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Burgundy and me
[ Burgundy and me ]

·Burgundy saved from mildew threat
·Tasting through Burgundy
·Burgundy 2005 sales as healthy as Bordeaux
·Burgundy vintage 2006
·New Zealand Vignerons go to Burgundy
·Two great Burgundy vintages
·The magic of old burgundy
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·Pinot noir: The noble grape of Burgundy

Colmar. Nice city.


Colmar. Nice city.

Colmar. Capital of alsacian vineyards.


Colmar. Capital of alsacian vineyards.


Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and Grand Cru d'Alsace.Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and Grand Cru d'Alsace.
French Recipies and Alsacian GastronomyFrench Recipies and Alsacian Gastronomy
Growing grapes in Alsace.Growing grapes in Alsace.
History of Alsace and alsacian wine.History of Alsace and alsacian wine.
Market Export InformationsMarket Export Informations
Soils and grounds.Soils and grounds.
Travellers memories around AlsaceTravellers memories around Alsace
Wine and healthWine and health
Wine booksWine books
Wine route in Alsace.Wine route in Alsace.
Wine Tittle-TattleWine Tittle-Tattle

Burgundy and me Burgundy and me
Discover France through Alsace. Discover France through Alsace.
Events in Alsace. Events in Alsace.
Follow the Froggies: Alsace gastronomy. Follow the Froggies: Alsace gastronomy.
Inside Bordeaux Inside Bordeaux
Wine classifications AOC - Grand Crus... Wine classifications AOC - Grand Crus...

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Burgundy boot camp for domaine dreamers

Burgundy boot camp for domaine dreamers
Burgundy and meBouilland, France "Must keep the liver in good shape," Robert Lyster declared on the first day of Burgundy boot camp in the medieval French hamlet of Bouilland.
Rooting through his satchel, the 62- year-old co-founder of Lyster Watson Management, a hedge fund in New York, grinned at the nine other jet- lagged wine investors.

They were staying in a luxuriously refurbished windmill for seven days of sampling more than 300 bottles of wine along the Cote d'Or, three hours by car southeast of Paris.
"My plan is to take a lot of green stuff," Lyster said. "Plankton and algae pills to neutralize the alcohol in what's to come."
Equipped with indefatigable taste buds and artery-declogging tablets, Lyster and his fellow wine campers have paid $8,350 to attend the Bouilland Symposium.

The 10-year-old training program, which accepts only up to 10 students for each of the twice-a-year gatherings, is aimed at Wall Street wine mavens interested in purchasing a Burgundy vineyard or expanding their investments in the 105 million bottles of white chardonnays and 75 million bottles of red pinot noirs produced annually. There are about 4,000 "domaines" and 59 types of soil beneath the Cote d'Or, which stretches 50 kilometers, or 31 miles.

"All the partners think I came here to get hammered for a week," said Paul Chiu, research director of Wexford Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut. "They have no idea."
Chiu, a 30-year-old hedge-fund strategist, added, "If you screw up a Burgundy wine investment, you'd better be real thirsty."
Becky Wasserman, founder of the symposium, is a native New Yorker who moved to Burgundy in 1968 to sell oak barrels from her 1,000-year-old farmhouse in Bouilland. She said all of the 160 Burgundy investors she has welcomed since 1996 have aspired to owning a domaine.

Wasserman said her graduates include Robert Heine, chief executive of Mariner Investment Group in Los Angeles; C. Charles Nailen Jr., owner of BBG Specialty Foods in Dothan, Alabama; Rusty Staub, the former baseball player; Roger Forbes, partner in Deja Vu Consulting in Lansing, Michigan; and Joseph Wender, the former Goldman Sachs Group partner who joined a colleague, Alfred Eckert III, to become managing director of GSC Partners in Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, Wender, 61, bought the Burgundy winemaker Maison Camille Giroud for an undisclosed sum. Forbes headed a group that splashed out about $5.5 million to buy 4 hectares, or 10 acres, of Domaine Duchet and hire the master vintner Carel Voorhuis from Domaine d'Ardhuy.
"Burgundy is a unique area, and one of those rare investments where you invest more with your heart than your head," Wender said of his acquisition.
For Wasserman, Burgundy's new crop of wealthy American winemakers are "heroic figures."
Wasserman's company, Le Serbet Sarl, began in 1986, when she rolled out her last barrel for a solo career representing 30 domaine owners. Today, Le Serbet's seven employees act for 130 domaines and have funneled almost three million bottles of wine to the United States over the past 20 years, a huge amount by Burgundy standards.

