‘THE PLACE IS much bigger than you, and will go on without you,’ says Christian Seely, ‘so this notion that you own the place, that le château c’est moi... It’s more that I belong to the place.’
But which place? Christian has lived outside England for nearly twenty years now, first in Portugal and now France. As MD of Axa Millésimes, the wine arm of the insurance giant, he runs a string of top properties in the Douro Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Languedoc and Hungary. He also has a share of his own in another Douro estate, and now makes Coates & Seely English sparkling wine in Hampshire. This last he describes as ‘a coming-home process. I’ve lived outside the UK for so long that I’ve ended up feeling at home wherever there’s a vineyard. The first day I walked in the vineyard [at Coates & Seely] I thought, “Yes, now I can feel at home in England again.”’
Today we will visit Château Petit-Village where I tasted all the lots of Château Petit-Village 2012 with Daniel LLose, and then Château Pichon-Longueville where I will be tasting with Jean-René Matignon. We left the camera running in both cases and have edited it down to a few interesting tasting moments.
With maturing or declining sales in many traditional markets, wine companies across the globe are increasingly searching for new growth markets. Emerging markets are attracting the interest of nearly all major wine companies.
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