Now Rent-a-Vine on the World Wine Web
Thought you knew all about wine, well until you’ve raised and bottled your own Château Bordeaux , from the comfort of your easychair, you don’t even rank.
The ultimate for the wine snob in us all – must be owning one’s own personally-branded wine, grown under one’s own supervision on one’s own grapevine rented on a domaine producing grapes in some of the best terroir in France.
A few clicks on the Internet, and a not inconsiderable sum in lieu, lets anyone hankering to be a vintner, become the proud owner of their own grapevine in a French vineyard for a year.
With this intriguing deal comes a welcome pack, a winegrower’s certificate, a sample of the loam around the vine in this hallowed Château and a grapevine to plant in one’s own garden, just for fun.
Our wannabe vinter will later be invited to visit the domaine and watch the progress of the grapes on their vine plot, followed by the making of their own personal branded wine and, thanks again to the Internet, the very moment when the harvest is bottled, named and shipped, surely the ultimate in a virtual wine experience.
It says: “The history of wine starts in the vineyard, and is often the least understood part of the work of the winemaker”. The website points out that the domaines with which it partners are all located on exceptional sites in major wine-growing areas around France.
“A visit to your rented vine can thus become a cultural and gastronomic adventure or, if your prefer, just simple relaxation,” it says. On behalf of the various domaines involved the site rents customers a small parcel of vines that can be monitored throughout the year via the internet.
A customer can locate his rented vines on the chosen domaine on the website and then sit back and relax because whatever vagaries might affect the harvest, he is guaranteed the personalised bottles selected at the time of payment. À votre santé.
One vineyard in which you won’t be able to rent a vine (yet) is this one in the heart of Montmartre, Paris and which dates from Roman times. Any casual visitor to the artists’ quartier would be blissfully unaware of its existence. But if you’re after the latest Paris vintage, you might try knocking on the gates at Clos Montmartre .
Meanwhile …. the Internet and social media like Twitter are transforming wine marketing by vineyards around France and savvy young wine entrepreneurs from France and elsewhere are jumping on for a fast digital ride.
Take VINOCAMPPARIS for example where in early July, according to Miss Vicky Wine “50 French bloggers, wine entrepreneurs, ecommerce heros, wine social media specialists gathered to celebrate the wine and the web in Paris at the very first edition of VinoCamp Paris. Why? Because the World Wine Web is buzzing in France, start ups are rising every week, I have new blogger friends poping up on the net every now and then, especially women. We all know each other on Facebook, Twitter and eventually meet at wine tastings. But no event until now has brought us together in a gathering.”
VinoCamp Paris is just the latest example of the digital changes being wrought to one of the country’s most traditional activities. Wine growing today it would appear, goes nowhere without a broadband link to the “World Wine Web “.
And so back to our vine renters who here are shown on a recent visit to one of their domaines :
Here are a few selected wine sites offering help of all kinds to buyers. Yes some of the sites are in French only but what better incentive to brush up your language skills!
Vindicateur, free guide to the best French wines (it says).
Find a Wine claims to be the wine search engine on the web
Vinogusto – Wine and wine tourism guide with user recommendations
Blog offering lists of Languedoc-Roussillon Wineries with Facebook Pages and Vineyards on Facebook
Story: Ken Pottinger