This weekend I went to an independent wine-growers fair. What a surprise to see such a wealth of visitors and all showing such enthusiasm! I had supposed in advance that, because of the delicious Spring sun, the 250 exhibitors would be stuck in a sparsely attended exhibition hall. Big mistake on my part! It could have been the Metro in Paris during rush hour, except there was a wonderful atmosphere and all stress seemed to have been left behind in the lobby. Despite the crowd, everyone seemed to have time to taste and buy the wines, and especially to chat with wine-growers from all over France.

It was very well organised and a gastronomic treat for the tastebuds. But what most impressed me was the sheer human warmth of the encounter between wine lovers and independent producers. There’s no doubt that this venue has a great future because in only 3 days no less than 24,500 visitors attended, quite a record, particularly so when they could all have been out in the sun. So what can we deduce from the success of this fair? Firstly, the openness of Bordeaux wine lovers to new experiences, because around 80% of exhibitors came from other regions and their stands were never empty either. Secondly that there is no better way to appreciate a wine than to meet its maker.

So the next step is to attract visitors directly to the vineyards, because the welcome there will be even warmer. Which is all in line with the Wine Tour Booking creed and, if there were any further need to prove it, the fair showed that nothing works as well as human contact! I take my hat off once again to both the organisers and exhibitors!

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