Following on from the last post, it is interesting to note that Haut-Brion, the oldest of the First Growths, is also the first to start using Twitter. It was also the first (of that same group) to create a website in 1996. Of course, there are wineries (and others) that use Twitter with all the grace of carpet salesmen, hawking wares incessantly, but in the hands of domaines such as Chateau Palmer (yes as well!) and Haut-Brion, it seems to be used as a discrete tool to answer queries and to point out the occasional piece of interesting news. That is certainly the spirit in which we have been trying to find our feet at La Pèira with Twitter.
In fact, the famous Samuel Pepys comment, on April 10, 1663, “Drank a sort of French wine, called Ho Bryan, that hath a good and most particular taste that I ever met with”, could, in many ways, be a contemporary comment found on Twitter. It certainly has some of the excitement on discovering something new, and the wish to share it, that exemplifies Twitter at its best. A list of wineries on Twitter by Tim Elliott can be found here.
Another Haut-Brion first (among its peers) was the use of stainless steel vessels for fermentation purposes – a practice then innovative but now commonplace – and it may not be long before other domaines in France and elsewhere follow suit in using Twitter. And perhaps the likes of Neal Martin, Andrew Jefford, Robert Parker, and Jancis Robinson will be sharing discoveries with us in real time… just like their colleague Kevin Zraly.
It takes an age and infinite patience to create a great bottle of wine. Why shouldn’t that sense of care extend to being on hand up to the moment it’s uncorked?