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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
14 Jul 2011

Later - Florence Hivert also suggests Ch Le Sèpe 2009.

Last weekend the CIVB, the generic organisation charged with, and often criticised for, promoting the wines of Bordeaux generically, did a rather clever thing. They sponsored a Vinocamp weekend in Bordeaux, an event that brought together and was organised by about 150 bloggers, journalists, students, wine producers, managers of wine communities and marketers to discuss ways of making social media and wine into a useful cuvée.

It would have been even better in my view if it had been more actively extended to people outside France, especially those living in prime target markets for the less glamorous sort of bordeaux that is in such difficulty at the moment. But at least Robert McIntosh of Thirst for Wine, a leading light of the European Wine Bloggers Conference, was there, which is how, thanks to the miracle of Twitter, I heard about it.

Previous Vinocamps have been held over the last year or so in Paris, Burgundy and the Languedoc, generally sponsored by local generic bodies. Vinocamp, I am told by participants, has perforce to be sponsored by wineries, tourism bodies and software developers who want to promote their products or find partners, and the CIVB has been involved from the beginning. There was also a Vinocamp in Lisbon recently and there are plans to take it to Belgium apparently (a good move, surely).

Vinocamp France has also spawned a similar organisation in Germany, Vinocamp Deutschland co-ordinated by Thomas Lippert of Winzerblog, and there was also an event called Vinocamp in Seattle in 2008 which seems to have gone quiet. All of these events are modelled on BarCamps and the idea is that the brands are community-owned, so anyone can use them as long as they are contributing to the community and discussion.

I happened to notice that the Saturday night affair was taking place at Planète Bordeaux, the HQ of the beleaguered AC Bordeaux organisation just outside the city, and so I asked participants via Twitter to share the names of any wines they particularly liked. It must have been a good party because all I got in response were the following three suggestions, Chx Altimar, Les Graves de Viaud and de la Garde, to those who aren't fluent in Twitter. (Odd combinations of letters generally denote deliberately contracted URLs.)

MaisonStEmilion Maison LaCommanderie
@JancisRobinson @MarieLamarque: #VINOCAMP très bon château altimar le crachoir ne servira pas

extraterrien extraterrien(.)com
Les Graves de Viaud - great wine. #VINOCAMP @JancisRobinson

MistaB309 Ian Brackenridge
@JancisRobinson Best supermarket Bordeaux wine is Chateau de la Garde. Price just over the £10 mark.

See also the excellent-value Bordeaux Supérieur cited in my recent set of tasting notes on Jeroboams wines.