Just a Drop

September saw Hogarths Hotel’s Food & Beverage Manager Joshua Chadwick, fly off to France to discover the vineyards and origins of selected wines in the region of Bordeaux. This trip was hosted by Sales and Purchasing Manager for Swallow wholesale drinks, Craig Land.

Hogarths Hotels is an independently run hotel group who support and work alongside likeminded local businesses. Hogarths have worked in partnership with Swallow wholesale drinks for the last 10 years. Swallow is a proud family-run business born and built in the West Midlands, celebrating over 30 successful years as Birmingham’s leading independent drinks wholesaler. Building relationships with local suppliers is what the team at hogarths prides themselves on, and opens up welcomed opportunities for the team to grow and expand their industry and product knowledge.

Joshua started the trip by visiting Chateau Bastor (Sauternes), an organic vineyard where they regularly turn the soil to avoid weeds, as opposed to using pesticides. Josh was able to taste the sweet white wines and learn how Botrytis cinerea, usually harmful to most fruits, creates grapes with an incredibly concentrated flavour making for some of the world’s sweetest wines. Located just outside the village of Saint Émilion, Chateau Cadet Bon was next stop on the tour, a small vineyard that keeps some of their wines in large clay tanks to give the wine a ‘earthy’ taste, the wine produced here was Château Cantin Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. Producing authentic wines, the average age of the vines here is 40 years and Cadet Bon follow a simple mantra; to take what is offered by the soil and varietals in the most natural way possible. Thanks to the natural terroir of Cadet Bon, the high quality of the grapes emerges in the wine where little has been added or manipulated. The Final day saw the group visit Chateau Lamarque, an independently owned vineyard sitting in 35 hectares, who are currently in their 25th Generation of family, who still occupy the castle to date. The vines are on average, 35 years of age, comprising predominantly of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. This fantastic experience showed Josh, just how passionate each wine maker is for their individual vineyards and how each took a different approach to make the wine unique to them.

The trip allowed Josh to build relationships with likeminded top Midlands based establishments whilst sharing knowledge and love for the roots of the hospitality industry.

Josh comments “ I am so grateful to the team at Swallow to offer such a fantastic opportunity to hogarths, Craig was the perfect host and I learnt so much over the three days. My favourite wine was Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne 2010, this is a really sweet wine where each grape is individually picked which takes over 8 weeks to do every sept/oct. It was so fascinating to understand and appreciate the processes that take place in order to serve a good quality bottle of wine.”

Craig notes “ I’m glad the trip gave Josh additional wine knowledge and refueled passion. He was great company and represented the hotel fantastically well which was commented on by all.”

Hogarths are preparing to launch their autumnal menu this week, committed Hogarths are passionate about treating their customers- and suppliers- with care and attention, sourcing local produce from award-winning suppliers across the UK.

See Chef’s latest dishes, Josh’s matching wine choices and upcoming offers at: www.hogarths.co.uk

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