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Would you be interested in the Society doing something like this in future?

I’ve just suggested it as a destination in the Christmas thread too, but I’d recommend a trip to Madeira for just that purpose. My other suggestion would be that north west Wales is becoming increasingly gastronomic, although the prices are starting to match, unfortunately.

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Not that I’ve done it - but I can imagine cycling around Sussex whilst taking in the (increasingly growing) number of wineries and gorgeous vineyards to be rather fun. Lots of beautiful spots, and extremely welcoming wine growers! And Sussex is - to this old (ex)foreigner at least - one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

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I’m just salivating at the bottles of Flaccianello, as much as I like living in Sussex,

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That was the last night; a tour around the vineyard with Giovanni Manetti, then piled into a couple of landrovers to his local restaurant, with a flight of Flaccianello (if memory serves, a 2003, a 2004 and a 2006; could be wrong as much wine was drunk…). Ended up talking to Giovanni for ages about L’eroica, which he was heavily into; he was a really lovely chap.

Amazing night in hindsight. Didn’t realise at the time how amazing it was.

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Surprised it wasn’t marketed as POA, in other words if you have to ask you can’t afford it…

Offering introductions for members to visit suppliers is what TWS should do. Not become a specialist travel agent.

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I imagine this is in some ways an “if you have to ask” gambit to stop idle enquiries from those who can’t afford it, or more to the point, those who aren’t or won’t become ‘serious’ buying clients.
It’s also a statement of the exceptional value of the experience, as perceived, so that when the merchant offers one or two top buyers the chance to join as a guest, or at 50%, the invited have a feel or measure for what they are being ‘given’, increasing their loyalty to the merchant and the estate.

Realistically, this is c.£1k of wine at current market price. A luxury dinner (one presumes with quantities of fine wine) would set you back nearly £400/head at BBR, so add on a suitably luxurious set of accommodation, same again, and we’re hitting £4.2k before the presentation case and extras. Small run, so not cheap, add in a first rate tour, it’s easily £5k value. If it’s then just you and three guests (not a big gala, but that’s unclear) the costs of delivering that increase, as does the ‘special’ nature of it. No, I can’t afford it either, but there are more outrageous things. It’s a ‘money can’t buy’ experience - though, of course, money can buy it!

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I’d be far more interested in a day in a mini bus with Marcel in the (ideally N) Rhone valley. That sort of access is worth the money!

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My vote is to let the buyers do what they are employed to do.

I don’t doubt that some buyers could turn their hand to communication and writing (as suggested earlier in another thread), or tour-guiding. But essentially the skill sets required for those tasks are not the ones needed for buying.

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according to my wife…any holiday I organise :rofl:

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exactly this - I have had some fantastic visits courtesy of introductions by staff at another wine merchant.

likewise - when I have visited some who supply TWS, mentioning the name has elicited a smile and another few bottles added to the flight

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Many years ago, in Burgundy, ended up tasting with a party who were cycling. Was an interesting exchange from the Domaine with the party…worried that if they drank the samples and then cycled and crashed, that they would be partially responsible !! they promised to wait an hour before cycling !

On the plus…they did have a van following (a la TdF) to transfer their luggage and collect their purchases!

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Now that would be elietist !

Changing tack a bit, I enjoyed some excellent TWS dinners in Montreuil and thereabouts. Sadly the demise of the shop, the B-word and now the C-word make those a feature unlikely to be restored.

And didn’t they run trips to Champagne from time to time?

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Thank you for sharing, that does sound like an amazing trip!

Completely agree that would be a good day - perhaps that could be a prize for those who join the Rhone 2019 EP offer :wink:

Thanks to all for their views on this. Agree with many that it may be aimed at a certain type of person who’s perhaps more a collector than an enthusiast, and far from cheap. Value and enjoyment can be found in many other places and price ranges.

TWS are not a holiday company though perhaps some of us would welcome the return of those (lottery) opportunities to travel with a buyer.

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I’ve got visions of a quirky comedy film - wine drinking, language barrier, rickety minibus, rural french roads… probably starring Chris O’Dowd as @owmarcel

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Amazingly interesting for the different types of wine cellar

Felsina went for the massive barrels with modern art above

Isole e Olena went for new cellars carved into the rock

Fontodi went for the traditional

and Gianni Brunelli went for the ultra modern concrete cellar

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Wow I have only just.found the bus stop back to Florence after exploring the wine list at Osteria le panzanelle … great photos !