Wine club aims to put wine drinkers in direct contact with winemakers
We all need a little bit of cheering up from time to time and if ever there were a year to spoil ourselves, it’s 2020.
Having endured lockdown hair, endless battles with sourdough starters and the illusive quest for toilet paper, the past few months have certainly been trying. And if you’re among the many people this year for whom a summer holiday may be taking place closer to home than originally planned, don’t despair – you can still indulge in your very own, personalised taste of France.
Cuvée Privée is a wine club through which oenophiles can adopt their very own vine and really get to know how their wine is made (before drinking it, obviously).
It couldn’t be simpler – just pick a vine at your chosen vineyard and it will be marked with a plaque. You will receive a welcome box and letter from the winemaker, a certificate of adoption… and then you can sit back while everyone else does the hard bit until 365 days later, a half-case of the next vintage, personalised with your name, turns up at your door.
For curious souls, there is also the chance to learn the secrets of how your vintage is made, too, and take a more hands-on approach. You will receive a special invitation to your winemaker’s domain so you (and a guest) can visit the vineyard, see your vine for yourself and, of course, enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting. Cuvée Privée Wine Club membership also includes other invitations to exclusive events, such as tastings and practical workshops at the estate, from harvesting the fruit to trimming the vines.
A spokesman for Cuvée Privée said: “We truly believe that you drink wine differently when you know the history and the story behind it which is why they strive to enrich people’s experiences with wine and help to develop their passion through more direct relationships with the vineyards.”
One of Cuvée Privée’s partners, winemaker Francis Jourdan, from the Domaine Jourdan et Pichard in Chinon, Loire, says this year’s hot spring and early summer means the harvest is expected earlier. And, he says, climate change is having an effect on French wine.
“The fact that harvest starts earlier means the cycle is more concentrated,” he says. “The fact we don’t see marked seasons anymore, especially marked winters, is a new phenomenon. We don’t have an obvious dormancy period of the vine anymore and growth starts again very early, so the early harvest is a combination of the temperatures which are involved in the cycle and the stage at which we see them.”
All Cuvée Privée wines are tried and tested by expert sommelier, Bernard Neveu, of Le Bristol fame, where he and his team oversee 100,000 bottles of wine, meaning he has a thoroughly well-educated palate!
Membership prices range from £121 to £455 a year, depending on the vintage chosen. More information on vine adoption and pricing can be found here.