French Tech Meets English Sparklings

French entrepreneurs in winetech crossed the Channel for the first edition of Vinocamp in the UK. The French event brings together techies and wine producers to look at new ways of using digital technologies to promote wineries and wine producers.

Organised by l’Express wine blogger Anne-Victoire Monrozier, who also produces wine under her own label Miss Vicky Wines, the event was attended by Telegraph’s wine critic Victoria Moore, and founders of many really, really, cool wine tasting education apps.

Image recognition app, which has 150K active members and has raised $300K USD to date, in seed funding,  is worth checking.  It offers a nice way to manage one’s private cellar.

It is only available in French for now,  but could be a serious contender to similar apps in the market, such as Vivino and Delectable. It has a nicely designed interface and 45.000 wines listed – with price comparison features and reviews by wine experts.

The one-day program included workshops, talks on the latest industry export figures, and brain storming sessions around topics such as marketing French wine abroad, branding French wine in the UK, “Terroir” and exports, consumer-centric marketing campaigns, and blogs and their role attracting a digitally savvy demographic to appreciate wine.

On Saturday we were invited to visit two English vineyards and producers of top sparklings in the Sussex region: Coates and Seely, and Hattingley Valley.

Much to our delight the weather was spectacular. A sunny England?  You might ask.

Sunny indeed. With its new found vocation for producing superb sparkling wines, we are certainly looking at a decade that will define and put to rest the old notion that English wines, were nothing to talk home about, indeed when I mention to wine sector colleagues from abroad, they go: “English wines? Do they make wine in England?”

They were non-existent in the international landscape until recently. But a sip of the Coates and Seely Blanc des Blancs NV, or their Brut Reserve NV will puts them in the map for good. These pale coloured sparklings will make a nice addition to your Christmas gift lists.

Paired with a mild curry dish, and chased by heavenly macaroons, they will make a visit to your in-laws sweet and memorable. So, go on.  Order it now, for yourself and for them. You can thank me later.  There is no mother-in-law or father-in-law who will resist you under the spell of Coates and Seely Brut Reserve NV, with its fresh berries attack lingering in the palate so MiL will think pink , or its Blanc des Blancs NV, with its elegant fine bubbles and hints of fresh green apple  – as the wine should be in family reunions.

We had a taste of the English countryside to make the envy of a  Nouvelle Vague film production designer. The backdrop of French wine techies and the sunny meadows with their sheep were reminiscent of an Eric Rohmer’s film.

It brough to mind Le Genou de Claire, with their scenes of family and friends gathering around good food and good wine.

Is it not what the French are best known for?

Fabulous savoir-vivre, wine is to be enjoyed with food. Always.

Photo credits: Maya Plentz

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