Monday, February 22, 2010

Shall the wine finally be sold on American soil?

Well, I spent yesterday at the winery. Yes, in the beginning it was awkward, but hey, business is business and I've been working for a while to increase the awareness of JP's wines to the American public. So, when two very interesting importers are available to come visit and taste, well, I'm going to be there and make sure that it all goes smoothly.

And so it did. JP had gotten the house in order and prepared the wines. I brought a quiche and bread to nourish he who needed it before the next rendezvous in Montpellier.

Our first visitor was an importer/distributor from Boston who works throughout the New England area. He specializes in French and Italian wines and impressed us immediately with his timely arrival, his compliments for my directions, and his superb French. It is not everyday that we meet an American whose French surpasses mine! Son of a diplomat, educated in North Africa, and with a great sense of humor, he knows his French wines and tremendously impressed JP. He also knows his market and told us that though he's sold more wine in the past year, his income has gone down, not much, but nonetheless a bit. So, the conclusion is that wines in the 10$ range are the easiest to sell at the moment, and that ours would be just a touch above this. I believe he liked our classic red Tradition 2009. Will he take this further? I'm not sure. But for all of you who might be able to purchase the wine in your neighborhood (anywhere in New England) should you be so inspired, you could send an email to Hugh MacPhail at Idealwines... just a wee note, nothing overwhelming.

As he set off I received a phone call and helped direct our next visitor to the winery. GPS isn't very useful in these parts unfortunately. Seth or Salamanzar is co-owner of the Wine Authorities store in Durham, North Carolina devoted to small estate wines at reasonable prices. He particularly likes organic/bio-dynamic and was delighted that we are. He had a rendezvous just 45 minutes later in Montpellier, so not having a lot of time to chew the fat we got right down to the tasting immediately upon his arrival. Serious, present, interested, we went through the full range. We discussed the red Vin de Pays in 3Litre bag-in-box, the rosé ditto, and the two top reds. He was very interested in all the wines, and pleased with their price ranges. Apparently North Carolina (or the triangle area) hasn't been too hard hit by the economic crisis. Fascinating and good news for us. So, for those of you in this area (Teresa! Dorette!) do feel free to whisper a word into Seth's ear and perhaps you'll have some lovely Domaine Cabanis to purchase in the near future.

The ViniSud Wine Fair in Montpellier is what drew these men to the neighborhood at this time of the year. Happily, I was able to piggy-back on their presence and get them out to taste and visit. Definitely a strategy to work in the future as well.

6 comments:

Zuleme said...

sounds like you did a good job for him. Good luck with sales!

The Sabbatical Chef said...

I am the one who sent Seth to you, my dear! I told him how much I love Jean Paul's wine and I was hoping he would be able to fit that into his trip.
I look forward to tasting Cabanis wine again in just a few days when I return to Arles!!
Teresa

Madeleine Vedel said...

Zuleme, I do enjoy the work/marketing. It combines all my skills. And of course! it is Teresa who sent us Seth. Thank you!!!

Gillian said...

You've probably thought of this or perhaps have already done so - what about teaching French to English speakers.... Am currently having French lessons with the lovely Agnes from Albi who is in Cork on sabbatical. A beautiful but tricky language...

Madeleine Vedel said...

Gillian, I've offered and am offering again this spring French language intensive weeks (a one to two week program) blended with cooking classes, wine tasting, hikes excursions, the cinema... If you've a cluster of friends who would be interested, I could very easily do this. I've teachers on hand and possibilities aplenty.

Gillian said...

Madeline, if you send me an email with details/costs I'll post a general email to all of the staff at the college at which I teach. I'll ask that they forward it to their friends etc. Also, I don't know whether you've joined Twitter (may have overlooked the logo on your blog), but this is a good way to build relationships and advertise your services. I will be in France in June and would like to meet up with you with a view to maybe doing a joint workshop in 2011 as I have am putting together a holistic photography course (photography as spiritual practice combined with Chi Kung etc.)!