Jiles's Blog

Who Am I?

17 years spent living and working in Champagne has allowed Jiles to build up a vast amount of knowledge about all things bubbly as well as a very extensive network of contacts, especially amongst the smaller and less well-known champagne makers whose champagnes will probably amaze you with their quality and diversity.

A job as area manager for Asia and Australia with Moët et Chandon was what first drew Jiles to Champagne after completing an MBA in Luxury Brand Management at ESSEC, a prestigious business school just outside Paris.

After nearly 9 years at Moët Jiles moved back to the UK where he started one of the first online businesses promoting and selling grower champagnes, wrote two books on champagne and created an online champagne study course.

However the draw of ‘The King of Wines and the Wine of Kings’ once again proved irresistible and another 8 year stay in Champagne was the result.

Jiles now puts his knowledge and contacts to work in helping businesses and individuals to create their own private champagne brand.


 

Soil Management in Champagne Part III

Still for part IIIIt is often assumed that everything to do with organic and biodynamic vine growing and wine making is pure, natural and wholesome, but sometimes the picture is a bit more nuanced than you might imagine. In this series of videos Philippe Brun of Champagne Roger Brun in the village of Aÿ, presents the other side of the story and whilst he is certainly in favour of sensible viticulture and of looking after the environment, he has a few other points to make as well.

In the third and final video of this series on soil management in Champagne Philippe talks about biodynamic vineyards, (is it true that lower yields mean higher quality grapes?)  the threats posed by rabbits and birds (why do you not see nets over the vines in Champagne as you do in many other wine regions?) and about the use of insecticides.

 

 

 

 


 



 

 

 


 

 

Comment Réussir Ses Ventes Aux Etats Unis

VENDRE AUX ETATS-UNIS

En bas de cette page - une présentation vidéo de 40 minutes dans laquelle vous découvrirez

Comment trouver des importateurs

et

Comment augmenter les ventes

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Ne vous êtes-vous jamais senti déçu après vous être rendu à un salon de degustation

Car vous n'avez pas eu assez de temps pour présenter vos vins et les valoriser comme ils le méritent

Vous n'avez pas eu l'occasion de rencontrer les acheteurs clés et vous avez perdu trop de temps à parler à trop de gens qui ne sont finalement pas intéressés pour acheter vos vins.

Vous avez rencontré beaucoup de journalistes et sommeliers, mais trop peu d'importateurs.

Vous avez envoyé des e-mails après le salon à tous les gens que vous avez rencontrés, mais vous n’avez jamais obtenu de réponse.

Vous voulez recontacter ces personnes, mais vous ne savez pas quoi dire en anglais et vous vous demandez s’ils sont ou non intéressés.

Vous revenez en France sans avoir obtenu de nouvelles ventes et avec très peu de nouvelles pistes et vous vous demandez si vous avez perdu votre temps et votre argent, deux choses qui sont précieuses.

Ou peut-être si vous avez déjà un importateur, vous vous sentez mal à l'aise parce que

Les ventes ne progressent pas comme vous le souhaitez.

Il n’est pas facile de communiquer avec votre importateur.

Vous ne recevez pas d'informations assez régulièrement sur ce que votre importateur et vos distributeurs font pour promouvoir vos vins.

Si tout cela vous semble familier, alors vous aurez envie de regarder cette vidéo de 40 minutes qui porte sur la façon de réussir vos ventes aux Etats-Unis.

Vous y décrouvrirez quelques données clés de ce marché important et écouterez les propos d’un expert qui peut vous aider à résoudre tous les problèmes que vous avez déjà rencontrés dans le passé.

Si vous souhaitez vraiment commencer la commercialisation de vos produits ou augmenter vos ventes aux Etats-Unis en 2016, vous trouverez la vidéo en cliquant sur le lien ci-dessous.

Il ne vous en coûtera rien de la regarder et je suis sûr que ce sera du temps bien dépensé.

Soyez sûr de regarder cette vidéo dès maintenant car le temps est déjà compté pour planifier une année 2016 qui soit couronnée de succès.

 

 

 

 

Champagne François Secondé - Unique for at least two reasons

Francois-Seconde-300I am often struck by the fact that there’s always something new to learn in Champagne and a case in point is a recent visit to Champagne François Secondé in Sillery.


If the name Sillery seems vaguely familiar it may be because you’ve come across it in a list  of the 17 Grand Crus villages in Champagne, but that’s probably all you know about it because it’s a little off the beaten track and much less well-known than villages such as Aÿ, Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cramant and Verzenay for example.


However that hasn’t always been the case: in the second half of the XVIII century Sillery was famous for its still wines, mainly red, which were much sought after by the aristocracy “ils ont une qualité si supérieure qu’on les reserve pour la bouche du roi” – so said Edme Béguillet, a  lawyer and oenologist at the parliament in Dijon. (Sillery wines are of such superior quality that there are reserved for the king’s enjoyment.”). These days of course the still wines from Champagne – Coteaux Champenois as they are called – are still made although not in large quantities but their fame has long since been eclipsed by the region’s sparkling wines.


