“When I was a child, I wanted to be God,” said Andrea Calek, and laughed. “Not president or a winemaker. President is nothing. It’s so small. I wanted to be God.” And while he doesn’t consider his work in the cellar or vineyards to be god-like in any way, he has found a slice of paradise in Ardèche, living in a trailer amongst his 5ha of Ecocert certified vines. Read more
Posts from the ‘France’ Category
On Sunday, a few of us rode La Provençale Sainte-Victoire, a 95KM ride in Provence. A stunning course that included three pretty serious climbs (totaling 4,130 feet), and some harrowing descents, it was the most beautiful 95K that I have ever ridden, scented with lilacs, lavender and shrub Provencal herbs. And while my training had been pretty threadbare, I dug the paced commitment required to reach the top of Sainte Victoire, Côte de Bèdes and Col du Sambuc (a 6.5 mile climb). The guys fared a bit faster, pace-lining with some winter training to their legs. But we all loved riding in France, where cycling is a revered spectator sport. Read more
As the vines near budbreak, we stole a moment to catch up with Patrick Burke (#ExPat), our French Portfolio Manager, who’s been living with his ear and palate close to the terroir for the past eight months. “I’ve spent a lot of time with our existing producers and it’s deepened the existing friendships,” he said. “When you see them once or twice a year, it’s business. But being able to see them more often, in a casual setting, it’s allowed me quality time that’s not the standard of a winery visit. It’s strengthened relationships.” Such immediate access has also given Patrick a more intimate understanding of each producer’s winemaking style, he said. “You see how they relate to other people in their villages, you get more insider information.” On the road seven to ten days a month, Patrick recently introduced Chateau de Lavernette, a historic property that straddles Beaujolais and Maconnais, and just joined our ranks. “His family has owned the property since they bought it from the Tournus monks, in 1596,” he said. “They have vineyards all around the chateau and Xavier [de Boissieu] is the latest to take over the estate.” Read more
Big thanks to all who came out to taste. This week’s Rosé Tasting was our best yet, with over 150 in attendance! After a long winter’s crawl, we couldn’t have asked for more – sunny blue skies, an extra hour of daylight, and 40 rosé wines from some of our top producers, from all over the globe. Finally…it’s safe to say, spring is near.
It took Geoffrey Loisel, of Billecart-Salmon Champagne, ten years to find his way home. After working for a small wine-importer that was based in Atlanta, Georgia for a year, Geoffrey committed his life as a Frenchman to selling wine in America. After working for a few years with Mary Brizard, a cordial company that’s based in France, Geoffrey moved onto work with Boisset Wines for a year before he entered the world of Champagne through Pommery. When the recession hit in 2008, he realized the lack of potential for growth, and accepted a position with a distributor that’s very much like The Procter & Gamble of wine .“I stayed for one and a half years and realized it wasn’t my thing,” said Geoffrey. “I realized I had to sell good wine to be happy.” And then he found Billecart-Salmon. Read more
“I remember the early days at Gramercy Tavern,” said Seth Liebman, the spirited Beverage Director at Claudette. “There was a period when we refused to have Merlot on our list because people would come in and instead of asking for red wine, they’d ask for Merlot as the catch all, even if they wanted Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. Now, in large part thanks to the New York somm community, it’s exploded into so many ‘others’. Who would have thunk someone would walk into a place and ask for Ribolla?” Read more
2014 was an amazing year for all of us here at TEW. And for this, we offer great thanks to our families and friends, to our winegrowers and buyers, and to everyone who supports us and them. Looking back on the year, our 20th as a company, we’ve a lot to reflect on. Cheers to a beautiful year! We look forward to spending 2015 with you! Read more
Patrick Burke, our French Portfolio Director, traveled from his home in Lyon to meet JP and Pam in Bordeaux, where they visited with a few of our growers. What follows is his assessment of the state of Grower Bordeaux. Thanks #ExPat!
There is, I think, a very valuable association to be made between the growers in Champagne and the dwindling number of small family estates of the Medoc. When a few small growers with good reputations decided to stop selling their harvests to big Champagne houses, in favor of making their very own limited production Champagnes, a movement was born. The Grower Champagne movement ensures itself a sustained place in the Champagne market because buyers around the world love the story of the “little guys” making very good, very rare, Champagnes. Don’t we all love to support the underdog? If one looks to the modern Medoc landscape they will see a seriously speculative wine scene dominated by historic Chateaux owned by multinational mega-companies that are getting bigger at the expense of the small family owned estates. Read more
As most of you know, Patrick Burke, our French Portfolio Manager is living the year in Lyon. He spent the past couple of weeks harvesting the rounds with our producers in Burgundy before heading to Barolo for Barolo Camp with Greg Reeves, our Italian Portfolio Manager, and a few reps. What follows is Patrick’s (#ExPat) report from the field. Merci Patrick! Read more
Chantal Tortochot sent us the following report for her 2014 harvest at Domaine Tortochot, along with these stunning photographs. Thanks Chantal!
There was no winter in Burgundy with a lot of rain in autumn.
The months of February, March and April were mild, sunny, and dry. This allows an early development of the vines. June has been very beautiful, largely dry, and warm sometimes quite hot. So the flower time passed with some north Wind that made some millerandage. There was no risk of mildew and any other disease. Read more