Domaine de Pallus

“I know someone who knows you,” announced my neighbour, over our Friday evening apéro.

This was immediately confusing. My neighbour is local-born and local-bred, and the idea that he might know one of my old school chums, or an acquaintance from my Halcyon Days as an footloose and fancy-free undergraduate was clearly out of the question. It had to be more recent, and someone more local. Mon voisin seems – as far as I can make out – to repair and install all things electrical for a living, everything from kitchen appliances to satellite dishes (although I should point out he also collects a few sous for cutting my grass during the summer), and he has no role in the wine trade. Nevertheless, he was surely thinking of a vigneron. But who?

I didn’t have long to wait before I found out.

“Bertrand Sourdais,” he continued. “You went to see him this week.”

He was right of course. A few days earlier I had called in on one of the many (and I mean many, many, many) vignerons named Sourdais in Cravant-les-Coteaux, in this case Bertrand Sourdais of Domaine de Pallus. My neighbour’s words were a timely reminder that in wine villages, towns and regions, everybody knows somebody who knows you, and sometimes you have to be careful what you say.

Domaine de Pallus

I immediately resolved not to pass any comment (other than the most salutatory, of course) on the domaine’s wines in front of my neighbour. And I quickly racked my brains to make sure I had passed no comment on my neighbour’s grass-cutting skills during my visit. Unlikely, but you never know….

After a few seconds thought, I concluded I was probably in the clear.

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