"The business is small, but significant enough that the domaines take us seriously," Wasserman said of her export business.
"No one buys a domaine to make money, and don't let them tell you any different," Wasserman said at her office in the former chancellery of the duke of Burgundy in Beaune, the regional capital.
"Owning a domaine is a venture capitalist's dream," she said, laughing. "The highest of high risk. If the weather is good and you're really lucky, you might make a 4 percent return. But owning a domaine is the greatest lifestyle imaginable."
Back on Wall Street, the symposium's U.S. sales agent, James Horwitz, said the dream is very real among his clients.
"Owning a domaine in Burgundy is the ultimate seductive investment for anyone who likes wine," said Horwitz, the president of XO Travel Consultants. "Everyone who goes to Bouilland has the wallet. They come to develop their palates. Forbes attended the symposium five times, studied hard and hit the jackpot."

Lyster said the most important thing he has learned from the symposium is to purchase for pleasure.
"There are a lot of guys on Wall Street who have too much money and don't know what to do with it, so Bordeaux wine futures are perfect investment excess," Lyster said.
For Chiu, who has been collecting wines for five years and counts a collection of 600 mostly California bottles, Bouilland put him on the road to fiscal perdition.
"I'm still a long way off, but I understand the attraction," Chiu said. "What you're investing in is a legacy, 2,000 years of Cote d'Or winemaking that goes back to Roman times."
Wasserman said the lure of being part of that legacy can be a fatal attraction.

"'How much will it cost me to invest in a domaine?' is the most frequent question I'm asked," she said. "The best answer is that it takes up to five generations to pay off a grand cru investment. Only four of Burgundy's domaines turn a 4 percent annual profit. Most make between 2 and 3 percent."

Yet the buyers keep coming. This summer, Francois-Henri Pinault, chief executive of PPR, formerly known as Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, and owner of the prestigious Chateau Latour in Bordeaux, paid €17.5 million, or $22.3 million, for control of 6 hectares of Domaine Engel vines in Vosne-Romanée that produce Clos Vougeot, Echezeaux and Grand Echezeaux.

According to the Bouilland faculty, one field that is attracting vine dreamers lies tucked into the 50 hectares along the north slope of Pommard, a wine that the chief symposium instructor, Clive Coates, said is not as popular today as it was 50 years ago, when the bottles of the rich red were staples in every great cellar.

Most drinkers nowadays find Pommard, a luxury wine grown in soil with a high iron content, too tannic unless it has aged for at least 20 years. A Bouilland instructor, Russell Hone, said that is a problem for palates more familiar with quickly consuming the young wines of California and Bordeaux.
"There are only seven individual vineyards that produce a much less tannic Pommard," said Hone. "The land will cost you $6 million, and that will produce 90 casks of approximately 25,000 bottles of wine."
Wasserman said it would cost $4 million more to revamp the domaine and keep it running for three years with workers, equipment and a new winemaker.
Then the arithmetic turns cold.
"It takes three years after the first harvest for the wine to be ready for market," said Hone, who is Wasserman's husband and has been a Burgundy wine trader for 40 of his 62 years. "You're not making a cent for three years, and then your buyers must wait a minimum of three to four years after that before they can drink it. Perfection wouldn't appear until the wine is six to eight years old."
Once on the wholesale block, Wasserman said, the wine would fetch between €15 and €30 a bottle. On the shelf, the wine would probably retail for €50 to €55 a bottle.
"Your first sale on a $10 million investment at best would net less than $500,000 after three years," Coates explained. "And you're not going to sell all 25,000 bottles."
BOUILLAND, France "Must keep the liver in good shape," Robert Lyster declared on the first day of Burgundy boot camp in the medieval French hamlet of Bouilland.
Rooting through his satchel, the 62- year-old co-founder of Lyster Watson Management, a hedge fund in New York, grinned at the nine other jet- lagged wine investors.

They were staying in a luxuriously refurbished windmill for seven days of sampling more than 300 bottles of wine along the Cote d'Or, three hours by car southeast of Paris.

"My plan is to take a lot of green stuff," Lyster said. "Plankton and algae pills to neutralize the alcohol in what's to come."
Equipped with indefatigable taste buds and artery-declogging tablets, Lyster and his fellow wine campers have paid $8,350 to attend the Bouilland Symposium.
The 10-year-old training program, which accepts only up to 10 students for each of the twice-a-year gatherings, is aimed at Wall Street wine mavens interested in purchasing a Burgundy vineyard or expanding their investments in the 105 million bottles of white chardonnays and 75 million bottles of red pinot noirs produced annually. There are about 4,000 "domaines" and 59 types of soil beneath the Cote d'Or, which stretches 50 kilometers, or 31 miles.

