Dream To Be A Winemaker?

What’s your dream job?  London Telegraph had once did a survey on top 10 dream job, first up is pilot.  Would you consider being a winemaker your dream job?  if you do, now you have a chance to be one through VNIV.

VINIV is a Bordeaux-based company founded by Stephen Bolger and co-owned by Jean-Charles Cazes, chief executive officer of Pauillac wine estate Chateau Lynch-Bages.  I met Stephen Bolger last summer at Lynch-Bages with Sylvie Cazes but unfortunately didn’t have the time to make my own barrel (or my wine would be ready soon!).  I met again with Stephen last month in HK and this time, I was invited to experience part of the process of being a “winemaker”, it sounds gimmicky at first that I almost refused to do the blending exercise, but I can affirm you now that it was fun and serious at the same time.

Stephen Bolger trying to help mixing a wine we desire
Stephen Bolger trying to help us mixing a wine we desire
we picked the appellations, type of grape varietals, and finally we decided the % of the blend at BBR
we picked the appellations, type of grape varietals, and finally we decided the % of the blend at BBR

VINIV allows wine lovers to produce their own wine, one barrel and one vintage at a time. Grapes used in the blending come from vineyards across Bordeaux, from appellations including Pauillac and Saint-Emilion (some parcels from the lovely Chateau Teyssier) as well as Saint-Estephe, Canon Fronsac and Graves.  The winemaking team at Château Lynch-Bages oversee VINIV’s winery operations and provide education and technical support.

Members who enrol with VINIV can choose your level of involvement and VINIV do the rest.  If members cannot make it to the final bottling at Bordeaux, VINIV and BB&R (their appointed agent) will send through samples and alternatives of their blend to your country, along with a consultant or technician, to walk the member through in finalizing their blend.  Just to remind you that you won’t be a 100% winemaker as you won’t be involved in everyday farming or worrying about bugs or hail storms (the painful parts of winemaking) but you can choose the parcel of lands and the varietal for your blend, and of course the final blending as well.

VINIV charges a minimum of GBP 6,900 for a barrel producing 288 bottles, with prices varying above that level depending on grapes used, Bolger said.  The wonderful things is you can even design your own label and cork too.

Berry Bros. & Rudd have elected to become the exclusive UK and Hong Kong agents for VINIV this year.  “Berry Bros. gives us the opportunity to move to a completely different scale in terms of exposure to what we do.”Bolger said.

For more info, contact Berry Bros. & Rudd at hksales@bbr.com

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