Top 3 Takeaways: Burgundy’s HdB 2014

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by L.M. Archer, FWS

Attention Burgundy Lovers!

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Top 3 Takeaways: 2014 Hospices de Beaune | Burgundy

The highlight for any Burgundy lover, 2014 marked the 154th annual Hospices de Beaune auction, celebrated every third Sunday in November.

Named for Beaune’s charitable hospital founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, Chancellor to the Duke of Bourgogne Philip the Good, the auction features wines from Domaine de Hospices de Beaune, an assemblage of vineyards bequeathed by prestigious patrons over the centuries. Proceeds from the auction fund the charity.

binNotes’ top three (3) take-aways from the 154th Hospice de Beaune auction:


Hospices de Beaune 2014

1. Record-Breaking

This year, Domaine des Hospices de Beaune sales reached € 8,082,525, breaking earlier records of €6.3 million euros set in 2013. The 2014 figures reflect 417 barrels of red wine and 117 of white wine.
NOTE:  Burgundy accounts for just 0.4%  in wine sales globally. What do these astronomical 2014 auction sales mean for the future of one of the world’s smallest wine regions? Only time will tell.

Ludivine Griveau

2. History-Making

Domaine des Hospices de Beaune named Ludivine Griveau its first woman winemaker. Griveau, former principal winemaker at  Maison Corton­ André, takes the reigns from Roland Masse, Hospices de Beaune wine maker for 15 years, who retires this year.

NOTE:  Hats off to Hospices de Beaune for this history-making move.

Hubert de Montille

3. Leave-Taking

While Burgundy’s 154th Hospices de Beaune auction rolled on, Burgundy’s wine community mourned the loss of legendary vigneron Hubert de Montille, made famous in the movie Mondovino, who died on November 1st.

Hubert de Montille died in style – eating lunch with family and friends over a glass of 1999 Pommard Rugiens. Irrepressible, irascible, uncompromising, Hubert de Montille built on his family’s legacy through determination, pragmatism, and a quest for the sublime.

NOTE: In late 2013, binNotes attended a wine-tasting dinner featuring Peter Wasserman, who regaled us with stories of his family’s cherished friend, M. de Montille.

binNotes leaves you with Peter Wasserman’s tribute to the man – may we all live, and die, so well.

Hubert De Montille,
“He was my father’s best friend. Hubert was for lack of a better word one if the greatest men i have had the honor to know. From the earliest memories of being at table with “les grands” the adults, Hubert was the one who taught me how to appreciate good food an great wine. Where as one could butt heads with one parent or another one could not deny Hubert. It was unthinkable. He would have us taste everything we drank, describe it, and if the description was not correct we would have to go back at it until the master was satisfied. He made sure to let us know that it would be a long apprenticeship. He once told me that i would not know how to taste properly until i was at least forty, and Aubert De Villaine to add: and then you will realize you know nothing. Truth be told they were both correct. Hubert was a powerful influence in my life. I will remember the great man till the day I die. He was and will remain one of the great men of Burgundy.” -Peter Wasserman



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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved.  

Images courtesy: |Hospices de Beaune | |

Top 10 Takeaways: WTC 2014

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by. L.M. Archer, FWS

Top Ten Takeaways:  WTC14 – Paso Robles, CA.

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Drum roll, please! Check out binNotes’ top ten (10) takeaways from the Nov 12-14 2014 Wine Tour Conference in Paso Robles Wine Country:

1. Paso Robles Wine Country | Grow Wild

Grow Wild or Go Home! Paso Robles Wine Country wins out as Host Wine Region with the Most, serving up sunshine, smiles, succulent artisan fare, and stellar California Central Coast premium wines.

2. Living Roots Tours |  Pheasant’s Tears Wines | Georgia, Caucasus

Pinch me! binNotes suffered a massive case of star-struckness meeting wunderkind John Wurdeman – an Alice Feiring favorite.

John poured out his Pheasant’s Tears  wines – qvevri (clay-urn) fermented artisan wines from Georgia in the Caucasus region – while touting his Living Roots tours, tours geared towards travelers eager for an intimate glimpse into ancient Georgian terroir and culture through its wines, cuisine, and music.

A true Renaissance man – painter, musician, wine maker, restaurateur, and raconteur, John and his partner Ia Tabagari collaborate regularly with a host of international experts in the food, wine and art communities.

3. CANVAS | concierge alliance napa valley sonoma

Dynamo doyen and CANVAS co-founder | Executive Director Colby Smith spread her boundless enthusiasm, expertise, and laser-like insights to those within gold-dust sprinkling range.

CANVAS (concierge alliance of napa valley and sonoma) consolidates Napa and Sonoma area movers and shakers in the regional wine and hospitality industries.

