About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Balmoral tastes Bordeaux

While I was in Edinburgh, I had the opportunity to spend the day at one of Scotland’s most well-known historic landmarks - plus sample some of the world’s finest wines from Bordeaux. Hosted and run by ‘Le Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux’ (CIVB) - Bordeaux Wine Association - a private association with a very public interest. It is under the responsibility of the French Ministry of Agricultural Affairs - and is behind the new direction and drive to design more and more opportunities for the Trade (the session that I was attending) and for the public to sample and learn more about Bordeaux wines.


The Balmoral Hotel sits proud and grand in the city centre of Edinburgh - able to be scene from nearly all vantage points as you travel around the city. The Balmoral Hotel is from a time gone by, but has been lovingly, respectfully and appropriately brought along into the 21st century. Located in the heart of the city at No. 1 Princes Street, next to the Waverley Railway Station (the second largest train station in the UK) and very close to Edinburgh’s historic Old Town and also overlooks Edinburgh Castle - or is that the other way around.
All 168 spacious bedrooms and 20 suites have been individually designed with particular attention to comfort and style. A number of dining experiences are available and include fine dining in the Michelin starred ‘Number One’ restaurant, more informal dining in Hadrian's Brasserie and several other areas to enjoy a light bite a fine glass of wine or a cocktail.
The CIVB was also here to promote the interests of its members - and it has chosen a grand stage to do so. It was a technical as well as a practical session - as they shared a great deal of their research and knowledge, from production to sales.
The session took us through a close look at the Bordeaux vineyards to discover the four prestigious soils: Médoc, Sauternes, Graves and Saint-Emilion. Most of the information was a gentle refresher on the origins and history of the classified growths of the Bordeaux region, as well as the origins of the classifications and appellations. So the best way to get your head (plus taste-buds around a topic that will take a lifetime to feel comfortable with) - we went through several flights of wines, to help understand the 4 soils and regions.
Starting with giving clarity to many on the 16th Century, when the Médoc was yet only vast marshland, - through to the birth of the Pessac-Léognan appellation in 1987, - simply it was a great chance for all to embrace the history of these exceptional vineyards and what they produce. Yes we enjoyed flights of white and red wines, plus we finished on a great flight of Barsac and Sauterne wines. A good day, I must admit, with a wry smile.