A Second French Revolution: Château Guiraud’s Sweet Eco Manifesto

Xavier Planty and his son Luc Planty may not be direct descendants of the 16th century owners of Château Guiraud in Sauternes, but they definitely inherited their revolutionary spirit. In fact, if there’s one word that best describes the wine business modus operandi of the Planty family, it’s rebellious. Which is exactly how one might…

Tasting the 2018 Bordeaux Futures: a palate-expanding experience

Tasting red wine en primeur is not for the faint of heart or faint of palate. Wine tasters participating in Bordeaux’s annual spring “futures” marathon go long and go hard. They must push themselves physically and mentally. Tasting schedules can be gruelling, demanding ~14 days of heavy lifting and one hundred plus Grands Crus Classé…

Bordeaux’s Château de Reignac: a Case Study in Risk and Reward

If you’re of a certain vintage – or a student of advertising – you may be familiar with the seminal 1962 advertising campaign for Avis. The car rental company summed up their ‘customer promise’ in the pithy advertising tagline “We Try Harder”. Of course, consumers everywhere wondered try harder than whom? Without saying as much,…

Bordeaux’s Château Cos d’Estournel: A Digital Future Guided by the Past

  “Is the wine as good as the architecture?” asked my professor-of-architecture friend when I sent him a photo of Bordeaux’s Château Cos d’Estournel. “And then some!” I say, as I attempt to absorb a lecture on “Saracenic style” – a mix of Indian, Islamic and classical architecture, a result of the British colonization of…

Counter Culture goes Mainstream: The arrival of Weed Wine (part 2)

When 60’s folk icon Bob Dylan wrote “….everybody must get stoned,” he could never have imagined a counter culture drug would be so common, so regulated, sooooo corporate. But here we are at the end of 2017, pot will be legal in California come January and across Canada by July 1st. Riding into the middle…