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Trip to Alsace


#61

Thanks for the report back, and good to hear that you had such an enjoyable time. Barmès-Buecher has been somewhere that we’ve been meaning to go to for a while, so this will encourage us to visit. Interesting that Josmeyer have started to charge, which in turn makes us less likely to revisit, especially given what we already thought about the prices. And we love Burn too!


#62

When I visited Josmeyer, I wrote to them in advance and outlined my desire to talk about Biodynamics. We spent 3/4 of an hour with their technical staff and didn’t pay for the subsequent tasting.
You really cannot blame wineries charging if tourists breeze in off the street, slug wine and shoot off to the next place. Wine tasting deserves a more considered approach and always write and express your requirements.

edit: I’ve just read Russell’s ‘Autumn in France’ entry…'that’s the way to do it"


#63

When I visited Josmeyer, I wrote to them in advance and outlined my desire to talk about Biodynamics. We spent 3/4 of an hour with their technical staff and didn’t pay for the subsequent tasting.
You really cannot blame wineries charging if tourists breeze in off the street, slug wine and shoot off to the next place. Wine tasting deserves a more considered approach and always write and express your requirements.

I did write to them in advance to make an appointment. I understand their point of view - they make acclaimed wine that is not cheap, so to detract freeloaders they charge for a tasting - this is perfectly ok.

There was also nothing wrong with the attitude of the people at winery, it did have a bit of a posh feeling sort of like wineries we went to visit the first time in Bourgogne. I am just comparing my experience to a whole subset of wineries we visit over the weekend from a wine enthusiast point of view.


#64

Without wanting to sound grumpy, I would pay Josmeyer NOT to talk about biodynamics :slight_smile:

I’ve visited twice, and the first time they talked about little else, which as a sceptic I found alienating. The second time they played down the BD and I seemed to enjoy the wines a lot more. In fact I thought they were excellent. We were on a group trip both times so I don’t know how much, if anything, they were paid.


#65

I don’t “blame” them for charging - it’s their choice to make, and a perfectly valid one. It is, however, very much a minority choice for the region. Winzenheim doesn’t attract a lot of passing tourists; if you’ve ended up there it’s because you’ve made a decision to go, and in that light it probably makes more sense for them. Other places probably rely on people “breezing in off the street”, and for them discouraging tasting by charging would be counterproductive. For me, as an informed consumer (I’ve tasted, talked at length, and bought there several times), it makes it less attractive - but if I’m in the minority for them, maybe it doesn’t matter commercially. And ultimately, it is a commercial decision.


#66

One would think that there might be a middle way…refund the cost of tasting if you spend at least x euros?


#67

Marcel Deiss does exactly that.


#68

Rick Stein’s show this week is in Alsace and Jura. He has just been talking Biodynamics at Josmeyer!


#69

Thanks for the tip! :+1::+1::grinning:


#70

several producers I have visited often run this policy without stating it - spend some money with them and there is no charge


#71

unusual for a BD producer to go on about it :wink:


#72

This is where we have to remember we are visiting someones place of work - effectively you have written to them as you would for a work visit and provided them an agenda - this means they can (should they wish) have the right people ready to meet with you.

We normally write in advance and book a day / time with producers…don’t think I’ve been charged if I have done…even by those that do charge… unless they have stated in their reply. Even then, some haven’t charged on the day


#73

I’m usually happy to pay a charge for tasting. We often travel by plane, so the total amount of wine we can buy is very limited, and I think it is only fair the producers get something.

Another possibility with small producers who don’t charge is to take a small gift - not something we have often done, but it is worth considering


#74

Thanks to everyone for their input on this thread. I’ll be taking a trip to Alsace in the spring and the advice / opinions given will be invaluable in making the most of my time there.

I’ll certainly be planning ahead and taking a more structured and organised approach to visiting producers this time around !


#75

Yes and no - true for the winemaking side, less so for the commercial side which is essentially somewhere to showcase and sell wine.

I really don’t object in principle to a tasting charge - it is just one of a few reasons which make Josmeyer less attractive to me than other places that I’m planning to (re)visit. Steve’s point is good - it can actually work in favour of the visitor. I always buy something after a free tasting, but that could be hard if I were flying.