This week, I was lucky enough to visit La Grande Bastide Vineyard sitting on 20 hectares of beautiful countryside just walking distance from the medieval town of Tourrette in the Canton of Fayence.
The vineyard is owned by Lennart Perlhagen and his family including one of our directors, Richard Perlhagen, and founder of Chelsea Textiles, Mona Perlhagen. Their Head of Operations, Fabien, showed me around behind the scenes.
They were making preparations for the new harvest and hoping the next few weeks will stay sunny. It has been a strange year, just a few weeks ago a freak hail storm raged in the area disturbing the ripening crops. Everyone is praying for a good harvest.
I was surprised by how many grape types were growing in the one vineyard, but La Grande Bastide produces Muscat Blanc, Muscat Rose, Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Cuvee Premiere Rouge.
I saw the wonderful oak casks and also the very modern Fat Boy looking cask that is an American addition to mature the red wine. It is the combination of traditional and new techniques that keeps the vineyard beloved and relevant today.
Talking to Lennart and Fabien, who are both passionate about their wines in the vineyard, made me realise all the love that goes into each season, the knowledge of blending and experience required to make a good wine.
This is all for the pleasure of our wine list and for us to enjoy the memory of delicious tastings at our hotels here in London and New York.