A tasting at Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair ten years ago brought the Winehog to life – a magnificent tasting of the 2010 vintage (plus some older bottles) convinced me that Burgundy was more than worth pursuing in a really geeky way. At the tasting were Roy Richards and Clive Coates, and they helped inspire the idea of starting a Burgundy blog.
It has been a long journey – almost 20% of my life. To others, it’s been only a short ten years. But in all honesty, it’s mostly been a journey of perfectly ripe berries, and rarely sour grapes.
I started out free, writing in English(!), then switched to a subscription-based service after five years. I had done neither before, but I managed and did it – although sometimes in anger and panic! But I apparently had some ideas and thoughts that struck a chord.
A changing game
A blog and the Internet are games that constantly change; I know this from my previous life as a marketing manager. And while people will try to copy you, much as you find inspiration from others, you have to define for yourself where the border is. The trick is to change before you need to, and learn to reinvent yourself – again and again.
There are many people that I have to thank after ten years on the Burgundian wine scene.
First, Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, for the inspiration and his great wines, both at the 2010 tasting with Clive and Roy, and later through the years. Sincere thanks: It has been a treat.
Following on, Jean-Marc Roulot has been a great support in Meursault, giving me a very consistent look at white Burgundies. I have learned a lot from these tastings.
In Gevrey-Chambertin, Jean-Louis Trapet has been a constant inspiration, revealing new ideas and initiatives which his sons are now implementing, with a speed that leaves me almost short of breath.
Tomoko Kuriyama and Guillaume Bott at Chantereves have always been a “German” inspiration, and now they are really moving, with a growing estate. I am delighted to see that more people in the future can enjoy their fine wines.
Of the younger generation, I really admire Charles Lachaux, who is truly changing the game – not without risk, and perhaps also being the target of local gossip. This is how it is, however: Trail blazers are needed to take Burgundy forward.
I do also admire Maxime Cheurlin, whom I have followed more or less from the beginning. Maxime is still young, yet it is nonetheless a more experienced and accomplished winemaker who is at the wheel these days.
I have known Jean-Luc Pepin at Comte Georges de Vogüé for more than 20 years, and he is the foundation stone of Chambolle, and of my interest in Burgundy. Thanks for the help over the years.
Frédéric Mugnier should also receive a big cheer from all. Thanks for pointing out some of the problems with the direction of wine journalism, as well as wine consumption. Mugnier is a wise man in a world that rarely is, sadly!
There are many more good and great producers that should be, and deserve to be, mentioned – Burgundy friends like Jeremy Seysses, Nicolas Faure and Amelie Berthaut, Pierre Duroché, Alexandrine Roy, and Jean-Michel Chartron, the list goes on: Thanks a lot, to all of you – from all of me.
The BIVB in Beaune deserves thanks for its continued work during the Corona crisis, as well as its president, Francois Labet, who works both as BIVB head in this difficult time and is as well an always-helpful vigneron.
Last but not least, a thanks to my new home in Nuits-Saint-Georges: to the talented vigneron Pierre-Olivier Garcia for his knowledge and technical inspiration, and all the people of the town – Nicolas Drouhin, Thomas and Julien Protot, Jack and Pierre, Caroline and Gaia – you all make my day! And bring food to my table (no. 3, please)!