In preparation for re-opening of hospitality, Deux Six Wines, launched their first ever trade show from the 6th -9th April and delivered a 4 day online event to the on-trade.
Champagne Redefined: Growers Gastronomy Conference 2021 was set up to allow sommeliers, wine buyers and professionals from the trade to network, discover and learn all about Grower Champagnes. The event was split in to two sections; in the day private 1 to 1 tasting and in the evenings, live masterclass sessions for all to enjoy.
For the tastings we had 25 private sessions with establishments from across the UK featuring an amazing 18 Michelin Stars! Each restaurant chose 3 select Champagnes from our portfolio to taste and participated in a bespoke online tasting with the Deux Six Wines team.
As part of the tasting all guests received Exaltation glasses from the brilliant Chef&Sommelier, who kindly sponsored the event. The exaltation glass is the most technologically advanced Champagne glass on the market and was only recently released in the UK. Our guests had first access to try this amazing glassware.
Networking and education were big features of the event and we wanted the online conference to provide guests with the ability to meet other professionals in a relaxed environment, even more so after having been closed for so long. The software allowed guests to sit on virtual conference tables to engage and discuss and also gave the opportunity to meet new people through speed networking. Guests would regularly log on early to take advantage of this feature and stay after the final masterclasses in a somewhat joyous, friendly atmosphere. Sometimes we still had guests logged on and chatting until 10pm!
Our evening Masterclasses were planned to provide guests with sessions that were slightly different to the norm. Instead of communal tastings or discussion panels we wanted to present things that would add value to our guests.
Chef&Sommelier presented a glassware masterclass which delved in to the importance of glass choice, covering a variety of important factors; durability, style, performance and value. This was hosted by the brilliant Chris Ward, Hotel Business Director at ARC international.
We then introduced Tom Berresford, MD of Bermar, to the virtual stage who presented ‘Wine List Redefined’. This was a great insight in to current consumer trends, drawing on their years of experience of providing preservation systems to top restaurants and hotels. Hot topics were; how to sell more wine by the glass, the importance of social media and how to present your list in new and unique ways.
Champagne Redefined guests also gained access to special partnership offers on Chef&Sommelier and Bermar products as part of the conference.
Time to introduce some of our producers and we were delighted to welcome three of our growers to speak at the conference. Owner and winemaker, Alice Voirin, joined us from Champagne Voirin Jumel and spoke about the infrastructure of Grand Cru’s in Champagne, how they are introducing more biodynamic practices and the importance of climate when it comes to harvesting a vintage. We even got a panoramic tour over the vineyards in Cramant, Grand Cru!
Marianne Gamet, Head of Operations at Champagne Gamet, taught us all about the importance of soil and how it makes a difference to the characteristics of the grapes. We looked at the difference in soil between the right bank and left bank of the River Marne and explored how this helped create different cuvées. We also learnt about the future products from the Gamet family and how they make the most of their terroir to not only make Champagne but also a Honey and a Cider!
We then sat with Alexandre Salmon, the latest generation of Winemaker from Champagne Salmon. Alex delved deep in to the beauties of Pinot Meunier, his speciality! We looked at what makes this grape so special, the conditions that help it’s growth and how his organic practices allow it to shine. Alex also spoke around the use of Oak in Champagne and also around his involvement in the prestigious Special Club. We all wanted to visit and take a tour in his Hot Air Balloon! One for the diary!
Moving on to our final day and it was time for two of our sommelier friends to shine. In to the spotlight, James Cameron, Head Sommelier at Northcote and Francesco Fantinel, Assistant General Manager at Harry’s Bar London. The feature was to explore all things food and Champagne. We tasked them both to look at Champagne Salmon AS, a unique cuvée from Champagne Salmon, double aged in Oak with 50% Chardonnay from 2009 and 50% Pinot Noir from 2010. We wanted to see what they would pair this Champagne with and how it could work with a variety of dishes. They truly delivered! The two had cooked up some stunning dishes, if only we could have tasted them.
After 4 superb days of tastings, networking and masterclasses, the event had to come to a close. We celebrated together with a glass of the newly released Henri Goutorbe Special Club 2007 and thanked everyone for attending. A brilliant week, with new friends made, new wine tasted and new things learnt! Bring on the next one when hopefully we can all be there in person!
For access to our full masterclass recordings please join our mailing list below. To organise a trade tasting please email Cameron@DeuxSixWines.com
Champagne Redefined: Growers Gastronomy Conference 2021 in numbers.