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
Posts from the ‘France’ Category
“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
A harvest report is just in from Domaine Fichet, one of only three producers in the village of Ige in Maconnais. With original plantings that are over 30-years-old, Domaine Fichet is owned and operated by Oliver and Pierre-Yves Fichet, who’s father, Francis Fichet, first started bottling the family’s wines in 1976. Francis was also one of the first to plant Pinot Noir in the Chardonnay dominant region, and the family’s lieu-dit “Chateau London” is one of the oldest and most reputable terroir in the Maconnais. Big thanks to likemyvillage for the images and text.
To start harvest season I went to visit the team at Domaine Fichet. Listening to winemaker Olivier Fichet you sense the impatience of getting a year’s worth of work harvested in safety. Read more
In the Vineyard with Julien Peyras
Byron Bates of Goatboy Selections is back from the field with a few notes from his trip. Thanks Byron!
The south of France is magic in August. It’s easy to see why hordes of semi-hard working Parisians flock here every summer. The sun, sea, food and wine. We had a list of vignerons we have been wanting to visit and we also needed to pay our respects to our current friends. We hit the Fete du Vin et Valvigneres where we tasted with Sylvain Bock and Gerald Oustric of Le Mazel then partied at the gorgeous domaine of Andrea Calek. Valvigneres is stunning. It’s easy to see why so many top-tier natural wine producers (Oustric, Azzoni, Bock, Calek) hail from this slice of heaven and if you’ve never been, go!! This valley is as important as Morgon, Pouille, or Coteaux du Loir for vin nature enthusiasts. And Bock and Oustric are leading the way. Real, kick ass expression and winemaking from the soul.
Tuesday’s Passport Terroir, our 20th Anniversary Tasting at The Public Theater, Joe’s Pub and The Library was epic, and we couldn’t have pulled it off without YOU! We are eternally grateful to the 160 winegrowers who came to celebrate their years with us, and to the over 800 industry friends who joined us. Cheers!