4. Touring & Tasting  | The Premier Guide to Food. Wine. Travel

Touring & Tasting Marketing and Media Editor-in-Chief Wendy van Diver and freelance writers Michael Cervin and Jada Helm generously dished up wine, food and travel wisdom to attendees hungry for a glimpse behind the glossy media curtain.

Touring and Tasting is the premier guide for those who love food, wine and travel.

5. Vintank | Napa Valley

Vintank Chief Strategic Officer Paul Mabray schooled WTC14 attendees on geo fencing, data mining, and more.

Vintank revolutionizes wine industry technology for the Napa Valley and beyond.


6. Lunabean Media | Willamette Valley

Lunabean Media co-Founder Jeremy Schubert slashed and burned through social media strategies for fine-tuning Facebook audiences.

Lunabean Media targets corporations and wineries in premium pinot wine region Willamette Valley and beyond.


7. Eventbrite |  Second Press Wine Bar and Eatery

Eventbrite facilitated WTC 14’s fine Wine Pairing dinner at Paso Robles’ famed Second Press Wine Bar and Eatery.

A well-paced and thoughtful event, Second Press even offered food options fit for vegans like binNotes, including a tasteful polenta and portabello mushroom main.

Eventbrite uses technology to bring people together through live experiences.

Second Press Wine Bar and Eatery serves up artisan food and wine in on the square in downtown Paso Robles, CA.


8. San Luis Obispo (SLO) Wine Country

San Luis Obispo Wine Country emerged as a serious seaside contender, showcasing a variety of varietals, wine styles, and wine makers from this wine region nestled along the Santa Lucia range.


9. Mutineer Magazine | Fine Beverage Redefined.


Talk about tooting your own horn! Alan Krofp, kick-ass founder and President of  Mutineer Magazine and bad-boy drinkologist closed the conference with his trademark Horn Blast of Fury.

The millennial old soul reminded us all that life is short, technology is good, and buying a fine bottle of wine beats out buying designer jeans always!


10. Zephyr Adventures | Taste Vacations

Allen Wright, whirlwind mastermind behind Wine Tour Conference 2014 and founder of Zephyr Adventures,  talked up his new Taste Vacations, a world-wide destination wine tour company.

Allen combines keenly-honed business savvy, cutting edge industry leadership connections, and technical mastery to create must-attend beverage, food and travel conferences and tours.


Care to share? Please feel free to leave a comment below – and thanks for stopping by!


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Copyrighted 2014. All Rights Reserved. 


Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

by. L.M. Archer, FWS

WITWIB? WTC14 – Paso Robles, CA.

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binNotes travels south this week to Wine Tour Conference 2014 in Paso Robles, California’s Wild Child wine region!

In case you didn’t get the memo, PRWC ranks high on binNotes’ list of favorite wine regions – you can read about it here:

Paso Robles Wine Country: Of  Vagabonds, Virtuosos and Visionaries.

Count on binNotes to visit old haunts, discover some new ones, plus get a lay of the land regarding PRWC’s  eleven new viticultural areas.

And as a recent affiliate of Zephyr Adventures,  binNotes also hope to learn more about what all this means.

So… stayed tuned…In the meantime, please feel free to leave a comment or question – and thanks for stopping by.


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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All Rights Reserved. |  Images: Courtesy Wine Tour Conference 2014 

Bordeaux Redux: Left Bank, Right Bank, WTBD?

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by. L.M. Archer, FWS

Today binNotes takes a mulligan on the topic of Golf and Bordeaux…two of life’s greatest challenges.

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 Back, by popular demand, here’s a previous binNotes’ post on the topic of golf and Bordeaux…

Left Bank, Right Bank, WTBD?

Understanding Bordeaux’s subregions is a lot like understanding golf – it’s all in the terrain, or terroir. Winegrowers, like skilled golfers, play it where it lays – in Bordeaux playing through some atypical water hazards, sand traps, and bunkers.

The wine region of Bordeaux is a lot like playing golf - full of water hazards.

Bordeaux subregions include the Left Bank, Right Bank, and Entre Deux Mers. So What’s the Big Difference?

Left Bank

You don’t want to snag a left hook on the Left Bank. This predominately flat expanse borders the Atlantic Ocean, and falls west of the Gironde Estuary and Garonne River. It also boasts Les Landes, Europe’s largest forest – 2.5M acres of pine trees to foil any bank shot.

In Left Bank’s Médoc and Pesssac Léognan areas, home to such prestigious Domaines as Chateaux Margaux, Mouton-Rothschild, and Haut-Brion, the warm sand and gravel soils favor Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot varietals- making Bordeaux the Biggest-Little-Cabernet Sauvignon-Growing-Wine Region in the world. Wines here hit the pin with firm structure, high tannin, pigment, acid, carrying hints of cassis, cedar, and graphite.

