Posts tagged: clos des fees

Languedoc Flexes its Internet Muscles in L’Express Special Vin

The latest hors series from L’Express, numero 5 Spécial Vin Juin-Juillet 2011, has a whopping 12 pages devoted to wine online in France.  And the Languedoc Roussillon is prominently featured.  As always, I’d like to thank the writers for including our region in the article, and I’d like to take a moment to expand on some of the ideas.

Approchable Tone of the Articles

Since l’Express is not primarily a wine magazine, this special wine issue will be landing in the mailboxes of normal people.  In the circle of wine professionals, wine journalists and wine bloggers, we often forget about normal people.  These are folks who enjoy an occasional glass of wine, but don’t devote more than a few minutes per day to the thought of what wine they’ll drink later on.  The truth is almost everybody falls into that category, yet very little is written for these normal wine consumers.

This series of articles delightfully bucks the trend.  The highly esoteric crossroads between wine and technology become approachable as the authors explain everything from the basics (what is a wine blog?) to the more advanced stuff (why blog?   who is worth reading?).

Given how entertaining the articles are, it’s also rather impressive how detailed they are.  The directory of wine blogs on page 39 looks astoundingly similar to my RSS feed (at least the French part of it).  And includes a couple of sites I haven’t seen (shame on me; will correct this soon).

And there are some interesting talking points.  American studies suggest that the top 20 wine blogs have a larger audience than the Wine Spectator.  Does this mean that the top 20 wine blogs have more influence?  Although, I’d have to look at the methodology of the study because it seems like a lot of that readership would be shared across the top 20.

Inclusion of Multilingual Blogs

After the conversation about language barriers at VinoCamp Lisbon, I was actually going to write a post about how most listings of French wine websites overlook the blogs that aren’t primarily written in French.  Even though we’re based in France, our language choice marginalizes us in the French press…until now.  I’m glad to say that the directories in l’Express include many bloggers who aren’t writing in French.  Jim’s Loire, More Than Just Wine, and Love That Languedoc to name a few.  And of course all the lovely French girls who choose to blog in English (Miss Vicky Wine, Eyes Wine Open).

If I have one criticism of l’Express, it’s that paper magazines can’t include ALL the good blogs.  An obvious example being the author of the article, Nicolas de Rouyn, neglected to mention his own wine blog Bonvivant.  But that shows that they really made an effort to include as many blogs as possible, even to the detriment of the journalists writing these articles!

Winemaker Blogs where the Languedoc Roussillon shines

An article by Miss GlouGlou (under her slightly more respectable pen name Ophélie Neiman) addressed the peculiar beast that is the winemaker blog.  The first page of her article showcases a screen capture of the Clos des Fées blog.  Herve Bizeul, rests peacefully in a field of wild flowers in the site’s header.  The article includes an extensive interview with Hervé who is a good match for the philosopher side of Ophélie’s personality.  He talks about how the blog helps him cope with the sometimes lonely life of a winemaker.  The blog connects us to a world that is very far removed from our remote hilltop vines.  All in all, a fun article and a great tribute to the region.  Herve is obviously a flagship of the Roussillon.  And Ophélie mentions three other Languedoc blogs in passing, Clos Romain, Domaine Lisson and O’Vineyards.   Four out of the top 15 isn’t bad at all!

And you can check out a complete list of active wine blogs by Languedoc Roussillon winemakers.

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Hervé Bizeul addresse la confiance des producteurs de Grenache

Hervé Bizeul a parlé sur le sujet de la confiance des producteurs de Grenache au premier Symposium International du Grenache. Si nous voulons vraiment promouvoir un cépage comme le Grenache, Il exige que nous soyons nous-même convaincus que les vins issus de Grenache méritent l’attention Internationale.

Nous ne devons pas être complexés. Il faut réaliser que nous faisons de grands vins.

Hervé mentionne également qu’il est impossible de créer un “vin culte”. Ceci est vraiment difficile puisque le statut culte vient non seulement de la qualité d’un vin mais aussi d’une passion qui saisit un certain nombre d’amateurs de vin et crée une demande qui surpasse la disponibilité du vin. Ce n’est pas facile à synthétiser ce genre de phénomène.

Il vaut donc mieux s’appliquer à créer de grands vins en espérant que le publique sera aussi convaincu que nous! Le grenache peut être bon. Il est déjà bon. Faisons de lui un cépage encore meilleur!

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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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