We were pretty close to a bubbly paradise @MetroWines last week when Hugues Romagnan dropped by, talked, tasted and taught.
Hugues Romagnan has been Export Manager at Pol Roger since 2012. He studied Political Sciences and Economics obtaining an MBA at Lyon Management School and a Master at Dijon Argo Engineer School. But the passion for wine came from his grandfather, a winemaker in the Rhone Valley. When he is not traveling the world bringing the magic that IS Pol Roger to his anxiously awaiting customers, Hugues lives in Reims.
Really Hugues? Some fabulous life! Are you just trying to make me cry?
I told Hugues that it sounds like he has the best and easiest job in the world. How hard does the Pol Roger Representative have to work to convince you to buy Pol Roger? Exactly. Hugues could not in good conscious deny it.
Anyway, Hugues was off to New Orleans after his visit to Asheville. Always interested in my home town, I asked him where he was staying. "The Monteleone."
When I was 10, I thought there could be no more glamorous, no better place than The Monteleone on Royal Street in the French Quarter. Now, after having done a little traveling, although far less than I would like, I can say there are certainly more gilded, way more GLAM, more historical, but no better place! Hotel Monteleone has a history of rooming acclaimed authors including Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, Truman Capote and more recently, Anne Rice. And now, Hugues!! More History here: http://hotelmonteleone.com/history/
If Hotel Monteleone is history in a building, Pol Roger is history in a bottle. "The winery," says Hugues, "unlike many in France, has remained family owned since its founding in 1849." Hugues told us about an organization, Primum Familiae Vini, started in 1991 by family owned wineries. Information here: http://www.pfv.org/en/.
Primum Familiae Vini
The same business concerns
The decision of an annual gathering
Robert Drouhin and Miguel Torres realized that they not only shared a dedication to excellence and a commitment to traditional winemaking values, but had many similar business concerns.
Their conversation inspired the idea of an annual gathering where a select group of representatives from the world's leading wine families could share their collective talent and knowledge in the pursuit of greater excellence.
The following year their plan came to fruition.
They set up the base of an informal association of family-owned companies which today remains unique in the wine world, and probably also in the wider business world. It transcends geographical borders while maintaining the common business link of vineyard ownership and winemaking.
Today, PFV members continue to exchange experiences of the wine trade, gain insight into future trends and explore solutions to their business challenges.
If selecting wines from a family owned winery is important to you, Hugues suggests that you look for the organization logo on the back of the bottle:
And the Champagne making tradition and historical methods have never wavered. "There are only 10 Riddlers left in "Champagne and" Hugues says "four are with Pol Roger!"
Riddling is turning the Champagne Bottle by hand ever so slightly to help consolidate sediment for better and easier removal. "This links us to the past,"
says Hugues. WOW. The word is overused but, let's just say it, that's awesome!
Pol Roger has been appointed by Buckingham Palace as an official supplier to The Royal Family. And if you read our articles in The Laurel of Asheville, you know about the Winston Churchill Connection. But just in case you missed it: http://thelaurelofasheville.com/lifestyle/breweries/grape-vine-wine-preferences-indulgences-winston-churchill/
"We produce 100% of our Champagne in our own winery," says Hugues. "That means nothing is out-sourced and we control quality from vineyard to bottle." Indeed they do!
Hugues looked around at our bottles and pointed out the winemakers he knows PERSONALLY! including Janasse, Family Perrin, Drouhin. "I sit on boards with these winemakers" There goes that amazing life again. Hugues!
Hugue says this was his first time in Asheville but he will be back. "It's beautiful here." Oh, and BTW, he loved the shop."You have a very good and diverse collection." I told Hugues that our philosophy @MetroWines that we believe that wine is about food, family, friends and community. Hugues said, "I can see that from your collection of wines. It is important to share the history and the story of the bottle. That is all part of the wine."
Hugues thanked us, believe that, thanks us!!! for carrying Pol Roger! Really Hugues. Now I am going to cry. How sweet is that?