Looking for wine for the holidays? A unique gift? We offer you an original and informative idea: get your bottle of wine directly from the winemaker!
Nothing is more enjoyable than being able to buy your wine directly from the producer, taste it on the spot and have a nice talk with the person who made it. It is probably at the winery that you will be best able to judge the quality of a wine, the work of the winemaker behind it, and to the check the cellars hygiene.
How to offer a Christmas present that nobody will offer? A present that no one thought of? It is obviously difficult to impress with a wine that everyone can find at the supermarket or at the local wine store. Furthermore, if the person to who you offered the wine really enjoyed it, you can advise him or her to visit the winery where you bought it!
Beyond a great human encounter, it’s the opportunity to know what are the steps that transformed the grapes into this bottled sweet nectar. When you open your wine during a dinner or if you offer it to someone, you will be able to talk about the tasting experience, and quote what the winegrower sais. Most of the presents or the wines don’t have such a story to be told, such experience to be shared!
A GOOD DEAL
First, you can’t buy bad wine because you taste it. Secondly, buying directly at the winery is much cheaper. This is quite obvious since the sales channel is reduced: there are no intermediaries who add their fees to the price of the bottle. The least obvious reason, but the even more interesting one, is when you no longer count your order in bottles, but in boxes. This option is reserved for those who know the wine and are ready to buy in bulk. The winemaker always make bigger discounts on the boxes bought!
THE WINALIST SOLUTION
– You do not know which winemaker to choose: knowing its own taste and orientations and to be able to identify winemakers who follow them is not so easy, especially if the winery does not have a website.
– You do not know if the winemaker sells wine on the spot at the winery: even if it’s a common practice in many wine regions, it happens that some don’t sell wine to visitors. It’s much the case in the Bordeaux wine region, for example.
– You do not know how or when to contact the winegrower: he or she spends 90% of his/her time in the vineyard and therefore if you do not warn about your visit a few days in advance, it will be much likely that he or she can’t be available at the last minute.
– If you do not like wine, you do not want to feel like you have to buy the one you tried.
Winalist provide wine lovers and visitors with a winegrowers research system by region, or by orientations (the organic winegrowers or the more conventional ones for instance), or by activities organized by the wineries for tourists. For each winemaker, useful information is given to visitors and are easily identified by pictograms as you can see on the photo below. Choosing a winemaker is simplified, and the activities or the tastings you book do not require you to buy wine on site. You will find descriptions of areas, activities and only the comments of those who already visited the given winery.
AVOIDING BAD SURPRISES
When you taste wines at the winery, the tasting conditions are materially and psychologically favorable, which means that once back home, our taste buds may not find this taste they had a crush on earlier at the winery. To avoid such a situation, we advise you to purchase a small quantity of wine, when you first taste it on the spot with the winemaker. You can also ask all the questions that matter to you, to the winemaker. Your thirst for knowledge will all the more trigger the winegrower’s sympathy and he or she will bring out few other bottles that you could appreciate even more than the first you tried. If tasting at home confirms your choice, consider safely ordering in larger quantities next time!
ONCE AT THE WINEMAKER’S
What to do once at the winemaker’s? Ask as many questions as you want, for a passionate winegrower will always like to explain his or her job. Ask to see the vineyard because it is the basis of his/her work, and especially because most visitors come to the estate only to taste the wine, not asking for more information. Questions helps standing out and being appreciated, it is also a way to better understand the wines that you will taste. Let yourself be guided and get ready to learn!
One last tip? If you still do not know which vineyard to visit for a little trip, read our articles about Champagne and the Alsatian Christmas markets!
Also published on Medium.