It’s all beause of YOU – our enthusiastic wine-loving customers – that we’ve enjoyed another successful year. We’re a tiny company competing in a grand market. So again, we can never thank you enough for your patronage and support.

We also feel particularly lucky to have shared numerous tastings, dinners, passionate discussions (mostly about wine) and unforgettable road trips with many of you as well. Here are a few highlights from this remarkable year, along with our sincerest wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2020….and, as always, lots of great wine!

2019 got off with a bang for us…. or at least some very loud pops at a Champagne party hosted by Michael & Noelle Crowell along with Clément Calleja, U.S. Manager for Billecart-Salmon, at the Crowell home in Alexandria, Louisiana. In addition to the legendary Champagne, guests also got a lesson in Champagne sabering.

Michel with Michael Crowell and Clément Calleja in Alexandria, LA.

Michael Dole gets a lesson in Champagne sabering from Clément Calleja. Click this link to see the action.

At Bordeaux Primeurs we sampled the superb 2018 vintage and caught up to some of the regions’ best winemakers.

Michel with Hubert de Boüard, owner of Château Angélus at his “Dîner des Étoiles” to launch 2018 Primeurs.

Marla with winemaker Nicolas Audebert at Château Canon. Nicolas is also in charge of vinification at CHANEL-owned properties Château Rauzan-Ségla, in Margaux, and the newly purchased Domaine de l’Ile on the island of Porquerolles in Provence.

We always love seeing Daniel & Florence Cathiard at Château Smith Haut Lafitte. If you missed our interview with this dynamic pair, click here.

We celebrated the close of a successful Primeurs at La Co(o)rniche in Arcachon. Left to right Marla, Hillary & Cory Fosdyck, Michel.

After Primeurs 2018, we began our tours in Bordeaux and Saint-Émilion. From left to right: Bill & Cheryl Stegbauer and Andy & Joanie Taylor.


We woke up to thick smoke and helicopters flying over our hotel on the last day of our stay in Saint-Émilion, as wine producers fought frost. See the action here.

In Paris we visited Notre Dame and saw firsthand the damage that resulted from the horrible fires that occured a few days earlier on March 15. See a panoramic view here.


From Paris, we headed to Burgundy and met up with Carl & Carrie Britton and Colleen & Michael Murphy, here touring the Maison Joseph Drouhin cellars, which sprawl for miles beneath the city of Beaune.


Champagne was our next stop, where one of our favorite properties, Domaine Taittinger, treated us to vintage Champagne and gift bags. From left to right: Susan & Jim Hewlett, Marla & Michel, Patty, Angela, Andrew & Steve Uchytil.


At Domaine Louis Michel in Chablis, owner-winemaker Guillaume Michel enjoyed chatting with the geologists in our group. From left to right: Jim & Susan Hewlett, Patty & Andrew Uchytil, Guillaume, Steve Uchytil, Michel and Angela Uchytil.


We finished up our Spring tours back in Bordeaux. Here we are with fabulous Group #5 and highly acclaimed winemaker Marielle Cazaux at Château La Conseillante. From left to right: Stephen Marlette, Harriett Crommelin, Beth Coppedge, Marla, Bob Cavallo, Marielle, Michel, Mary Ann Cavallo, Dana & Tom Saffel and Bob Coppedge.


A rainy evening in Bordeaux at Place de la Bourse, a spectacular stretch of neoclassical buildings and home to the regional Stock Exchange.


We felt like royalty at magnificent Château Pape Clément with Colette Schwartz, Sue & Bert Trucksess, Diane & Gary Mohr, Dann Schwartz. Michel & Marla seated.

Jim & Dana Manning at Château La Gaffelière.

We enjoyed a superb tasting of vintages from both Châteaux Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion with Charity Townsend, J. Holt & Jude Smith, Michel & Marla, David Smoak and Dana & Jim Manning.


By the time our 8th and final group arrived in Bordeaux, it was STILL raining. But the weather didn’t affect these wine-loving afficionados in the least! At Château Mouton Rothschild are Jim & Pam Harris, Kathy Plaeger and Tina DeGeorgio.


Both Alexandre & Guillaume Thienpont were on hand for a truly unforgettable tasting at Vieux Château Certan with Rick & Kathy Plaeger, Alexandre & Guillaume, Tina & Tom DeGeorgio and Pam & Jim Harris.


Marla & Michel share a laugh with Thomas Duroux, CEO of Château Palmer during our tour of the estate. If you missed our interview with Thomas, one of Bordeaux’s most innovative winmakers, click here.

So at the end of this remarkable year, we — along with Bert Trucksess — agree — 2019 gets a BIG thumbs up!