Wine Advisors Take To Bordeaux

Last month, two of our Wine Advisors were selected to fly out to France, courtesy of the CIVB, for a tour of  one of the most famous wine regions of the world – Bordeaux. The region is steeped in history, world class wine and great food, so there was no shortage of new things to learn whilst overindulging all in the name of work!

As well as a few extra pounds around the waistline, the boys returned home with a real in-depth knowledge of how Bordeaux operates as a wine producer and its key role in the global wine industry.

Here are Jacob and Nathan with a bit more detail…

Jacob

What did you think of Bordeaux before you went, and how does that differ to what you think now?
Since working at Virgin Wines and having a fondness of Bordeaux wines, I’ve always been interested in visiting. Seeing the vineyards and the graft which goes into the wines was an eye opener, especially how much the methods and beliefs differ from each vineyard even if they’re down the road; they stick to what they believe in.

On a trip to a wine region, there’s always something you learn that surprises you. What was it for you?
The sheer scope of some of the vineyards and how many vines they take care of!

How many chateaux did you visit?
We visited eight chateaux.

Which was your favourite? Why?
Having dinner with the head winemaker and his friends in Graves, they had an in-house chef who was serving up incredible dishes. We might have overindulged in the wine but it was brilliant fun getting to chat to the winemakers when they’re on their downtime.

Favourite moment?
See above!

What did you think of the wines on show?
Amazing. We tried wines ranging from €10-100, all were fantastic in their own way. I preferred the full-bodied wines and really enjoyed the wines in Pomerol.

What advice would you give to someone about to go on the same trip?
Eat well!

Use only five words that best describe your visit.
Spoilt. Indulgent. Educational. Eye-opening. Fun.

Nathan

Nathan

What did you think of Bordeaux before you went, and how does that differ to what you think now?
I didn’t know much about Bordeaux at all. It was really informative and I learnt a lot more about different producers’ techniques and the basis of their decisions. The trip has both simplified, and complicated Bordeaux at the same time, as I wasn’t aware of the systems used there. Now I understand a lot more about quality and the importance of the different factors.

On a trip to a wine region, there’s always something you learn that surprises you. What was it for you?
The cost of production, I never realised how expensive everything was!

How many chateaux did you visit?
We visited two in each region, spending half a day per region, including a tour, tasting and at the second chateaux a meal.

Which was your favourite? Why?
Chateau Batailley – to put it simply the producer/negociant there was an absolute Don. His pure love of wine meant the exorbitant cost required to make some of his wines were of zero consequence to him.

Favourite moment?
Every single meal. The food and wine were incredible!

What did you think of the wines on show?
Amazing. The average wines we had varied from €5-30 at vineyard prices, and a few between €40-120. I wouldn’t want to think how much they’d cost here!

What advice would you give to someone about to go on the same trip?
Learn a little before you go, so you know what it’s all about, and you can concentrate on the really interesting stuff…and get ready to drink!

Use only five words that best describe your visit.
Eye-opening. Indulgent. Informative. Excessive. Fun!

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