Bordeaux Wine Trip: The Newest Tourism Application for Bordeaux Wines

As the gates of Bordeaux Fête le Vin open today, a new wine tourism application will be going online.  The result of many months of hard work by the CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux) in collaboration with hundreds of Chateaus around the region, the new smart phone application “Bordeaux Wine Trip” will allow visitors to plan and organize their visit to Bordeaux before even arriving.

Available on smart phones, tablets and online at www.bordeauxwinetrip.com , the new free application offers a range of tools for visitors.  Traditional information on Chateaus and their tourism offerings are available, however it is the geolocation option that is interesting, allowing the user to find Chateaus, restaurants and hotels around the user or in a specific area.  You can then create an itinerary and access it later. Knowing that many of the user’s may be from another country (ie they will not have 3G coverage in France) the application also indicates a map of WIFI locations.  Following a model similar to TripAdvisor users can also rate and comment on their experience at a winery or locale.

Bordeaux Wine Trip works in tandum with another CIVB application Smart Bordeaux transferring the user directly to the Smart Bordeaux page on the winery.

The application is useful if you are looking to plan a trip to Bordeaux – or just looking to dream a bit while at work – but I would recommend it to those living in Bordeaux.  The WIFI option as well as the list of wine bars and restaurants is very thorough.  I am curious to see how some of my favorite addresses are rated.

The free application can be downloaded on iTunes or you can play with the application on its website.

Well that’s all for now… I’m headed off to see Bordeaux Fete le Vin for myself!

My Evening with a Unicorn

Bloggers are strange creatures…. mythical, almost like unicorns. You often hear about them, see traces of them, but you rarely see them. Well last night I sighted one of my favorite wine bloggers in person.

Wine blogger Jonathan Choukroun Chicheportiche with winemakerAlexia Eymas and Emmanuel Poirmeur

 

Jonathan Choukroun Chicheportiche is the man behind the blog Vert de Vin. Each week, Jonathan shares his experience with one Château in and around the Bordeaux region. His posts are written in both French and English.

Last night at Bu Bar he brought along several of his friends for his first tasting.

 

The Wines:

 EgiaTegia

Can you pronouce that? No I can’t either, that’s because it’s Basque. It literally means “The Workshop of Truth” and is the name chosen by Emmanuel Poirmeur. In many ways Poirmeur is a Basque Pioneer. In 2009 he decided to plant Chardonnay vines on the Atlantic Coast of Basque country, reclaiming a wine region that had long been forgotten. For the moment EgiaTegia is offering an original Chardonnay, but the winery plans to plant Tempranillo and Grenache further inland to benefit from the hot continental climate.

Château Maison Neuve

Wine maker Alexia Eymas was on hand to pour her blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris – a varietal that we are seeing more and more of. Château Maison Neuve located in the Côtes de Blaye region on the right bank is known for its gardens- and I hear is worth a visit.

Château La Bouade 

The men who are making Sauterne sexy, Oliver Fargues and Stéphane Wagrez of Château La Bouade

Oliver Fargues and Stéphane Wagrez were pouring their first vintage of Château La Bouade last night- and they were as proud as a father with his newborn. The two friends are taking a new approach to the Bordeaux sweet wine. “When we started we wanted to make Sauternes accessible, modern,” explains Stéphane, “We’re making Sauternes sexy!” Their Cuvée Coccinelle is a lighter expression of Sauternes, and could be enjoyed during a meal of Asian cuisine or seafood, allowing you to finish the entire bottle- often a challenge for Sauternes.

The locale: The Bu Bar is located at 25 rue du pas St Georges in Bordeaux near the Place Camille Julian – and is one of my favorite wine spots in Bordeaux. More to come in the near future.

The Unicorn: Jonathan Choukroun Chicheportiche (try spelling that out over the telephone) is the man behind the blog Vert de Vin. Each month he organizes tastings with a collection of his friends from Châteaus in and around the Bordeaux region. To read about his adventures and attend his next free tasting, visit his site in English or French.

Social Media Warriors: VinoCamp Loire

Wine is meant to be shared…

Although it may happen from time to time, (you know you’ve opened a bottle for yourself after a hard day at work), most of us choose to uncork our special wines in the company of our nearest and dearest.  For this reason, it is no surprise that wine has so naturally taken to social media.

These days, after Geolocalizing and “checking -in” at your favorite Château, you can tweet your arrival to your followers, scan a QR code to download your technical sheets and join the fan page – all before tasting a single wine. Yes, the act of enjoying wine is more and more about sharing the experience and finding a community to join you along the way.

France, one of the world’s capitals of wine and pleasure has joined  (and started in many cases) the online conversation. Among the most passionate – and the most connected- are the participants of VinoCamp.

First started in 2010 by technology guru Gregoire Japlot and Anne-Victoire Monzozier (known by her fans as the charming blogger Miss Vicky Wine), VinoCamp was created in the spirit of social media- to facilitate an exchange of ideas and create a community around wine- both on and offline.

VinoCamp, a free conference held several times each year at major cities around France (as well as an edition in Portugal) recently completed its seventh edition in Tours, the capital of the Loire Valley.  The event, which ran for two days, was a combination of the virtual (conferences, brainstorming sessions and online Twitter battles) and the physical (tastings and producer visits).

The Loire edition welcomed wine bloggers, producers, press agents, students and wine amateurs to brainstorm on a range of topics including the basics of Twitter and Facebook, legal restrictions of online wine communicating (Loi eVin), terroir & wine tourism, social media in China and the latest and greatest in communication tools ( Scoop.It!, Tripline, VinTank, Pinterest, TweetAWine, TweetDeck, Klout …)

Each brainstorming session was organized in a round table format, allowing every member to participate and contribute.  The end result was a mixture of shared personal experiences, technical know-how, pertinent communication tools and a newfound network of wine lovers.

Theory quickly gave way to practical application as wine corks were popped in a general tasting where producer participants were able to share their products with newfound wine-geek comrades.  This edition also included a special evening event in the caves of Domaine Bourillon Dorléan in Vouvray and a tasting hosted by Anne-Charlotte Genet in the caves of Domaine Charles Joguet in Chinon. The cherry on top of the weekend was a final glass of Chenin Blanc aboard the traditional Gabare boat on the Vienne river.

VinoCamp Loire summed up in images

The next stop on the VinoCamp tour is set for Champagne in three months time.  To become part of the movement visit their website and join in on the conversation. Hope to see you for a glass of bubbly at VinoCamp #8!

Art & Wine in Sauternes: A Good Excuse to Head South

Golden Treasure from Château Filhot

Many of us have had the occasion to enjoy Sauternes wines, those golden, silky, aromatic wines from the Left Bank, but few of us have had the opportunity – or the excuse- to visit the region.

Well the time is now.  Beginning on Saturday the 17th of March until May 8th, three of the top Châteaus in the Sauternes region of France are opening their doors to present a special art exposition. Château Giraud, Château d’Arche and Château Filhot have collaborated with artist Cathy Schein to create ‘murmures’, an exposition inspired by the wines of each wine producer.

 

The Châteaus are open each day to receive visitors. Special guided visits, with the artist Cathy Schein, are available on the weekends and include tastings of each Chateau’s top wines.

I was fortunate to visit the Châteaus and meet the artist this weekend.

 

Here is a short video.  Watch in full screen for the best results.

If you are unable to make the trek South of Bordeaux (or from wherever you are) visit the websites of each Château to see the best way to enjoy Sauternes at your home, some of their food pairings may surprise you!

For information and reservations visit Cathy Schein’s website