Salt & Old Vines

By Richard W H Bray

A real taste of winemaking - true stories about a wine, the people who make it and the place it's made

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

in good company

The other morning started much like any other Thursday morning in December. I ignored my alarm for as long as possible before emerging from bed and stumbling downstairs to fix my breakfast and take my pills. Sat at the table in my kitchen, scrolling through various social media, a story grabbed my eye. I blinked and did a double take. Something about Barack and Banyuls. 

"Oh yeah", I thought, "Obama's in Paris. Quite good he's been spotted having a bit of Banyuls."

It turns out it wasn't just a bit of Banyuls, however, it turns out that both he and Francois Hollande were enjoying a bit of my* Banyuls, the Galateo 2013. It was poured for them at a 3 Michelin Star restaurant during the Climate conference.

I'm sure there are authors and winemakers for whom such an occasion would merit little more than a shrug, or some comment about the terrible state of the world and perhaps even try to distance themselves from the idea of leaders of the free world enjoying their wares. Well fuck that, I thought it was cool as hell, Andy thought it was cool as hell, and rumour has it that even Philippe was quietly chuffed by the whole thing. And rightly so. There's a LOT of wine in France. To have ours selected for such an occasion was an enormous honour. For me, as an American, I was kind of surprised how proud it made me that my president drank a wine that I helped make. Perhaps that makes me less edgy and a touch uncool, but I would gladly trade those in for bragging rights about making a wine drunk by leaders of the free(ish) world. 

*"my Banyuls" is something of an exagerration - it's Philippe's Banyuls. He just very kindly allows me to tag along for the ride. 


If you haven't yet, please take some time to support my first novel, In Cathedral's Shadow. Unbound are offering a generous £10 off all purchases over the holiday period with the code "festivereading" - so it's a great time to chip in. 

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