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Автор Тема: The Modest Author Who Chronicles Great French Winemakers  (Прочетена 6 пъти)

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The Modest Author Who Chronicles Great French Winemakers
« -: май 04, 2021, 11:45:12 am »
The Modest Author Who Chronicles Great French Winemakers

On a sunny April afternoon in Bordeaux city a half dozen years ago, I walked into a book festival and picked up a volume from a table. It was about the French winemaker Denis Dubourdieu. Immediately, both publisher and author politely introduced themselves from behind a counter. Hearing my accent, the author reached down to a box, and pulled out an English translation of the same book.

That was a first encounter with Gilles Berdin.

Berdin has interviewed winemakers from over 20 French estates. He has written 15 books in a series titled a ‘Sharing a Bottle With …’ (Autour d’une Bouteille…), published by Elytis Editions. Each contains a series of interviews between Berdin and a winemaker (or winery owner or merchant); during each meeting the writer and subject(s) share a bottle of wine that relates to the story. Three of his books have been translated into English.

During past years, Gilles has introduced me to a range of French winemakers and winery owners, including Hubert de Boüard of Château Ángelus in Saint-Émilion, Philippe Raoux of Château d’Arsac in Margaux in the Médoc, Nicolas Joly—biodynamic guru from the Loire Valley, Henri Duboscq of Château Haut-Marbuzet in Saint-Estèphe in the Médoc, Florence and Daniel Cathiard of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, and Murielle Andraud and Jean-Luc Thunevin, the original ‘garage winemakers’ on the right bank of Bordeaux.

Berdin’s story is intriguing in that his full-time profession is as a teacher, and he grew up without interest in wine.

We recently met at the house where Berdin and his wife of more than 20 years—Christine—live in the Talence region of Bordeaux. He opened a 2013 bottle of sweet wine from the Doisy Daëne estate of Barsac, crafted by the late estate owner—renowned enologist and professor Denis Dubourdieu (who passed away prematurely in 2016). As we sipped this blend of Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle, Berdin shared his story.

‘I was born in Bordeaux and have been a special needs teacher for almost 40 years. My pupils are between 17 and 20 years old.

‘When I was young, I didn’t drink any wine except sometimes a glass of Sauternes—sweet wine. But red? I was not interested. By chance, one day in 1989 I went to visit some friends who live in the region of Bourg—from the wine châteaux of Plaisance, Belair-Coubet and Fontarabie—who had set up a market stall at Vinexpo [a renowned annual international wine and spirits trade show, formerly based in Bordeaux city].

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