We fell in love with France a long, long time ago … well before our immersion in wine. Reading Stendahl, Flaubert and Montaigne or Camus, Sartre and Beckett (yes, an Irishman but writing in French), one encounters the human condition, each man’s struggle to make something of value out of one’s brief existential moment. Great French wine mimics that experience.
The strict rules that govern the production of wine in France (heaven forbid that they be changed, abandoned or ignored) are fundamental to the understanding of why good wine moves us. The rules recognize the forces of nature, the dynamic between soil and climate, that determine the best place to grow the grape and which grape belongs where. This discipline, the marvelous logic that underpins the system, is necessary to deal with the pain, the hard work, the capriciousness of daily life and still produce wine of compelling character. It is a truism that great wine comes from places where the vine must suffer. After all, wine offers a mirror to our battle to survive and prosper: we both are better when we fight through the hard times and suffer a bit; we’re both stronger, more complex, more interesting.
The vast arrays of viticultural regions in France are all bound together by these rules. We respect those guidelines because they are put in place for the single purpose of producing wines that express their respective terroir. That concept is the foundation of everything we do as wine merchants. No one is better at understanding and explaining this notion nor superior in enforcing the conditions necessary to achieve this result than the French are. Our love of French wine is boundless.