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French history and its wine are intertwined like passionate lovers.As an integral part of the nation’s past,It was the inspiration of a 13th century poem,and also formed the basis of the nation’s first land contract in which a chateau vin rouge was established.Indeed,the wine history of France is long,rich and full.
A French proverb holds that,“If red wine is your lover,the best you can give her is time.”From planting to brewing to cellaring,time endows red wine with a magical power as it evolves on its journey down the generations.The notion of red wine as a refined and sophisticated beverage has its roots in European culture,and is evident in its close ties with nobility.When first sipping from a glass of red wine on the banks of the Saone River,the discerning consumer will understand that the red wine distilled over the years is not just an alcoholic beverage from the oak casks of a grand chateau’s cellar;it is also a fortune of nature that has accumulated gradually on the land.
That is the legacy of Sifram’s distillery.Poetry with the echo of centuries and a flourishing red wine business evoke the magic infused by the Siframs into red wine.From the establishment of the manor in the 15th century to the present day,Sifram’s continues to imbue its wine with the ultimate gift–time.
The founder of Saone Manor was Sifram I of Burgundy,a man of noble birth who was fortuitously free from the rigidity of royal court life.The young Sifram I lived with his uncle,Duke Bertrand du Guesclin,next to Rhone River.Dexterous,nimble and influenced by the nomadic Moors,Sifram I was a capable rider and archer,even at a young age.Later,he joined his uncle to fight the Turkic Seljuq Empire,with the subsequent years of military life molding him into a dignified and accomplished man.In the French war against the Pope that sought to separate church and state,he helped Charles VII of France fight the Church’s army.He soon became a famous warrior,noted for his military might and exploits.
In a somewhat gentler permutation of his character,Siftram I cultivated the fertile land in the drainage area of Saone River.To defend his territory and repel invaders,he enlisted refugees from the Roman Empire to build a fort on a tributary of the Saone.It is said that one invasion saw countless warriors spreading into his land like a black sea,outnumbering the defenders several times.Sifram’s generals advised him to retreat to the west bank of the river to avoid the advance.That night,Sifram I dreamed of a lion with a pair of angel wings sitting at the main gate of the fort.The next morning he emboldened the fort soldiers by conveying this dream as a message in which God had dispatched a Protector to the fort.On the days that followed,a rain storm crushed the spirit of the Turks,and the rising river water deprived their cavalry of its advantage.Boosted by Sifram I’s resolve and natural warrior instinct,the defenders powered to victory.To commemorate his triumph,he designed a winged lion as the center of his family’s emblem after inheriting the family estate.A man of accomplishment and honor,Sifram I settled by the Saone River among the lush and flourishing vineyards.The family legend was spawned at this point in French history.
Renault Sifram IV of Burgundy.During the Age of Exploration,Renault Sifram IV inherited the military prowess of his great grandfather,and demonstrated a natural aptitude for state administration.He was a bold and resolute man,and his lengthy experience at sea honed his diplomatic skills and uncanny ability to forecast the future.Though he was a key figure and driving force in his family,Sifram IV remained touchingly modest.His skills as a sailor carried his family business to the French colonies at a time when feudal lords were being overthrown by their tenants in France,and revolutionary fervor was running high.
Renault Sifram IV harvested the grapes grown by the tenants of his land and processed them into red wine for export.This methodology not only formed the initial conditions for primary capital accumulation,but it also ensured the longevity of his lordship.At that time,the vines of the manor were mostly over half a century old,causing the tenants,who had generations of wine-making and vineyard management experience behind them,to expand into new areas.This in turn attracted more workers,raising the scale of operations.Renault Sifram IV’s profits from the red wine trade began to account for the lion’s share of his overseas’earnings,which served to fortify his status in France.Ultimately,the trade route opened by Sifram IV cemented France’s position as a leading exporter of red wine.
Christina Anita,wife of Sifram IV and eldest daughter of Duke of Bordeaux.Christina Anita’s family moved into the heart of France to escape the influence of the British,bringing them closer to the family into which Christina would marry.By uniting in wedlock with the Sifram’s,Christina Anita diffused the threat the Vikings had historically posed to overseas trade.She brought new blood into the Sifram’s;A traditionalist,she upheld and promoted the customs of western France,and was the perfect embodiment of a lady:genteel,talented and beautiful.In her youth,her unique musical talent was highly regarded by the noble circles in which she moved,raising her equity as a desirable marriage proposition.Her hometown of Saint Emilion in Bordeaux became a famous area for red wine and,having grown up around vineyards,she was adept at composing pastoral poems.It is no surprise that her entourage to the Sifram’s included many distillers and farmers.The marriage of Christina Anita and Sifram IV united the most comprehensive knowledge of vineyards and the most developed distilling skills with the fertile land of the Siframs.Thus,the Sifram’s garnered an incomparable edge in the red wine trade.
Ritchie Sifram VI of Burgundy.By the time Ritchie Sifram VI became head of the family,the reputation of his family’s red wine had spread all over France.Ritchie Sifram VI inherited both a massive family property,and the legacy of his family name.Palace life developed within him a discerning character and a unique way of thinking.Opting to leave his parents at a young age,he headed for Paris,the then center of Europe,and went on to study law at Paris University.He became a noted scholar before turning his excellent mind to expanding the family wine business across Europe,an ambition that was helped by the nascent rise of capitalism.A versatile and influential man,he later became a member of parliament where he benefited France with his superior economic intellect;for example,had a personal hand in various pieces of key legislation covering overseas trade and shareholding contracts in 17th century France.Sifram VI successfully realized the reach of his family’s business to every corner of Europe,enabling the Sifram brand to truly make its international mark.
End note:Centuries of legacy showcase the passionate relationship between red wine and time.The traditions and customs developed by the Siframs lives on in the grapes of a fertile land,yielding pearls of the deepest crimson that in turn become pleasure and wealth.A sip of Sifram red wine evokes history and the subtlety of high culture.Sifram red wine blends the generations of knowledge,nobility and tradition into its rich and full-bodied red wines.And this history will continue to live on.