Introduce Yourself

Snooth User: Hamishwm

Best winery visit/experience???

Posted by Hamishwm, Sep 6, 2010.

Hi

I have just joined Snooth and am exploring a bit. I have been buying, selling and tasting wine for over 20 years. Recently I started a new side to my business http://www.bellawinetours.com where we take people to some of the finest Chateaux in Bordeaux and taste some of the best wines. It is always great fun arriving at Chateau Lafite Rothschild or Chateau d'Yquem and acknowledging the hushed customers in complete awe of where we are and what we are about to taste.

But my question is what have been your best experiences at wineries? Has it been the best wines? The best people? Or just the best ambience?

 

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Replies

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 6, 2010.

Each time is somehow different.

Some of my more interesting visits have been when it takes a while to get to the wine. I was visiting Chalone in the Pinnacles area of Monterey early last decade and talking with the winemaker then about earlier visits with the previous winemaker (who unfortunately had flown his Cessna into power wires, which was a great loss for not only the winery but all the people who were close to him, and some say even CA wine as a whole). Our conversation veered in a number of areas including the desirability of glass stoppers over cork, and then landed on a pet project of his at the moment which was the use of custom-moldings from wood pulp (or the pulp of just about any other material that could be slurried), which fit like a glove over the bottles inside their cardboard box, and served a number of purposes, including insulating the bottles, protecting the labels from damage, and all-in-all saving the winery quite a bit of money since there would be no need for damaged-label returns, etc. I ended up changing my itinerary and heading up right after that to the inventor of the pulp molding process who had his operation on the outskirts of Napa, and talking with him about taking his technology to Asia, not least because it was extremely green.

I hadn't been to that vineyard for several years, and had found myself disappointed during the tasting from both barrel and bottle about how the wines I'd enjoyed so much from that winery since the '70s had changed (a different flavor profile, no more reserve bottlings, etc., etc.). Yet this offshoot into another aspect of wine production (well that, and a great picnic in the Pinnacles monument with my girlfriend) more-or-less saved the day. Strangely it's the quirky visits like this that I remember at least as quickly as the more standard visits to the big name wineries.....

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Reply by ChipDWood, Sep 7, 2010.

The range of experiences has gone from the enjoyment of helping those at the vineyards make the wine all the way up to being pampered & spoiled just in order to try some wines from a specific producer- but I would have to say the last would be the one that sticks in my craw as the one that we both enjoyed the most.  Much for the reason that it kick-started our affinity for getting out there and trying new things.

"My fiance (now pronounced: whiff-ffay) and I are wine lovers, bordering on the ‘geekish’ varietal, and are always looking for new experiences for our palates. Unfortunately for us, living on the east coast can present an issue in traveling to the more renowned west coast locales like Paso Robles, Willamette Valley for the Pinot, or Washington State for their remarkable Cabs. We love to travel, but reality as it is tends to dictate our traveling terms to us more than allowing us to hop from Rhone to Tuscany."   (More here, wit da pitchas)

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Reply by Hamishwm, Sep 7, 2010.

Thanks for your comment. Sounds like you guys need to get the other side of the pond and explore some of the Bordeaux vineyards. Have a look at www.bellawinetours.com and see what you are missing!

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 7, 2010.

Uhh, well, maybe, just maybe I've been to a few in various parts of France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Greece. Now if you want the nitty gritty on a tour of Suntory's winery in Katsunuma, west of Tokyo..... Am curious how much they might've messed up Beychevelle over on the river in your neck of the woods, but I haven't been there since they bought the place.....

So where would you recommend for three days of touring as a) a first timer to Bordeaux, and b) an experienced visitor?

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Reply by Hamishwm, Sep 7, 2010.

Beychevelle is still in tact! The 2008 Beychevelle is a fantastic wine. The Chateau is very well kept and the gardens are always immaculate as your drive up the 'Route de Chateaux'.

We run various tours at www.bellawinetours.com. We can tailor make a tour to suit your preferences. We have a 3 day suggested itinerary here . We can tailor the tour for a first timer or an experienced visitor.

We have a couple of last minute places available on a tour in a few weeks time. So spread the word.

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Reply by msbunting, Sep 7, 2010.

Enough with the spam already Hamish, ok?

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Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Sep 7, 2010.

Yeah, the spam is REALLY annoying, dude.

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Reply by Hamishwm, Sep 7, 2010.

What spam do you mean?

And don't call me dude. You drunk.

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Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Sep 7, 2010.

The way you keep pushing your own business, time and time again.  It's pretty lame.

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Reply by Hamishwm, Sep 7, 2010.

