Ξ February 23rd, 2010 | → 2 Comments | ∇ A Day at a Time, International Terroirs, Wine & Politics, Wine News, Winemakers |
The irrepressible Donna writes:
Everyone who knows me, knows I love wines from the South of France. They are near and dear to me and I’m a firm believer it is the future of France as we see all the named and historically famous wines become prohibitedly expensive and disappear out of the hands of the regular wine drinker into the very wealthy and increasingly the Asian market.
Here you find amazing value to price ratios unlike most wine regions in the world, save for Spain, which is slowly creeping up and less the value it once was. Unfortunately as successful as the region is, there still is a wave of vine pull schemes which tug at my heart every time I see another report.
The Trade Office of France and Sud de France have very generously brought me to the Languedoc to experience Vinisud, the largest wine trade fair for wines from the Mediterranean. I have to give props to Marie-Helene Courade of the Houston France Consulate who never forgets how I love going on these trips, making fantastic connections and putting up with my indecision when making flight reservations. Also thanks to Sarah Nguyen the Director of the Wine and Spirits for the French embassy trade office in NYC,
The Sud de France organization gave us all a wonderful welcome gift with our itineraries plus small gifts and samples of regional foods. One really neat gift and excellent for quick reference in a fun way is a sampling of wine tubes. Each tube contains a sample of the different styles of wines from the region. The AOC’s are for each style are printed on the back of the tubes along with the authorized grapes of the regions. As a wine educator, I kinda feel like Martha Stewart when I say “It’s a good thing”.
There’s a very busy schedule at these events. Frequently there’s a different hotel every night in a different city, dinner until 1 am, back up at 6 am, on a bus by 8am, repacking every morning, bodies fatigued, palates broken down, livers distended no matter how much wine you spat out but the opportunity to be in an organized visit schedule to meet producers and potentially bring their products to the United States, is gold. This trip I am thankful to be stationed in one hotel and I was able to completely unpack my garment bag and take account of all the things I need which I forgot to pack, but I did remember my Dansko clogs and will decline competing with all the very fashionable French women so I can cover as much of Vinisud as possible instead of moaning about hurting toes.
In addition to all the wines from the South of France at Vinisud I understand there are some wines from Corsica (very excited), Italy and Greece to also be included. I also saw they have a blind tasting room which I’ll be sure to visit and find out what that is about to see how badly I can humiliate myself. For those of you wondering why I’m disparaging my decent palate, I’ll fill you in about two weeks what that’s about.
There is going to be about 12 Halls in total and I received the book on only Hall 1 which is about 350 wines. And looking at the map of the event, Hall 1 is one of the smallest. So potentially, looking at about 5,000 wines? It can’t be that many, although I was looking at the pictures from last years regular Languedoc trade tasting and yes it could be.
Here’s the video from the 2008 Vinisud to see how large this trade fair is.
There is so much to pack into 3 days. They are also doing 3 full days of conference programs. I have signed up for 3, including the International Federation of Wine Journalists and Writer’s roundtable and a course on the new quality labels which I just don’t understand why it’s been changed. I’ll let you know if I’m still cranky about the change after learning about it more from those who really know. I know I want to go to Ryan O’Connell’s presentation about using the internet as a marketing tool on the last conference on the last day. He gave me a shout out on Twitter and I want to see what this young gun and his family are doing to make their wines successful. First look at his website impressed me.
The schedule for February 20th tells me we’re going to Cite de la Vigne et du Vin Gruissan which is on the coast near La Clape and then Carcassonne in the afternoon and for the evening visiting Corbieres de Bourtenac.
Schedule for February 21st has me going to Montagnac then visiting area wineries and then dinner at the Restaurant Le Sequoia with wines from Perpignan hopefully including the famous vin doux naturels from the region. I understand 3 groups of importers are going to enjoying this even on 3 separate evenings and I’m thrilled to be included.
Then finally 3 days of the main event which I have no idea how I’m going to get it all in, plus hopefully do some interviews’ in the time allowed and then home. I still wonder if I turned my hair curler off before I left.