Thursday, 22 October 2009

A weekend to celebrate

I have just got back from the UK, where we were celebrating my parents 40 years in the business with a big tasting event at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London.

It really was quite an event, with the chance to meet and talk shop with many a customer, even some who have been catching the blogs and know what’s going in Bordeaux this year. It’s fair
enough spending time making sure we make the best wines, but unless we have interaction with customers and get feedback, then we don’t really know if people actually enjoy it. But from the response over the weekend it seems that all is well and we are going in the right direction. Also have to mention that my Wilson Gunn Bellum 2007 picked up silver (twice) in best wines of the show. But I really have to thank a certain Mr Frazer for doing such a great job in selling it!

It’s quite amazing to think my Dad started 40 years ago in the same village that I am living in now. I met many a customer and producer this weekend who have been buying or selling from my Dad for longer than I have been alive! This I find incredibly impressive, and such loyalty I am sure can only happen through honesty, good service and a natural love for the product. I feel very proud to be associated with such a business and look forward to doing my little bit to keep both the customer and the producers happy and engaged!

While all this was going on I actually missed another celebration – the last day of the vintage. Yep, on Friday we picked the very last grapes of the year, the Cabernet Sauvignon for La Clariere. I called early on Friday to make sure everything was going ok, only to be informed that it was -1 degrees. This is very unusual for this time of year and any frost just kills the leaves on the vines, which meant we really couldn't have pushed it any further this year. In fact, when I returned this morning, I noticed all the vines in the bottom of the valleys had been turned to ruin with the leaves brown and about to fall off. I’ve never seen this before and you can even see the frost line on the hills with brown at the bottom and green on top.

Thankfully everything is now in so nature can throw what it likes at us and we won’t care! A lot of the ferments are now finished or coming to an end and this is where we get to really see what we have created. Unfortunately my jaunt to the UK has given me something to take back to France, a stinking cold! So I will have to wait for it to pass before providing you with the first tasting notes of the 2009 vintage!!

P.S. A few customers kindly asked how Alfie the dog is doing after his op! Well I came back to find he had eaten the roof out of our car………. so looks like he’s back to normal!! Arghhhhhhh!

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