Stemming certainly from the term "off Broadway" the French have coined the term for any event that takes place outside of the normal scope of an event. Every year at the theater festival in Avignon there is another festival that runs concurrently called the "Off". What in the world does this have to do with this blog, you ask? Well, the term is also widely used in the wine industry over here for tastings that are held alongside big wine trade shows like Vinexpo or Vinisud. Pretty much any big tasting event has several "offs" in satellite locations near the official event. These tastings allow for small wineries who don't have the clients or the budget to pariticipate in the big shows as they often cost several thousand euros for a winery to participate in, therefor rendering these events inaccessible to us small guys.
Two years ago when I went to Bordeaux for Vinexpo with my friends Denis & Kirstin Gayte, we didn't even enter the big fair we just went to several "offs" that we were invited to. These are my kind of tastings with real "vignerons" who make real wine. There are several this year too, Haut les Vins, Les Femmes Vignes Rhône and another one at Chateau Moulin Pey-Labrie with lots of interesting winemakers from all over France. BUT, the best "off" of the year, the one not to be missed, is one I'll be participating in along with 20 other vignerons from all over France, with specail appearances by Gianpaolo Paglia of Italy, Oscar Quevedo of Portugal and Laureano Serres of Spain! We've gone international! Our common thread? We all write wine blogs! Imagine, you read these blogs, follow along with our daily lives, the ups and downs, the ins and outs, now we will all be pouring our wines in one place, for one day only! I personnally can't wait because I read the blogs of many of these people, yet have never tasted their wines. A very cool way that social media has linked us all together!
Thanks to the efforts of Emmanuelle Dupéré-Barrera, Mélanie Tarlant and Iris-Rutz-Rudel who have spent countless hours organizing the event and 20 vignerons (which is a bit like herding cats) the event promises to be a great one for everyone involved! They have even created a special blog for the event, so you can see who will be participating and discover their blogs.
Château Luchey-Halde (Mérignac)