Virtual Winemaker – The French Connection

We’ve recently launched our third Virtual Winemaker project – The French Connection. We’ve got big boots to fill, following in the footsteps of The Rioja Experience last year, which won us the award for Innovator of the Year 2013 at the International Wine Challenge.


We’re very excited to be working with our friends at Famille Perrin for this year’s project.  With the reputation as one of Chateauneuf du Pape’s greatest wine producers, they have an enormous amount of expertise to bring to the table.  The family own the very prestigious Chateau de Beaucastel, which lies at the heart of their highly esteemed Southern Rhone winemaking business. They have even worked with the likes of superstars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt!


The Perrin family own some of the finest plots in the South of France and wines from their estate are typically fresh, fruity and well balanced with a lavish feel and lush demeanour.  The French Connection project will see Virtual Winemakers participate in the decision-making process that shapes the exact direction – and future flavour – of a new red wine.  Virtual Winemakers will receive regular updates on the evolution of their wine, plus have the chance to win a trip to the French winery to see their wine being made firsthand! The excitement is wrapped up with a preview launch party of the finished wine, which all Virtual Winemakers are invited to attend.

For the curious folk who’ve not previously taken part in one of our Virtual Winemaker projects, the aim of the whole thing is to give Virtual Winemakers the ability to ‘live the dream’ and gain an insider’s view into the world of the winemaker.  One participant from last year summed up the experience perfectly: “Yesterday I had a 2-bedroomed flat in London; today I’ve got myself a slice of a vineyard”.

Last Summer, around 700 Virtual Winemakers joined us for our previous Virtual Winemaker project, where we teamed up with our friends at the magnificent Finca Manzanos winery in Spain.  After following the progress of the wine and four nail biting votes to decide on the blend, name, label and oaking, the resulting wine – Doncella Roja Rioja – was born.  The unique wine went down a storm at the launch party earlier this year and is currently rated an average of 4.3 stars out of 5 by customers on our website! A great taste of the success you can be part of with The French Connection this year…

Doncella Roja

“Stunning work!!! Perhaps I’m biased as I helped make this but when you taste the liquorice and vanilla notes it becomes apparent what a star this is. I must also add that the folks from Finca Manzanos are wonderful both as people and at their art! – John *****

So the bar is set pretty high. But we’re looking forward to making our Virtual Winemaker – The French Connection project even bigger and better than before! It would be great to share a toast with you, as a fellow Virtual Winemaker, at the end of it all.





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