There are many things I thought I knew about wine… and then I traveled to Burgundy with the sommelier. I’ve always known that I lacked a certain knowledge surrounding soils, vines, and wine production, but never quite knew the extent to which that lack would take me.
The French countryside is quaint, quiet in it’s camaraderie and community. The winegrowers go back generations, and those even as young as 24 are now being touted as the new face of the region. Thirty five years ago, Becky Wasserman, a working mother, realized the potential of these farmers, and negotiated their import into the US and other countries. She was not only a pioneering woman in Burgundy, but a trailblazer in business throughout the world.
This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be invited in a once-of-a-lifetime event, the celebration of The Wassermans, their company Le Serbet, and the winegrowers they have represented throughout the years. A traditional Burgundian celebration, we gathered at a country chateau, and were catered to as a sign of thanks.
After drinking Champagnes on the veranda, left to mingle with Burgundian celebrities, of which I admit I knew nothing about… we headed into a white tent with tables set like royalty. The menu consisted of en croutes, foie gras salad, melon and farm fresh peas; jambon, bress chicken, and various fromage and sweets enveloped the meal.
The table wine was magnificent, and that was just the beginning.
Winemakers began touring the tables, pouring their hard work for all of the region’s finest. I knew this was a magnificent event when the sommelier’s eyes popped open, and his jaw dropped wide. This was no normal day.
While I can’t tell you how impressive the list of winemakers were at this monumentous event, I can give you a sense of the community in which these farmers operate. Tradition trumps nouveau. The earth is the mother of all the things. Soils, water, and air being about the list amazing smells and tastes you could ever imagine. And they support each other. And love their trade. This is wine at its finest.
(Pictured: Becky Wasserman & Co. Represented Winegrowers)
I can never imagine experiencing something like this again, and am grateful to the sommelier and The Wassermans for including me in this invite-only celebration. I am now more aware than ever that there is so much more to learn and respect in the traditions and trade.
This post is linked to Kristin Oliphant’s Not So Small Stories.