Ξ February 25th, 2014 | → 0 Comments | ∇ A Day at a Time, International Terroirs, Languedoc/Roussillon, Wine News |
As storm clouds closed in and a light rain fell this morning upon the Parc des Expositions, it hardly mattered for the 1000s of participants of Vinisud 2014. Safely inside the many expansive halls, for seven hours the world was to be found here. Having wandered lost on Monday, many starring blankly at a map printed for those only with keen eyesight, by this morning,Tuesday, the paths and byways to each and every Mediterranean producer and their country had been collectively understood. We now knew where we were going, and so it was that foot traffic flowed smoothly and orderly.
The South West, Provence, the Rhone Valley, the Languedoc and its sparkling companion, Roussillion; Tunisia, Crete, the Lebanon, Corsica, Spain, Italy, and countries coyly labeled as ‘other’ in Hall B4, (yes, there were more), now had the full attention of the teeming professionals all on their game.
Mystery locations still remained, however, such as a conference hall for which no current map given us showed the way. Indeed, my first responsibility today was to participate on a panel discussion hosted by Wine Mosaic, a group dedicated to the preservation of Mediterranean grape and wine diversity. The panel was to tackle the question “Why and how to preserve original Mediterranean varieties?” Not so easy, we reluctantly agreed. (Much more to come on this subject in a later post.) Meanwhile the august Andrew Jefford led a bright tasting of both experts and initiates through the intricacies of one of the Languedoc’s most celebrated regions, Saint Chinian in another hall. Elsewhere presentations concerning the nuances of Châteaneuf du Pape and the Côtes du Rhône, Orange wines, the application of smart phone and touchpad technologies to marketing, dozens of specialized tastings, all events, great and small, hummed along like high tension wires in the rain. For the spirit and energy of international marketing ingenuity on display more than overwhelmed the weather outside.
Ears glued to phones, bodies pressed close to share a latest release, noses deep in Riedel, Spiegelau, or plain glass, the day marched on. Pessimism is global; optimism is local. And today, the second of Vinisud 2014, we were optimists.
Ken Payton, Admin