Thursday, June 27, 2013

John & Lynne Ford at Vinexpo

On Sunday we headed from Oléron to Bordeaux, quite early, to be at the start of Vinexpo, which lasted five days. And wonderful, exhausting days they were, walking several miles every day to taste some superb, some OK and frankly just a few really shocking wines. We sampled wines, champagnes and cognacs from France, wines from all over Europe, North and South America, New Zealand and one from Australia (who did not have official representation), and some South African. Our conclusion: You do need to taste wines from all over the world to get wine into perspective, but we know that we produce really good wines in South Africa and this visit confirmed it.

Our car had a TomTom GPS fitted, which made finding our way easy
The scale is immense. Hall 1 is about 1.5 Km long and ± 100m wide
The entrance in Hall 2
 which is bigger than the CTICC
The South African stands were in Hall 3
We started by registering at the media centre
where we were the only SA media representatives
It was a much needed place to sit and rest our weary legs
get some refreshment (good coffee as well)
and catch up on emails
We visited the South African stands
 which, collectively, were dwarfed by the exhibits of countries like Portugal
Their Governments value and give financial help to their wine industries. Ours does not

The fourth hall is a long walk across the lake on a causeway and is where you see accessories, like glasses & corkscrews
The clever man from Gonzalez Byass pouring Tio Pepe Fino sherry from his wine thief
 Pretty flowers along the edge of Hall 1
Small buses and club cars to help weary legs,

especially in the rain
A stand selling wine books - we would have liked to have seen Platter there

Off home after a long day, with a couple of wines for our dinner
Asara winemakers Tanja-Marie Goedhart and Francois Joubert with Lynne at the Chianti stand
 Tasting Portuguese wines with Robert Joseph
 At a tasting of Sauternes wines (we don't often see noble late harvests in magnums!)
 
we ran into Villiera's Jeff Grier, who was representing his French property
 A wine and food pairing at Barton & Guestier
One of the more unusual displays
 and an unusual label for wines from all round the world. The chenin blanc was made by Kleine Zalze
We tasted rosés from Provence, some superb, some barely OK
delicious German wines
 Mexican wines
 
with a Mariachi accompaniment
some good Listrac Medoc and Languedoc
 good Chablis 
good Burgundy
and very bad Burgundy
excellent Pouilly Fumé and Sancerre from Henri Bourgeois
very good Chenins from the Loire 
and some very good South Africans, as we would expect at an international exhibition!
 We wanted to taste Shaoxing rice wine, but they didn't have an open bottle!
Before the show closed, we paid a last visit to the South Africans
 where the WOSA girls were having a bit of fun with a Mexican
Display bottles for disposal - we were warned that they contained any old rubbish
 and tasting bottles, from which one could choose wines to take home
so we did
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