International Grenache Symposium – How is the Languedoc-Roussillon involved?

I was going to try to summarize the events of the Symposium, but there are a few problems with that plan.

  1. Too mcuh grenache-drinking tasting
  2. too little Internet time
  3. and Herve Bizeul, super blogger has already done it

Herve, the legendary winemaker at Clos des Fees, has one of the best wine blogs in France, and it’s certainly my favorite French-language winemaker blog.  Of course, his summary’s in French.  Live with it.  When I get home, I’ll try to do my own run-down of each panel as he has.  But for now, I just want to highlight his work because he’s a beast of a blogger.  SIX posts in one day covering every single discussion in every single panel.

In the meantime, I’ve managed to upload the start of the ceremonies presented by Walter MacKinley, Steven Spurrier, and Michel Bettane.  There’s something to be said for old fashioned typed out blogs with words in them instead of hours of unedited video. ;D

On that note, I guess I can pontificate a bit on how the Languedoc-Roussillon fits into this Grenache Symposium.  Obviously, we have some stellar Grenache.  The grape’s origins haven’t been PROVEN, but people pretty much agree that it’s from Catalan country which means that Roussillon and Catalonya are some of the oldest producers of this incredibly versatile grape.

And thankfully, we’re not just resting on our laurels as the first.  Guys like Bizeul and Gauby are still raising the bar for what can be accomplished with this grape in our region.  It’s days like this that I remind everybody that my show should really be called Love that Languedoc-Roussillon (but that’s not quite as catchy a URL).

And how do we fit into the global picture?  Well, this symposium is coming up with some pretty stellar ideas.  Projects range from long-term research and marketing that need major funds to stuff that we’re probably going to do next weekend.  Chain mails to all our restaurant friends threatening to curse their household unless they start serving our favorite varietal at the right temperature.  Organization of International Grenache Day parades where everybody wears shirts as loud as their favorite Grenache.  Crazy stuff. Fun stuff.  And if we want to remain a pertinent region, we have to be there at every step of the process.

When somebody gets a crazy chain letter about the serving temperature of Grenache, I want the word Languedoc-Roussillon to be in it.  And that means playing ball with all these other regions and getting motivated to actually talk about our wines.  We can’t leave it up to me and Herve Bizeul.  We need lots of people out there talking about the stellar wines produced here.

Everybody is already impressed with our showing at the symposium.  Tim Atkins did a shout out to the Roussillon.  Mas Amiel has been flaunting their vin doux.  Lionel Gauby is totally unpretentious as he moves through the crowd at the symposium.  My friends at Oustal Blanc showed what we can do with every color of Grenache at the Sud de France lunch on Friday. Now we just need to tell the whole world about ourselves. That’s all. :)

The future of Grenache is very bright. And I want the Languedoc-Roussillon to share in that grape varietal’s glorious future.

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