Jeff Leve wrote: ↑
May 6th, 2019, 5:06 pm
Josh Grossman wrote: ↑
May 6th, 2019, 4:34 pm
Somewhat you are right but combined with trying to buy organic or biodynamic wines, I look at it as more akin to ethical consumerism. If small biodynamic producers were hard to find or making inferior wine it would be one thing--but it's really pretty easy and they are making awesome wine. Greed is also an indicator of being more likely of chasing fads and fraud.
First, thanks for the nice words and the donation. Both are appreciated. Did you know Chateau Latour, owned by Pinault is biodynamic? Chateau Montrose, owned by the Bouygues, also on that list is one of the most, green, energy efficient estates in the world? They offer incentives, health care, living space and other benefits for their workers. The Wertheimer brothers also on the list own Chateau Canon and Rauzan Segla. Both estates are known for being among the lowest priced wines in their class. The Dassault family do not have a single wine over $40, most are probably less.
Some of these people are self-made. That's an accomplishment in my book and it should be celebrated.
If that's your choice, that's your choice. that's fine. But I care about what's in the bottle and in my glass, not how much money people own.
Frankly, if French tax laws were not so odious, making it impossible for many families to inherit their family vineyards, more families would own wineries.
FWIW, Bordeaux chateau owners were beheaded during the revolution. Others fled.
One of my favorite excerpts was from Louis Bromfield's book, Pleasant Valley. Bromfield was a Pulitzer Prize winning author, who like many, was an expatriate in France after WW1. When WW2 was breaking out, he moved back to Ohio, became a gentleman farmer, and was dedicated to permaculture. He wrote this about coming back to the US:
"I was aware too, quite suddenly, of what it was that attracted me to Europe, and most of all to France; it was the sense of continuity and permanence of small but eternal things, of the incredible resistance and resiliency of the small people. I had found there a continuity which had always been oddly lacking in American life, save in remote corners of the country like parts of New England and the South which were afflicted by decadence, where permanence and continuity of life existed through inertia and defeat. In the true sense, they were the least American of any of the parts of America. They had stood still while the endless pattern of change repeated itself elsewhere in factories, in automobiles, in radio, in the restlessness of the rich and the nomadic quality of the poor. The permanence of the continuity of France was not born of weariness and economic defeat, but was a living thing, anchored to the soil, to the very earth itself. Any French peasant, any French workingman with his little plot of ground and his modest home and wages, which by American standards were small, had more permanence, more solidity, more security, than the American workingman or white-collar worker received...sitting there it occurred to that the high standard of living in America was an illusion, based upon credit and installment plan, which threw a man and his family into the street and on public relief the moment his factory closed and he lost his job. It seemed to me that real continuity, real love of one's country, real permanence had to do not with mechanical inventions and high wage but with the earth a man's love of the soil upon which he lived."