Strange that I have mentioned my business 3 times in direct response to someone asking a direct question sbout what I would recommend to offer for visiting Bordeuax, which strangely enough is what my company specialises in. This is not spam this is an answer to a question. I really do not understand your sneering comment about spam. Spam is altogether something different.

 

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Reply by outthere, Sep 7, 2010.

I think it's obvious to those of us reading that you are here to promote your business. That's not what the forums are for. You can answer a question as: "Where would you suggest someone goon their first visit?" without the shameless plug of your services. You mention your business 3 times and also leave 3 links to it as well. That's what they mean.

Some of us are from California, "dude", that's how we talk. ;-)

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 7, 2010.

I would encourage people not to use the forums for promoting their business, period. If you have something interesting to say, most users will check your profile at some point.  Mention it there. I would also suggest that people who push the same wine (whether it's Layer Cake Malbec, and you know who I am talking about, or anything else) or write about their wine region regardless of its relevance to the topic (you lose a lot of credibility when you say Virginia is where it's at--I have been there, and it has a long way to go--thanks for NOT mentioning it in this thread, for a change) should be a little respectful of the purpose of these forums.

That said, I am from California, and I think "dude" is usually used in a pejorative sense. I don't use it with people I don't know.  It's off-putting.  But not nearly so much as hijacking the forums for your own business.

You know what doesn't go with any wine? A flame war. 

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Reply by outthere, Sep 7, 2010.

Pejorative? Dude, it's just a handle. Slang for pal. Feminine = "dudette".  Just ask Bill and Ted, they would tell you it is a "Most Excellent" address.

 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 7, 2010.

Yeah, except it doesn't get used until people start minimizing each other's points of view.  And it's pretty clear GDD and hamish aren't pals or pal-ettes.

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Reply by outthere, Sep 7, 2010.

Fair enough.

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Reply by dmcker, Sep 7, 2010.

Most recent photo I saw circulating around the web of that guy on the right was at a dinner with Charlize Theron that some papparazzo had snapped. Think he's cleaned up a bit since the photo above, but I guess a few hundred mil from above-the-line points on a series like Matrix will do that for you. Not to mention decades and what they do to us all.....

So outthere, think your references here, and mine and Stephen's in the music thread, date us at all?  ;-)

 

And Hamish, my questions about the 3-dayers, and the roundabout regarding what Suntory might have done to Beychevelle, was an opportunity for you to offer up your bonafides, via real content to us in the forum. Not repetition of the links to your business. I saw reference to your business on your profile before I responded the first time. Then when you plugged it (though without active link) right after Chip's swimming pool response, I figured I'd be nice and give you another chance.

We share info and experiences here in as much detail as we have the time to offer up. There are plenty of other people on these boards who are in all parts of the business, but in many cases you might not ever know it at all. If you flail us with links to your business in your posts, especially after not providing any interesting content of your own, you have to expect this type of response.

If I wanted forum wars to sear my breakfast (it's relatively early in the morning over here in Tokyo), I would've gone to a gamers forum.....

Cheers

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Reply by outthere, Sep 7, 2010.

If I wanted forum wars to sear my breakfast...I would've gone to a gamers forum....

Or perhaps here?

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Reply by napagirl68, Sep 8, 2010.

Outthere:  OMG! I totally LOVED Bill and Ted's excellent adventures!  THANKS for the photo, Dude!   Remember the line, "Put him in the Iron Maiden", and like, Bill and Ted go, COOL DUDE!!!  and start playing air guitar? (Read previous typed lines in San Fernando valley girl slang). 

KIDDING.!!! No I am not that blonde! But I do remember that movie :-)

I have seen others on the site here who promote their businesses.. either wine sellers, tours or just blogs (who make make money on ads).  I would think the etiquette would be to mention it in the profile, like others have said, maybe mention it once in the Introduce yourself arena, and then let it go to just discuss wine stuff.  If someone is interested, they will message you.

I didn't see it as "spam" tho, as it wasn't mass mailed to every flippin' thread on here, dude, (as I have seen before).  Maybe a bit of over self-promotion tho :-):-)

 

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Reply by Hamishwm, Sep 8, 2010.

Thanks for all the comments. I have taken them all on board....negative and positive!

I appreciate napagirl68's succinct last comment. As I am very new to snooth I am just trying to find my way around, and this post was in the 'Introduce Yourself' category. I did not mean to cause offence and I did not intend to use spam.Obviously my first lesson has been to be slapped down by various members of snooth, but I will continue to contribute if there is stuff that I am interested in and have a view.

I'll also have to get used to the language. Hopefully I can offer something to the forum from over 20 years in the wine trade working in the UK, France, Australia and South Africa.

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Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Sep 8, 2010.

Hey, we're all glad you're here.  If you simply 86 the self-promotion, we'll all get along fab.

Cheers.

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