I used to go to Vinexpo every two years quite regularly for many, many years, and to exhibit our wines. And for most of it, for many of those years, the European sommeliers, wine buyers, other wineries were essentially pretty darn indifferent. It looked like you had the leprosy stand, not the — they’d be very polite, but just totally ignore the wines. But in the last few years — I don’t remember the last time I was there, I noticed an enormous change. And young French sommeliers in particular were incredibly interested in the New World. Now, maybe they were bitterly disappointed when they actually came around and tasted the wines, but it’s almost as if they were just — it was like a new planet for them.1 And so, they’re — I think they’re as interested in our wines as we are in theirs. So, I think there’s a great openness that wasn’t there before.

 

Now, having said that, I think we still have a long way to go before we have anything really interesting to teach them. Having said that, things have changed a little bit in California in the last few years, and there actually are now people in California, who are — a few who are making wines, that I think really have real personality and real distinctiveness, and that’s very good news.2

  1. Cloaca, Exploratory Search, Greater Kindness, Let Them Ventilate, MacArthur []
  2. Imitate First []
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