There's a fantastic atmosphere in Bordeaux just before Vinexpo. Wine people from all over the world descend on the city to meet clients and do business. This year, I had the opportunity to start the buildup with a four day competition in Blaye, just across the Garonne from Bordeaux city centre.
The Citadelles du Vin competition has been running for nearly 20 years now. It's well known locally and respected as one of the long standing OIV competitions in France.
Lunch was always a highlight. Apart from the much appreciated sustenance, it was an opportunity to indulge in some of the gold winning wines from the previous year.
The event takes place over the course of three days and is also an opportunity from tasters, professional wine trade people to come together from all over the world. The camaraderie is excellent and friendships inevitably develop. I was very fortunate enough to meet the charming Joe X, owner of Chateau St Thomas in Lebanon, as well as the equally entertaining Birj X, also of Lebanese descent, is involved in the development of Canada based brokerage Wine X.