October 27 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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Meet the Winemaker
August 31 @ 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
We are pleased to finally introduce you to our talented winemaker, Bernard.
Join us on August 31st at 11am,1pm and 3pm for a private meet & greet, tour of our facilities and exclusive tasting experience of our new wines with the winemaker himself. Bernard will be available for questions, pictures and wine bottle signings as we introduce our Bourbon Barrel Blend and Blaufränkisch. Please come about 10 minutes early to make sure you grab a spot for this private event. Space is limited. Check in will be in the tasting room upon your arrival. We are excited for this free event as we get to show off our amazing winemaker!
Learn More About Bernard…
“I was born in a small town in Southern France, called Bédarieux, in the Languedoc region. It is forty-five minutes from the Mediterranean, but at the foothills of Massif Central, a chain of old volcanos, in the back country.
My father and grandfather had a small vineyard and made wine until 1976. Looking back, I would like to think that I was helping my dad when I was a child, but I must have been more of an annoyance than anything else. I remember sneaking into the cellar, which was the first floor of my grandparents’ house, watching my dad and my grandfather crush the grapes and press them after the fermentation. They had a big vertical ratchet press dated from 1870. Pressing was manual, and I remember hanging at the end of the ratchet rod around the age of three years old. The press is still there, the wooden cage is long gone, but the ratchet system and the big vertical screw are still standing.
My first official harvest internship was in 1993 as a harvest hand at a wine Co-op in Faugères, about ten miles from Bédarieux. I was pretty indecisive about my future when I was a teenager. I briefly contemplated becoming an English teacher, because I enjoyed the class and I had good grades. Back in the 80’s science was pushed upon students, so I continued towards generic scientific studies through high school. I did enjoy food science, but when I had to decide my next step, winemaking seemed natural.
What is the best part of my job?! Free drinks! As long as I call it quality control. There are so many aspects to the job, that it is never boring. It is not a typical 9 to 5 job, you know when you start your day, but you can’t be sure when it will end. Winemaking mixes tangible science and abstract sensitivity. You must understand the laws of physics and reality, and at the same time you need to feel what the grapes in front of you want to become. In France we say, “you cannot force a donkey to drink if he’s not thirsty”.
The weather makes this job challenging. We cannot control it; we have to make do with what Mother Nature gives us but in that challenge lies the excitement of the unknown. Growing conditions will dictate what the wine will become and even though we cannot control it, however, this is not a bad thing. The amount of work, sweat and tears it takes to make a bottle of wine makes us appreciate a great vintage even more. It all starts in the vineyard. Most of the work is to tend the vines. This is particularly challenging on the east coast due to the climate. Wine is alive and evolves over time, it is never static; its color, bouquet and palate change continuously. You cannot achieve a style of wine from grapes that were not destined for that particular style. Yet, you can make a beautiful wine from these grapes, you just have to listen to what they are saying. Wine is alive, like us!”