Taking the time to present our wines
Nicolas, National CHR Manager, and Bernard, Regional CHR Manager, coordinate a team of about 60 bar, hotel and restaurant (CHR) sales agents across the local area. Together, they organise a roster of visits to our restaurant customers through the year. Wherever the customer is located “we make the effort to go there to maintain the relationship and present our latest products,” explains Bernard.
Initially trained as a Sommelier (which he practised for several years at the historic Tour d’Argent restaurant in Paris), he acquired just the right skills to give customers a much more personal service. It is not unusual for his customer visits to include a lunch and a tasting session. “It’s important to take the time to talk with our customers, listen and support them. Then you’re constantly learning about what they really need,” says Valérie Vincent, Marketing & Communications Manager. “We also work with them to hold wine dinners. Restaurateurs can invite their regulars and spend an evening together learning something new!”
With some customers, the partnership has endured a decade! “We’ve offered Gabriel Meffre wines to our customers for ten years now,” says Nadège, who heads up Château des Tourelles in Pas de Calais. In terms of both the quality of the wines or our relations with the winery, we have never been disappointed.”
The crucial wine tasting
The restaurant managers understand the importance of stocking wines which suit their customers’ taste. They are looking for classics such as the appellations from the Rhône Valley, but they also appreciate the new bottles on the block. “Gabriel Meffre regularly pays us a visit to taste new vintages and new ranges, which is really the best way for us to get to know their wine selection,” tells us Laurent, who runs three restaurants in Hérault: Le Chalet Chamoniard in Lattes, and Café des Arts and Mustang Café in Montpellier.
Guiding hotels through the tasting process is a great way to ensure the winery caters well to their needs. Among the wines produced, certain organoleptic profiles are a closer match than others with regional culinary specialities. Valérie explains: “Part of our job is to help with this search. The aim isn’t to recommend pairings right off the bat, but to study a restaurant's menu and suggest wines which we feel suit the establishment taking into account the type of cuisine but its clientele too.”
A selection of wines adapted to different regional cuisines
“The Viognier Laurus is our favourite at Château des Tourelles!” announces Nadège. “The Gigondas du Domaine de Longue Toque and the Chardonnay Gabriel are two additional gems on our wine list.” Made from single-vineyard wines, a Viognier Laurus is ideal for fine dining. “To accompany pressed quail and foie gras, or a bass millefeuille, a Viognier works very well,” concludes Nadège.
Meanwhile, over at Chalet Chamoniard you can find the Gigondas Domaine de Longue Toque, as well as the Laurus Crozes-Hermitage and white Côtes du Rhône. “These wines are a subtle match with Savoyard specialities. They are very popular with family groups of any age, from 25 to 80!”
The atmosphere at Café des Arts a French-style tapas bar, in Montpellier, is friendly and relaxed. “The clientele is pretty young - between 20 and 30 - and they have a particular penchant for the Côtes de Provence rosé GM by Gabriel Meffre, especially when the sun is shining.”
It is a total change of scene at the Cerf d'Or, a hotel and restaurant in Strasbourg. “I first started to appreciate Gabriel Meffre’s wine by tasting their Côte du Rhônes. I was looking for a wine to serve by the carafe which didn’t compromise on quality.” Over four years, Jean-Luc has gradually extended his wine list by adding other high-end bottles such as the Saint-Joseph, the Gigondas, the Condrieu, and the Crozes-Hermitage from the Laurus range. “I recommend these wines to wash down a rack of grilled venison or a roast young wild boar.”
‘Consistency’ is the term which comes up time and time again among our restaurant customers when they are asked to describe the wines we supply them with. Regardless of the vintage or appellation, quality is always guaranteed: a factor truly valued by our customers.
Dependable, available and consistent is the winery we strive to be to sustain our relationships with our restaurant and hotel customers into the long term!