Grand-Grand-Mousseux-300However, judging from the collection of old labels at Champagne François Secondé the good vignerons of Sillery were very active and it seems that their champagnes  were exported all over the world although for some reason which I have yet to get to the bottom of, they were often just described as ‘mousseux’ (sparkling wine), instead of champagne.


Another of the old labels testifies to the fact that for many years champagne exported to America had a different taste – the goût américain - to champagne sold elsewhere because, rightly or wrongly, it was thought that consumers in the USA wanted something sweeter.


Gout-Americain-300Today Sillery seems far less bustling. There are a handful of champagnes made  by the local cooperative  and sold under the own label by the members of the cooperative, but Champagne Francois Sécondé is only remaining Récoltant Manipulant in the village. Run by a gentleman of the same name who sold the first bottles under his own name in 1975, the estate now comprises 5.5 hectares planted 2/3 with Pinot Noir and 1/3 Chardonnay situated mainly in the village of Sillery and its neighbour Puisieulx which is also a Grand Cru (and very difficult to pronounce).


 There are 7 cuvées in the range which are quite widely exported and well thought of by a number of guides and experts. Strangely though, in a part of Champagne best known for its Pinot Noir, it’s Francois Seconde’s Vintage Blanc  de Blancs which is garnering the most medals, winning gold in three successive years  (2013 -2015) at the Chardonnay du Monde competition.
The village itself is about 15 kilometres south of Reims in the valley of the River Vesle where the soil is not ideally suited to growing vines and in fact the vineyards are to be found on slightly higher ground at some distance from the village nearer to Mailly-Champagne and Verzenay than to Sillery itself.


Puisieulx300Much more can be said about the history and particularities of Sillery and all that will be the subject of a separate article in due course but before leaving François Secondé I have to mention something else unique about this  small producer; it’s the only producer making a 100% Puisieulx Grand Cru champagne. In 15 years or more I had never come across this champagne until the other day which just goes to show  that there is indeed always something new to discover in Champagne.

A final thought... what a difference between the labels now and all those years ago - how tastes change!

How Green Was My Vineyard? - Soil Management in Champagne Part II

Philippe-in-Mutigny-300This is the second in a three-video series in which Philippe Brun of Champagne Roger Brun shares his experience and opinions about soil management in Champagne. If you missed part I you can find it on this link.

In part II Philippe takes us to the village of Mutigny which has some very steep slopes that pose particular problems for vineyard maintenance. Philippe also talks about the use of copper sulphate in the vineyard and explains why organic and biodynamic viticulture may not be so environmentally friendly as many people assume.

This video is 22 minutes long so it may not appeal to the casual viewer, but for anyone with a more avid interest in learning about wine and viticulture Philippe's views are informative and refreshing.

Part III is coming soon

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Does a goldfish know more about wine than you do?

Does a goldfish know more about wine than you?

And what has that got to do with organic wine?

Find out below if your attention span is longer than that of a goldfish.


goldfishThere is something almost hypnotic about the words organic and bio- dynamic. They seem to conjure up images of days gone by when everything was less industrialised, more authentic, and yes, healthier and more environmentally friendly. Indeed there was an interesting article recently in the on-line magazine The Drinks Business in which it was stated that just “under half of British consumers (45%) would be motivated to drink organic wine because the cultivation and production processes are eco-friendly, “


Perhaps it would be more accurate to modify that statement slightly thus …”because they believe the cultivation and production processes are eco-friendly, “  but is that belief well-founded and are organic wines really more ‘green’ than wines that are not so certified? There are certainly many wine makers who would reply with a resounding “No”.


Yes it’s true that organic producers reduce or eliminate their use of herbicides and pesticides, but that is also true of many, perhaps even the majority of wine makers, at least in Champagne which is the area I know best. Regulations about the use of chemical treatments are, quite rightly, getting ever more restrictive so whether a vigneron is organically-minded or not he or she has little choice but to clean up their act.


Spraying-Mantis-300The big question with organic viticulture is the use of copper sulfate to combat mildew. This is less of a problem in more southerly climates where the drier weather is less conducive to diseases such as mildew, but it becomes a major issue the further north you go. Unable to use chemical (phytosanitary) products to spray their vines to protect against these diseases, the only weapon left at the disposal of organic producers is copper sulfate or ‘bouillie bordelaise’ as it is also known. The problem with this is that organic farmers often have to apply copper sulfate many times and also that copper is a heavy metal that is detrimental to all living organisms and which remains in the soil for decades.
That’s why many vignerons, whilst wanting to be as green as possible, are resolutely opposed to organic viticulture.


So it seems that one should take the words organic and bio-dynamic with a pinch of salt and gather more information before jumping to conclusions.


To help you do just that here - below - is the first in a series of three videos in which Philippe Brun of Champagne Roger Brun presents some of the information you may not yet have heard. Philippe is a real character; he speaks excellent English and feels strongly about what he will present to you. The videos are relatively long in this age where the attention span of a goldfish is longer than that of a human – yes it’s true according to a recent survey by Microsoft http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/
– but if you really want to learn about wine I think you’ll find them interesting viewing.

Don’t forget to come back for video 2 and video 3


All the best from Champagne

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