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30 March 2006

Gîtes de France and Languedoc 'Escapades Vigneronnes’

Gîtes de France and Languedoc producers have launched a new wine tourism partnership packaged as ‘Le coffret Escapades Vigneronnes’. A smart boxed kit containing a glossy guide and CD will be sold on-line and in book shops and wine merchants throughout the region for 19€. The guide includes details of each gîte property located on participating wine estates in the Hérault département, as well as information on the area’s vineyards, seasons and tourist attractions. The wine trail stretches from east and north of Montpellier across to St-Chinian, Minervois and Narbonne. The CD offers tips on tasting, grape varieties and winemaking styles. “We wanted to make it educational rather than technical and try not to be too highbrow or trade focused,” Dominique Dupeyroux explained, director of Gîtes de France Hérault. “It’s aimed at different levels of wine enthusiast. We can go further in the next edition, and an English language version is a possibility if we can find a suitable publishing partner.” The guide also gives suggestions with prices for two and three day tailor-made wine and food tours including accommodation and itinerary, which can be booked on-line and offered as a present. More information is available at www.sejour-en-vignoble.fr
March 2006. A version also appeared in Decanter magazine.

27 March 2006

Chimpanzés et bonobos…

Chimpanzés et bonobos…
En France, l'évolution de la société est-elle possible sans violence, sans révolution ? Chez nous des mots ont perdu leur sens : concertation, écoute, négociation, compromis, ouverture, non-violence… D’autres sont menacés : démocratie, modernisation, progrés social…
Pourquoi se mêler de ce débat ? Parce qu’il y a des points communs entre les manifestations étudiantes, syndicales et les manifestations vigneronnes. D’abord leur violence inutile : pourquoi dégrader La Sorbonne quand on est étudiant ?
Pourquoi détruire du vin et des chais quand on est vigneron ?
Ensuite, abrités derrière le paravent de « l’exception française » nous ne voyons pas que le monde avance, mais sans nous !
Dans les forêts équatoriales, les chimpanzés querelleurs et agressifs sont en régression, les bonobos pacifiques et positifs seraient à nouveau en expansion…
Taken from
E-lettre Vitisphere.com 27th March 2006.
My translation:
"Can we change society in France without violence or revolution? Words have lost their meaning round our way: dialogue, listening, negotiation, compromise, opening up, non-violence... Others are under threat: democracy, modernisation, social progress...
Why get involved in this debate? Because the student and union demonstrations have something in common with the winegrowers' demos. First of all their pointless violence: why deface the Sorbonne when you're a student? Why destroy wine and cellars when you're a winegrower? (news piece in French on sabotage at the Val d'Orbieu group.) Secondly, shielded by 'the French Exception', we can't see the world is moving on, but without us!
In the equatorial rainforests, antagonistic and aggressive chimps are on the way out, peaceful and constructive bonobos (couldn't find that in the dictionary but must be a kind of ape!) will soon be on the up..."


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