garage in Langeac for 12 months in which time it was never topped up for no particular reason between the door and my press which was, as I have written, Jérôme Saurigny's press, bound to be my second press to then became my only press, and this and the fact Jerome has a fat cat I love (and Aurélien too) and that he skates (and Aurélien too) and that he’s great (Aurélien you are too!) and that we learned we had a friend in common (guess who) thanks to a THRASHER hoodie gifted to Jérôme by you definitely know who… well in short the label is a tribute and Aurélien had to make it and he did and I love it and now you know the story I hope you do too.



Where: Hérault 

What: Direct press Rousanne and Viognier in barrel for 12 months. Bottled October 2022. 

When: 2021


293 bottles made (hence why only 4 clients got any of it) much of which has been drunk but the rest I'm saving to raise funds for life, for wine making, for grape buying, for paying for the pump I bought and haven't paid for yet and because all of this is imminent and urgent they are now for ***SALE*** at my public price. 


Put your mail here to receive my mail on how to buy or send to abracadabrawine{at}gmail.com which is apparently an unprofessional email to have but who said anything about me being a professional and no I don't accept bitcoin unless someone wants to set me up an account.


And now in pictures. Goodbye! 



     






     






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Friday 19 May 2023

C'est fou le nombre des gens tu as besoin pour faire quelque chose tout seul

This is a blog and in the early 2000s when people used to have blogs these people would blog about their feelings and people who didn’t have blogs would laugh at people with blogs and if a blogger said irl they feel sad the non blogger would say something like ‘why don’t you write a blog post about it’ and they would mean this facetiously because they would not intend to read such a post because they don’t believe one should air their sadness out on the internet. Or maybe they would read it and that’s worse. 


In a similar vein I’ve often wondered why, when you watch the news, the news is always bad? When they tell us about how someone we don’t know very far away lost their child or cat or house to a fire it’s because someone at the news decided that THIS would be what they tell us and because they are the news this becomes news.


As someone who started her blog in whatever you call the 2015s other than ‘late’ I too concentrate on the bad because I write about how I feel which is not to say always bad, though often enough, nor that good things don’t happen too, they do!, they’re just less easy to dramatise or in other words, less newsworthy. But today I thought I would try to write about how I feel (grateful) about something true that is good in order to balance out the overwhelming feeling (sad) that I can’t do this alone which is not even entirely true because I’m not really alone-alone, even if I'm writing that I feel I am, because as you may already know and will now read, there are so many good people who are good to me and who help me.


I’ve written before that no one makes wine alone and maybe I’ve talked about the note stuck to the wall of the toilet at rue des belles caves that says in French It’s crazy the number of people you need to do something on your own and while I’ve never been one for reading material in bathrooms I know few truer words. Next thing to say is that when I learned someone I knew was having a baby alone I thought isn’t it a bit selfish to take on something like this on your own when you know the people around you will take it on themselves to help and then I realised what I’m doing is exactly the same. My wines have my name on them but the truth is no label in the world would fit the names of everyone who has actually made them — and you thought abracadabra was long enough. 


And by ‘made them’ I mean the people who had their hands and feet and back in them literally and painfully and enthusiastically even though they were as tired as me but also those who have supported me mentally, generally, in person and over voice messaging and when I call and say I'm sad and also those who have gifted me things from olive oil candles sardines posters coriander silk scarfs wineglasses to stroopwaffel and Dutch cheese and bien sûr things to drink and cooked for me and paid for hotels and meals and bottles I could never dream of affording and who have taken days off and booked holiday time out and given me encouragement and time time time and carried things with me and carried things for me and move my shit from cellar to cellar to cellar with me and actually found me a cellar in my time of need and another who helped me build one and those who came from far and from off the internet just to help me and lent me spare tanks their tireuse their gas tank their chambre air (someone at a fair in Montpellier this year literally gave me the shirt off his back) gifted me a fucking pressoir and — recently — brought me wood and built me a table because I didn’t have one, just because they’re good. 


So you see, it’s not all bad.


Photo, P.S., is not current! This was me in harvest nineteen.


P.P.S thank you. I hope you can all find you in here.


(Still would like a partner though.)




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Monday 8 May 2023

And we ate the zoo

To name some epic dinners I haven’t been to: Jesus’s last supper, the banquet where Cleopatra drank her pearl, when they ate the zoo and the last vendredi soir at le Saint Eutrope — which technically I have been to, but not to the one in the wilds of my imagination where it’s me who gets to choose the menu. 


Luckily I couldn’t. Luckily no one could. Luckily the impossible task of limiting an unlimited number of best of-s was left to the only people I would trust blind to be able to. What follows is therefore a fantasy menu cherry-picked from reality, my memory and my phone’s memory, no small amount of GB has been taken up preserving what is now history! The ancient Egyptians had their marble-carved hieroglyphics, we have chalk-scrawled blackboards that go:


*


Vendredi soir



To start, after the gen-to for apéro:


Dipping radishes because otherwise it would be dipping fingers in the anchovy butter. 


Also with:


Vitello tonato i.e. sandwich filler q: who invented veal via a spoon?


Followed by:


A citrus mosh-pit, or Punterella, agrumes, stracciatella on a plate to match. 

(Keep the spoon.)


Followed by:


Bao, Chinese for goose-down pillows stuffed with crisp-fried belly fat and slivers of face mask cucumber and always one bao too small, better would be at least two.


Followed by:


Pizza fritta. M O R E and A L W A Y S and WHY NOT ALWAYS and one to go to ease in to the hangover the morning after.


Accompanied by:


Any of the non-fried variations that go by the name of fougasse. Yes we’re accompanying fried dough with non fried dough, add extra pied mutton if it makes you feel better. 


Followed by: 


A boubaisse-y base of fish pierced by lemon in which swims hand rolled black pasta. 


Followed by: 


Tripes. The Sichuan ones. You are our source of coriander in Auvergne. 


For mains:


Anything cooked 7+ hours for 2+ to share in a pot with a knife stuck in it — but with chips beef fat-fried, please.


Cheese?


Dessert! I’ll have two. The baby fist mushroom bun soaked in as many measures as you like of your choice of rum, and the bavarois which, as a suspected dyslexic, was for YEARS a mystery to me until this January when someone ordered it and I realised I've lived 34 years never having been intimate with an upside down puddle of barely solid cream.


*


Le Saint Eutrope was the local for everyone, from near, from far, from Paris. As much for those of us who live ‘close’ in Auvergne for whom everything is far as for those passing through from the other side of the world. Good things come to an end, so I've heard! Tomato season, the last luggage-squished slice of leftover birthday cake, my tolerance for early mornings which re-sets to zero with the end of the vendange. But still, there aren’t many places for which I’d drive 200km round trip for lunch and not infrequently stay for dinner when I do. Time for me, I suppose, to drive less and put my eggs in different baskets. Time for you to open something new — soon! But change nothing. Or maybe serve more bao. Maybe fry it? Serve chips and ice cream with it? Ok ok, time to move. Cheque please. And my pizza fritta to go.


Thank you!! 



In 2019 I wrote about le Saint Eutrope and it started like this and if you're feeling nostalgic the rest you can read yourself:


"Some kids get the itch to become astronauts but when I’m grown up I want to be Harry Lester." 



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