Another edition of “Les Trois Glorieuses” is in the books - truly the greatest wine celebration on earth, and always an incredibly fun and festive time here in Burgundy. The magical town of Beaune (Pop. 25,000) explodes to life with a massive influx of visitors from all over the world, and I’m sure the population here more than quadruples for a week or so.
We kicked off the weekend with a run - the Semi-Marathon de la Vente des Vins on Saturday afternoon. This was my 5th or 6th time, and Martha's first. It’s a beautiful course, but not one to run for a personal best - too many steep hills! (You don’t realize how steep the slopes of Pommard are until you try running up them, 9 miles into a 13-mile course!)
Sunday brought the 157th annual Hospices de Beaune Auction, where 787 barrels of the beautiful 2017 vintage were sold for a record take of over 13 Million Euros! The whites were up sharply with more than a 25% increase from last year, with the reds up less dramatically at 5-6% over 2016. The feeling here is that this bodes well, showing that demand is still on the upswing. Supply will be the problem over the next 12 months or so, as the delicious but rare 2016s are now hitting the market - or shall we say dribbling. No one has much of anything to sell - it will be very lean times for the producers until the 2017s are released in 2019. Our producers are looking at 5-10% price increases for the ‘16s, which will not even begin to cover their massive losses from the year, not to mention the losses from ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13, ’14 & ’15. It’s ironic that just as Burgundy is reaching its peak in popularity, there’s very little available for sale. That’s one of the themes we explore in our movie.
It was exactly one year ago we (Co-Producer Co-Director David Baker and I) finished filming our documentary feature “Three Days of Glory”, and have spent the last year taking some 50 hours of film and making it into a 75-minute movie that we hoped would, for the first time ever, capture the true heart and spirit of Burgundy. I think we’ve achieved what we set out to do - to let the world see the Burgundy that few outsiders ever get the chance to.
All of the winemakers and Burgundian personalities that are featured in the film were invited to a special sneak-preview screening last Sunday night in Beaune, and I admit that my stomach was in knots as the film rolled for the first time anywhere. Here was this American guy, showing the top Burgundians a film, telling them what Burgundy is all about! What was I thinking?! Fortunately, it seems that they think we got it right. One guest told us it “made her fall in love with Burgundy all over again” - and she’s lived here all her life! Another said they were “deeply moved, and thought we had really captured the truth”. An official release will happen sometime in early 2018 - so please watch this space and your email for all the info on upcoming screenings, events, etc.
If you’ve been reading this blog over the years, you’ll know that ever since my first experience in 2003 that the Paulée is my absolute favorite day of the year, every year. Birthday, Christmas, Anniversary - all rolled into one. Martha joined in for her first time ever this year. She has now declared that she is a "Musigny Girl" - this is going to get expensive :-) This year we were treated to an amazing 9-course feast from superstar chefs César Troisgros and Philippe Augé, and some 200+ bottles of outstanding mature Burgs that were brought by all of the guests to share. Massive thanks to my old boss and friend Véronique Drouhin and her husband Michel for organizing and hosting this world-class event.
A few favorites (of the 85 amazing wines tasted at the Paulée monday!)...
Martha & Pirrie and I are really looking forward to seeing you at our annual Holiday Champagne Tasting & Sale in Portland on Dec. 17th! It’s hard to believe we’ve been here almost 3 months. I’m not sure I’ve wrapped my head around the fact that we’re heading back home in just a couple of weeks - I know I’ll be excited to be back, and also a little sad to be leaving our little apartment in Beaune behind. Something tells me we’ll be back…