When the Bourgeois family of Sancerre arrived in New Zealand some ten years ago, they settled on a little Marlborough estate to continue on their wine making tradition. They purchased and relocated the Ste. Solange chapel from Ward to serve as the vineyard’s cellar door.
A fitting symmetry, said the office manager. The Domaine Henri Bourgeois in France is also recognised over the world by the pointed spire of the village church.
When we arrived at Clos Henri that blistering afternoon it was already close to the day’s end. I was practically dragging my feet. After a long day shooting around Blenheim, guzzling down wine after wine and practically kick starting my career in cellaring I was desperate for a quiet hour or so with my book and a decent bar of chocolate. Both of which were tragically scarce on the trip. R was undeterred. Even if I was not into Marlborough whites, I should at least visit Clos Henri for the scenery. I told her I was no Claude Monet and would infinitely prefer a book. She reminded me that, as passenger, I was pretty much in her mercy. Sisterly love these days rarely includes concessions.
Still I cannot deny that wine tasting while sitting on a church pew does not hold a strange appeal… kind of exhilarating really. Like having one back at the nuns who used to smack me for eating mud (clearly another story for another day).