"All the partners think I came here to get hammered for a week," said Paul Chiu, research director of Wexford Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut. "They have no idea."
Chiu, a 30-year-old hedge-fund strategist, added, "If you screw up a Burgundy wine investment, you'd better be real thirsty."
Becky Wasserman, founder of the symposium, is a native New Yorker who moved to Burgundy in 1968 to sell oak barrels from her 1,000-year-old farmhouse in Bouilland. She said all of the 160 Burgundy investors she has welcomed since 1996 have aspired to owning a domaine.
Wasserman said her graduates include Robert Heine, chief executive of Mariner Investment Group in Los Angeles; C. Charles Nailen Jr., owner of BBG Specialty Foods in Dothan, Alabama; Rusty Staub, the former baseball player; Roger Forbes, partner in Deja Vu Consulting in Lansing, Michigan; and Joseph Wender, the former Goldman Sachs Group partner who joined a colleague, Alfred Eckert III, to become managing director of GSC Partners in Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, Wender, 61, bought the Burgundy winemaker Maison Camille Giroud for an undisclosed sum. Forbes headed a group that splashed out about $5.5 million to buy 4 hectares, or 10 acres, of Domaine Duchet and hire the master vintner Carel Voorhuis from Domaine d'Ardhuy.
"Burgundy is a unique area, and one of those rare investments where you invest more with your heart than your head," Wender said of his acquisition.
For Wasserman, Burgundy's new crop of wealthy American winemakers are "heroic figures."
Wasserman's company, Le Serbet Sarl, began in 1986, when she rolled out her last barrel for a solo career representing 30 domaine owners. Today, Le Serbet's seven employees act for 130 domaines and have funneled almost three million bottles of wine to the United States over the past 20 years, a huge amount by Burgundy standards.
"The business is small, but significant enough that the domaines take us seriously," Wasserman said of her export business.
"No one buys a domaine to make money, and don't let them tell you any different," Wasserman said at her office in the former chancellery of the duke of Burgundy in Beaune, the regional capital.
"Owning a domaine is a venture capitalist's dream," she said, laughing. "The highest of high risk. If the weather is good and you're really lucky, you might make a 4 percent return. But owning a domaine is the greatest lifestyle imaginable."
Back on Wall Street, the symposium's U.S. sales agent, James Horwitz, said the dream is very real among his clients.
"Owning a domaine in Burgundy is the ultimate seductive investment for anyone who likes wine," said Horwitz, the president of XO Travel Consultants. "Everyone who goes to Bouilland has the wallet. They come to develop their palates. Forbes attended the symposium five times, studied hard and hit the jackpot."

Lyster said the most important thing he has learned from the symposium is to purchase for pleasure.
"There are a lot of guys on Wall Street who have too much money and don't know what to do with it, so Bordeaux wine futures are perfect investment excess," Lyster said.
For Chiu, who has been collecting wines for five years and counts a collection of 600 mostly California bottles, Bouilland put him on the road to fiscal perdition.
"I'm still a long way off, but I understand the attraction," Chiu said. "What you're investing in is a legacy, 2,000 years of Cote d'Or winemaking that goes back to Roman times." Wasserman said the lure of being part of that legacy can be a fatal attraction.
"'How much will it cost me to invest in a domaine?' is the most frequent question I'm asked," she said. "The best answer is that it takes up to five generations to pay off a grand cru investment. Only four of Burgundy's domaines turn a 4 percent annual profit. Most make between 2 and 3 percent."
Yet the buyers keep coming. This summer, Francois-Henri Pinault, chief executive of PPR, formerly known as Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, and owner of the prestigious Chateau Latour in Bordeaux, paid €17.5 million, or $22.3 million, for control of 6 hectares of Domaine Engel vines in Vosne-Romanée that produce Clos Vougeot, Echezeaux and Grand Echezeaux.

According to the Bouilland faculty, one field that is attracting vine dreamers lies tucked into the 50 hectares along the north slope of Pommard, a wine that the chief symposium instructor, Clive Coates, said is not as popular today as it was 50 years ago, when the bottles of the rich red were staples in every great cellar.
Most drinkers nowadays find Pommard, a luxury wine grown in soil with a high iron content, too tannic unless it has aged for at least 20 years. A Bouilland instructor, Russell Hone, said that is a problem for palates more familiar with quickly consuming the young wines of California and Bordeaux.

"There are only seven individual vineyards that produce a much less tannic Pommard," said Hone. "The land will cost you $6 million, and that will produce 90 casks of approximately 25,000 bottles of wine."
Wasserman said it would cost $4 million more to revamp the domaine and keep it running for three years with workers, equipment and a new winemaker.
Then the arithmetic turns cold.
"It takes three years after the first harvest for the wine to be ready for market," said Hone, who is Wasserman's husband and has been a Burgundy wine trader for 40 of his 62 years. "You're not making a cent for three years, and then your buyers must wait a minimum of three to four years after that before they can drink it. Perfection wouldn't appear until the wine is six to eight years old."

Once on the wholesale block, Wasserman said, the wine would fetch between €15 and €30 a bottle. On the shelf, the wine would probably retail for €50 to €55 a bottle.
"Your first sale on a $10 million investment at best would net less than $500,000 after three years," Coates explained. "And you're not going to sell all 25,000 bottles."

A. Craig Copetas, Bloomberg News; September 27, 2006
Posted on Tuesday, November 21 @ 19:49:20 MST by pierre
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Colmar. Capital of alsacian vineyards.
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Colmar. Nice city.
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