Thursday, July 12, 2012

Uncle Jim (or is it Bernard)

It is not often that a visit to Domaine Jones moves me - but yesterday was different.  A couple of weeks back I had received an email from Jim in Canada.  My Mum explained that he was married to my granny's cousin so I am not quite sure what that makes him to me but I can quite confidently say he is a a distant relation and not only in miles.  Jim, a former winemaker himself, has been following my adventures at Domaine Jones and was so keen to see what I had done that he travelled all the way from Canada to his relations in Gruissan near Narbonne.

Shamefully, I never replied to his email and as soon as he landed he gave me a ring to fix up a date.  5 years ago he had tried to come and visit on his last trip to Europe with his late wife Joan.  Unfortunately Joan fell ill so they never made it.  This time Jim was on a definite mission to meet his wine making relation.

We tasted the wines in the Vatican and it suddenly sunk in that this lovely man had travelled half way round the world to taste my wines.  I was nervous.  We tasted the white, - 'yes nice'.  We tasted the red - 'um yes is this the Fitou?'  No this is is the Grenache from Maury.  'Umm but you make Fitou don't you?'

And then I got the Fitou out and his eyes lit up.  'Ah so this is the Fitou?'  I was really nervous now.

He took one sip and said - 'This is good, this is very good. '

And that was it - whatever happened in those couple of seconds said it all.  The look in his eyes, the wonderment and the absolute pleasure he had in finally getting to taste my wine.

Thank you Uncle Jim, merci Bernard and please, please stay in touch.

Jim in front of the Vatican

PS Jim's real name is Bernard but he picked up the nickname of Jim from a packet of cornflakes with a boy called Sonny Jim on and it stuck so in Canada he is known as Jim and in France as Bernard.