Thanks to the fog-inducing, botrytis-producing double-bogey action of the Ciron River cold air meeting Garonne River warm air in The Graves and Sauternais areas, white dessert wines find their sweet spot here, along with tournament-worthy dry whites composed primarily of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Les Landes

Right Bank

No shanking on the Right Bank!  This stretch of Côtes (slopes), worm-burning plateaus, and knock-down valleys of cold soils clay and limestone favor Merlot and Cabernet Franc, yielding soft, silky, high acid dry red wines with notes of dark plum, walnut and prune. Hole-in-one AOC’s in the Right Bank’s Libornais area include Pomerol and St.-Èmilion.

The vineyards of Bordeaux stretch endlessly throughout this prestigious wine region.

Entre Deux Mers

Fore!  Entre Deux Mers, meaning ‘between two seas,’ falls between the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers, and enjoys the highest altitudes, greatest terrain variations, and most wine varieties in the Bordeaux region. We’re talkin’ a little bit o’ sand and gravel, a little bit o’ clay and limestone, and a whole lotta water, producing above par dry red and whites. Same story, different side of the Garonne River regarding the fog-borne botrytis sweet white wines.

The rivers of Bordeaux contribute to the unique characteristics of its wine.

Unlike golf, in the winemaking world, there are no mulligans. Every shot, or harvest, counts. And in Bordeaux, it’s a game played by masters. Santé!

Care to share? Leave your comments below…and thanks for stopping by!

More of binNotes on Bordeaux:

 Bordeaux 2012 St.-Emilion Reclassification – WDIAM?

There Will Be Blood – and Wine

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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All Rights Reserved. 

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SiWC: The Terroir of Writing

Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

by. L.M. Archer, FWS

Today binNotes get personal…about SiWC 2014

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“This Day We Write!” – Rallying cry of SiWC

Is there a terroir of writing?

If so,  then SiWC (Surrey International Writer’s Conference) is my Burgundy.

My writing touchstone.

And, as with terroir, unique in its expression.

A sense of writing place like no other.

Now in its 22nd year, SiWC attracts international best-selling authors like Diane Gabaldon (Outlander series), Ann Perry (William Monk series), and Jack Whyte (Camulod Chronicles Series), all of whom make a point of taking time out of their frenetic schedules to participate in perhaps the most well-regarded writer’s conference in North America.

I first attended SiWC back in the day when I thought writing was a noun, not a verb.

This past weekend I returned behind the scenes, allowing me the luxury of another POV (point of view) not clearly visible while busy sweating through pitches, edits and Surrey Idol (think American Idol, only with one-page stories, not songs.)

From this viewpoint, I caught a glimpse of what I call SiWC’s ‘terroir of writing.’

Its ‘sense of place.’ What makes it unique among writers’ conferences.

I’ll be brief.

SiWC displays world-class graciousness from authors in attendance – all of whom insist on mingling with participants at tables, in workshops, on elevators without handlers or assistants or agents as buffers.

SiWC amuses with typical Canadian unpretentiousness and self-deprecating wit.

Above all, SiWC encourages a camaraderie unlike that of other writing events.

As with all touchstones, SiWC illuminates those hidden crevasses in one’s heart and soul, the way in to any creative journey.

It offers a plumb-line to navigate the darkest night, the deepest fear, the most unfathomed loss of faith.

It bolsters courage, strength, and belief in the creative path less taken – regardless the obstacle.

And so, dear followers – whatever your endeavor..this day we write/grow grapes/make wine!

Learn more about SiWC here.

Care to share? Leave your comment below…and thanks for stopping by.



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Copyrighted 2014. All Rights Reserved. Photo Courtesy the author.

Thank you:

J.L. Oakley

Carolyn D. Anderson, PEO

SiWC’s cast and crew: Kathy Chung, kc dyer,  Jared, Donna, Sandi, Mary Ellen, Ginny, Bernice, Brenda et al.

Candace & Mike Wellman

Harvest Time…

 Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog

by L.M. Archer, FWS

Like wine? Like compelling stories about wine? You’ve landed on the right page!

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…and the riesling is ready!

Some views from my sister’s organic vineyard on the banks of the Yakima River for your enjoyment.

That it…lots going on right now, so catch up with you soon….Cheers!

Care to share? Leave your comments below – and thanks for stopping by!


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Thank You:

Leeanna, Dan, Miss Lily, Brew & the Crew

Copyrighted 2014. All rights reserved. |  Images courtesy: Handprint Farms

Wines of Corsica

 Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog

Like wine? Like compelling stories about wine? You’ve landed on the right page!

by L.M. Archer, FWS

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It’s Official!

A view from the  island of Corsica, perhaps France's most elusive wine region.

A view from the island of Corsica, perhaps France’s most elusive wine region.

 My featured guest blog on Wines of Corsica is now published in The Good Life France.

Read it here.



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Lyle Railsback – Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant (

Santo Roman – Rain City Wines (

Steven Brown – ANWD (

Janine Marsh – The Good Life France

Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved. Image: Courtesy Vins de Corse