Lately I have been once again reminded how different winery visits can be in France as opposed other parts of the world. A couple of weeks ago we decided to have an open house and invited two other small producers to join us. I felt like it would be more fun if we had more wines to pour, and that it might attract more people. So we invited our good friend Serge Scherrer who for his first two harvests had less than a hectare of vines. (a hectare is roughly 2.5 acres so he makes miniscule amounts of wine under the label Agarrus) We also invited our friend Carole Leblanc who is from Quebec, she has 4 hectares not far from us, her winery is called "Les Cabotines".
So, we opened up the big iron gates in front of our house, rolled a barrel out onto the little island across the street, put a sign up, and waited for our faithful friends to show up. The previous day we had all distributed flyers, at the market in Uzès, in the mailboxes of our village (Serge's full-time job is a mailman here in Saint Quentin) and we sent out all kinds of emails to anyone and everyone we knew! I prepared some snacks and Matt (as always) saved the day by turning my failed pizza dough into some wonderful foccaccia that we all devoured at the end of the day.
There was a non-stop flow of people all day except for a small down-time during the hottest hours (when everyone takes a nap!) Friends, colleagues, neighbors and many people just passing by. There were 9 different wines to taste so it was worth it for them to stop by. I think it's a great way to do it because almost everyone found a wine they liked, and no one felt funny about leaving without making a purchase. We all sold lots of wine, and we all had a great time. It wasn't polished, or catered or posh, just a fun afternoon spent meeting new people and spreading the good word about 3 new-ish small producers that are all juggling other carreers while trying to pursue their passion and their dream!