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About Us

BURGUNDY BASEMENT 

Born out of a passion for wine and to learn more about what I had started predominantly selling to the wine trade in San Francisco California in the mid nineties, my first trip to Burgundy in 1995 changed my life, as it became the basis of my portfolio of wines and the beginning of an education that has continued until today. I had been involved in the wine trade since 1980 in California fist working in the cellar at wineries then eventually moved into sales, but Burgundy became a yearly trip after 1995 and has now become a way of life for me now owning a house in the region and having now relocated back to Europe. From my humble beginnings at “Wine and the People” in Berkeley California a small retail outlet for wine making supplies and a small wine cellar, to the breaking ground ceremony with “Redwood Vintners” at Opus one in Napa some years later, my California wine road had by then come a long way, but I had to come back to the old world to really find what really interested me. A Geordie born into a working class family I was supposed to know more about Newcastle brown ale and probably not be commenting on the finer points of Gevrey Chambertin and after all a Brit living in California selling French wines to the yanks was a very unlikely outcome for me at 24 but that all changed with a £60 flight in 1979 to California on “Sir Freddy Lakers Skytrain” 

Having worked with US wine Wholesalers since the mid eighties and being English, clients naturally thought you knew everything about French wines and that you had gone to Oxford or Cambridge university and lived in London, a story I must confess I made little or no attempt to rectify, so it was with a little default that I built somewhat of a reputation for knowing the finer points of the French part of the portfolios I represented. It was not until the mid nineties that the Burgundy bug really sunk its teeth into me after a ten day  visit to the region and tasting at some of the oldest and most respected cellars in the Cote.

I will always remember something a grower had said on that trip “we are given the privilege of owning and tending some of the old plots of vineyards, as we will make our mark on them, but they will outlive us and go on long after we have gone ” words of wisdom perhaps but I had begun to understand what it meant to some of the Burgundian growers to be a part of what indeed are the slopes of gold.

So why buy wine from the Burgundy Basement ?

With my limited inventory which is hand picked from my own tasting experiences, I strive to offer only what I would have in my own cellar/basement based on my travels in Burgundy and beyond. I use the best resources to source, ship and store the wines, and aim to emulate the passion that has been passed on to me from the growers I have visited over the years. Profiling and promoting wines that are not always the most expensive, and to overcome that cliché that all Burgundy is overly pricy, and is only the privy of the wealthy and well heeled. More than anything this will be the main driving force behind Burgundy Basement. I hope also to bring some history with the wines listed, and in particular demystify the fragmentation of the vineyards that are part of the Burgundy puzzle.

 


 

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