Much adoo in the German wine blogging scene, as well among winery blogs as even more on blogs written by wine journalists, about the protest action of a bunch of renown German top wineries against the demand of the publisher of the most influent wine guide to German wines, who asked for the first time a participation fee, to help them, to edit their guide.
Even if it was underlined by the editor, that there would be no direct connection between mentions in the guide and the contribution of 195 Euros, which should also give the right to communicate about an eventual entry in the guide, this new practice arose a lot of protest and many colleagues were wondering, whether independence of the guides judgment would be really guarantied.
Lisson wines, which are French wines, were never concerned by this guide (neither by their French pendant, as we were never asked to send samples). So I can’t even tell, whether they practice the same policy in France – at least I’ve never heard about it, but that may simply mean, that my French colleagues are used to this kind of fee, as it seems to be normal, that you pay, when participating in one of the well known wine competitions, to get a gold, silver or bronze medal in your category, which you can stick to your bottles afterwards or announce proudly on your Website.
If you want to know more about the German storm in a glass of wine, you can go to the blog of Johner Estate, where Patrick Johner had the good idea to write in English about the trouble and translate also the protest letter of his German VDP colleagues. There is a kind of blog-press-condensation in English on the winerambler’s blog.
As I said, Lisson wines don’t figure in these main stream guides in France. Very few journalists or guide publishers seem to know, that they exist – which isn’t anomalous for a very small winery in an area beyond AOC Appellations (we are north of Saint Chinian and Faugère, further up in the mountains), and does deliver it’s rare wines under a Table Wine label.
So I’m always surprised, if somebody tells me, that he has found Lisson in a printed guide – and you can imagine, that I don’t hesitate, to buy it and look up, what they’ve written about us.
One of them was a guide about natural wines with special terroir expression, edited by Jean-Paul Barriolade, Carol Rouchès, François Morel et Marie-Christine Cogez-Marzani
Vin Vignobles et Vignerons
The other one is le Guide de l’amateur des vins naturels ( The natural wine lovers guide), author Dominique Lacout, edited at Paris by Jean Paul Rocher editors. Which is nt only a guide to natural wines, but also to winebars and restaurants all over France, where you can find their wines.
Neither of them asked for samples, to review them, but it seems, that the authors “came across” our wines by the recommendation of other wine-lovers – they didn’t ask for a “participation fee” neither, just some further information about the wines, once they had decided to include them into their guide.
They are not the kind of wine writers, who classify everything with stars or points, it’s not a competition, it’s just meant for the passionate wine lover, who is looking for wines made by vintners, „soucieux de leur terroir, attentives à la vinification, souvent en agriculture biologique, voire biodynamique prennent des risques en faisant des cuvées atypiques ou sans soufre…“ attentif at their terroir and during vinification, often involved in biological farming, even biodynamic farming methods in the vineyard, who take risks by elaborating atypical cuvées or without sulfur...
I was rather proud to find Lisson directly besides Didier Barral and other more well known natural vintners of the Languedoc…