In an unprecedented road show, Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines has just completed a six-city tour showcasing benchmark wines from the extensive DC&E portfolio. The winemakers and winery principals from world renowned Burgundy Domaines traveled with the tour to pour and discuss their wines with industry guests and media in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, Miami and New York. Not in recent memory has such a collection of Burgundy producers toured the states together, which is a testament to the strength and breadth of the DC&E portfolio.
Christophe Grenaille, Director of Diageo’s international estate wines portfolio, realized a project two years in the making when the tour opened in Los Angeles on March 11. “It was important to show the industry and our distributor partners how the small, unique, fine wine region of Burgundy, is important to our overall portfolio. It has taken several years to find a schedule that accommodated so many producers, and I am delighted that all the pieces came together.”
For many wine enthusiasts and experts, the best wines of Burgundy represent an almost mythical standard of excellence. “If you are looking to find a wine with ‘soul’ – something more than grape juice, a history, a connection with the vineyard – then the conversation begins and ends with Burgundy. No other wine region has as much potential to speak to our souls. It’s like the pure joy you hear in Stevie Wonder’s singing, nothing else comes close for me,” enthused Keith Goldston, Master Sommelier.
DC&E has represented several of these wineries for more than forty years. In some instances Grenaille now works with individuals who are the children and even grandchildren of the original partners. “To see this gathering of winemakers, owners and family members from the stellar Domaines that we represent, both the ‘old’ guard and new generations, to hear them discuss their wines in their own words, was a special experience for me. Now we are at a new milestone, with a legacy of many years of representing these estates in the U.S. market.”
Keith Wollenberg, the Burgundy buyer for K&L Wine Merchants in California agrees with Grenaille. “Having the chance to talk directly with so many world-renowned producers and to taste their wines with them is the next best thing to taking a trip to Burgundy. You can learn much more about the growers, what they do and about their wines. It is this personal connection that makes it so much easier to be enthusiastic about their wines, and to better teach your customers why these are some of the top producers in all of Burgundy”.
In the highly competitive world of wine, the chance to sample rare, limited wines provide a valuable sales tool. “The Burgundy portfolio and this grand tour are things that make DC&E unique in the industry. The top wine buyers are perhaps the most elusive buyers to engage. It took an event of this caliber to draw them out and start to build a relationship. In San Francisco we had a tremendous turnout, great feedback and of equal importance, introduced some great wines and their growers to a wider audience of future Burgundy buyers” said Terry Owyang, Director of Trade Development at Pacific W&S.
Representing their vineyards, and in many cases a multigenerational family commitment to the wines of Burgundy, were Jean-Marc Blain of Domaine Blain-Gagnard, Claudine Blain of Gagnard-Delagrange, Bruno Colin of Domaine Bruno Colin, Philippe Colin of Domaine Philippe Colin, Michel Niellon of Domaine Michel Niellon, Alain Chavy of Domaine Alain Chavy, Thierry Matrot of Domaine Matrot, Guillaume D’Angerville of Domaine Marquis D’Angerville, Gilles De Courcel of Domaine De Courcel, Nathalie Tollot of Domaine Tollot-Beaut, Etienne Grivot of Domaine Grivot, Pierre-Emmanuel Gelin of Domaine Pierre Gelin, Christophe Roumier of Domaine Georges Roumier. The wines of Domaine Ramonet, Domaine Jean-Louis Chavy and Domaine Aurélien Verdet were also presented on the tour.
“I thought it was a great opportunity for consumers, press and key members of the trade to meet, mingle and taste with winery owners and winemakers from some of Burgundies best Domaines,” said Shyda Gilmer, Chief Operating Officer & Partner for Sherry-Lehmann. “I can’t remember the last time, if ever you have had your entire burgundy portfolio come together in NY. It truly made for a singular event. Bravo!”
About Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines
Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines (DC&E) is part of Diageo
(Dee-AH-Gee-O); the world’s leading premium drinks business. DC&E produces and markets premium wines from around the globe including Napa Valley, Sonoma, the California Central Coast, Washington, France, New Zealand and Australia. Brands include: Beaulieu Vineyard, Sterling Vineyards, Sterling Vintner’s Collection, Chalone Vineyard, Acacia Vineyard, Edna Valley Vineyard and Rosenblum Cellars as well as the French wines of Barton & Guestier and Domaine de la Roquète. DC&E is also a leading importer of estate-bottled wines from Burgundy and Alsacian wines from F.E. Trimbach.
Diageo’s broader business includes an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wine and beer including Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan and Crown Royal. Diageo is a global company, listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands and performance, visit us at http://www.diageo.com.
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