9 May, 2022
Once a year, the winemaker Julien Pineau, a friend of Thomas, invites you to open-door days, an informal fair for friends and family, in his cellar in Mareuil-sur-Cher. However, he not only presents his wines, but also invites fellow vigneron:nes, who in turn can present their wines and sell them directly. The audience consists of a mix of traders and importers as well as people from the area and winemakers. Thomas was a guest last year, this year I was supposed to help him at the stand and present his wines. Breaking a wheel in French, I introduced myself as the German intern (stage) or friend (ami), named the most important attributes of the wines in French and then offered to continue talking in German or English. The consistently positive feedback on more or less all of the wines we presented was very pleasing. However, that did not stop us from repeatedly questioning the order in which the wines presented were presented. Would it have been better to offer that wine at the end of the tasting? Or was it placed just right at the beginning? The fact that after a long conversation one of the people at our stand introduced himself to us as an employee of Louis/Dressner, a well-known North American importer, and expressed interest in working with Thomas was the icing on the cake (and in a certain way, of course, also the purpose of such an event). Whenever there was time, Thomas and I tried the wines from the other exhibitors (e.g. Complémen’ Terre, Domaine Curtet or La Bouchaude). In the evening, after we had already enjoyed lunch and a concert, there was an excellent dinner for everyone involved, with the wines that each exhibitor had brought as a stand fee being served. There was dancing later in which Thomas participated. I was happy just chatting the night away. The same program applied to Sunday. On Sunday I really enjoyed Zamzamrec’s trippy DJ-set, the musical selection was intriguing and eclectic and… not too loud! The happy conclusion: I know few better hosts than Julien. Hopefully next year it will be again: Portes Ouvertes!
P.S.: On the way back I made a checklist to be prepared for the next fair.
– label bottles in good time
– take cart
– bring corkscrew
– bring pen for labeling the bottles
– bring Drop Stop
– write price list for importers
– have business cards ready
– offer take-away boxes for customers who buy more than three bottles