An Interesting But Discouraging Encounter

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An Interesting But Discouraging Encounter

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:28 pm

This late morning and early afternoon, at the invitation of Rivka Pomerantz, I attended a meeting of the members of the forum of the Israeli Wine Portal. Nice people, nice setting, and on request, I presented a short talk on the future of the Israeli wine trade.

Most interesting part of the time I spent there was meeting with the owner-winemaker of a relatively new boutique winery, a man who has been a corem (grape-grower) for many years. His attitude: "I don't like grapes and I don't specially like wine. All that I care about is the money". Thus, a bit weary of selling all of his grapes to wineries "that make the real money", he opened his own. No formal training, no advisors, no consultants, but now he is, by heaven a winemaker.

I can easily understand and appreciate those who love wine and "catch the bug" venturing into an artisanal or boutique winery. I can also understand how (in France for example) after many generations in the fields, vintners are also winemakers. I guess I was just a bit shocked at this "All I care about is the money" attitude. As to the wines of this particular boutique, today offered far from ideal tasting situation. I will re-taste, blind of course, and report back in the quite near future.

On which note I continue sipping the Calvados that comes from a family that has no formal training and no consultants but that have been raising apples in the Pays d'Auge and there making Calvados for 280 years - in this case the 1968 Coeur de Lion of Christian Druin.

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Re: An Interesting But Discouraging Encounter

Postby Isi M » Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:17 pm

It is difficult not to ask about a name now ....
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Re: An Interesting But Discouraging Encounter

Postby Eli R » Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:25 pm

Daniel, Hi,

When I started reading, I thought the discouraging encounter had to do with the meeting or your presentation. Thank god, it wasn't.

Now to the so called winemaker you have described: You can fool some people for some time....

Eli
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Re: An Interesting But Discouraging Encounter

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:32 pm

Isi, Hi.....


Until I re-tasted blind, no names. When I do post (next week after I lay hands on the bottles), you'll recognize it because the tasting notes will be from a previously untated Israeli winery and the notes will end (Re-tasted on......)

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Re: An Interesting But Discouraging Encounter

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:35 pm

Eli, Hi.....

Not at all......as I said, nice people, good conversation, an appealing setting and a warm atmosphere. Let's put it this way..... not a "curious one" in sight.

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Re: An Interesting But Discouraging Encounter

Postby Peter May » Sun Jul 20, 2008 12:58 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote: "All I care about is the money"




C'mon Rogov.....

Don't you think Constellation would be out of the wine business the moment it didn't make enough money from it?

As for grape growers making their own wine. Happens many times, especially when they see others winning awards made from their grapes.

You can make more money out of selling wine than grapes. Surprised he hasn't taken on a winemaker tho'.
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Re: An Interesting But Discouraging Encounter

Postby Florida Jim » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:14 pm

Sort of refreshing to hear such honesty, no?
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Re: An Interesting But Discouraging Encounter

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:27 pm

I'm the very first to admit that the bottom line of every winery is that it is a business. Simply stated, if there is not enough cash flow to pay for the grapes, the upkeep of the vineyards, the equipment,, sales, p.r., promotion, salaries and a bit to take home, the winery closes. I am also aware, however, that even in huge corporations that own sometimes dozens if not more wineries that there are winemakers and managers and even CEO's, one of whose major concerns is the quality of the wines they produce. In a phrase, not refreshing honesty but a reflection of perhaps the rather sad attitude that "I'll do what I do so long as it shows a profit. Ticky-tackey houses.

As to the attitude that one can make more money with wine than with grapes. True. But worth keeping in mind that one can also lose a great deal money on wine than on grapes.

As to "honesty", to paraphrase Marie Antoinette.....let them make shoes.

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Re: An Interesting But Discouraging Encounter

Postby Florida Jim » Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:53 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:As to "honesty", to paraphrase Marie Antoinette.....let them make shoes.

But of course, we are not king.
I know a fair number of folks in the wine business who prefer pr to honesty, even when they are only in it for the money. And I get why they do it - I just wish they wouldn't.
Hence, a man telling the truth, even a truth I don't like, is refreshing.
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