10:42PM | 5th arr. | Paris
We spend the morning putting finishing touches on three weeks of tasting notes. Over coffee we discuss the final lineup for next week’s Futures Issue, and catch the noon TGV from Nantes to Paris. At Montparnasse we take a cab to the Latin Quarter, where our rental host is waiting.
In a well appointed walk up on the Rue Jussieu, we catch up on emails and begin drafts of the next Ansonia offers, as the avenue bustles four floors below. Our dinner is just steps from our front door in a hundred year old restaurant — rillettes de canard, mozzarella aubergine, and stewed veal. A splash of Armagnac to cap off our final meal.
The trip has been long and productive and taxing and fun. After 40 winemaker visits, over 200 wines, and somewhere north of 1800 miles of road, we’ve adopted the rhythm of the continent — an espresso after lunch, a new loaf of bread every day, a check only when you call for it.
The mind’s compass drifts towards the familiar after a month away from home. Travel tends set before us a bigger picture; we look at our country, our lives, our work, all from the perspective of a few thousand miles. Tiny comforts — pour-over coffee, fast internet, a kitchen table — we take a little less for granted.
But our visits here provide an essential and inimitable connection to our vingerons. There is no way to replicate standing in a vineyard with a winemaker, surrounded by vines his grandfather planted, on land his great-grandfather bought — terroir is made of men and women as much as any earth or stone. They are stewards of the land, coaxing from the ground an exquisite culinary expression of the place that made them as well.
We hope that through stories, pictures, and the fruits of this ancient beautiful craft, you too can feel a connection to the extraordinary people we find here.