Tasting Notes

Continuing the Collection

Blackberry Farm houses an impressive collection of wine. Guests and friends of the Farm picture the wine tunnel lined with bottles and cellar shelves full of vintages from around the world. As bottles are poured and shared at the table, and as talented vintners continue creating beautiful wines, Andy Chabot continues the tradition of collecting to keep the more than 150,000 bottle Blackberry Farm assortment stocked and growing.

For wines that are simply new vintages, we often receive an allocation from the winery or importer. We then have to make a decision on how much to buy. Given our great relationships with the wineries and the importers with whom we work, this is usually a fairly straightforward process. We buy wine each year from them – in the great vintages but also in the vintages where other buyers run for cover! My thought is that great producers make great wine every year, including during the challenging years which often produce incredibly interesting wines when made by the right people.

For wines that are new to our collection entirely, the process is a little more drawn out. We taste lots of wine, and we don’t add entirely new wines often. Every so often there is a wine that stops us in our tracks and demands more attention. But that’s just the beginning. The true basis for any wine in our collection is that we have a relationship of some kind with the producer who made that amazing wine. So, when we are considering a new wine, it has to offer more than just a great product. Great wines abound and we can’t carry every wine made. I want to know the people behind it, the family that made it. To that end, we travel sometimes to visit the wineries and put our feet on the ground where the wines are made. I think this is the best way to truly understand a producer and their wines. We also have winemakers come to visit us to see how we operate and who our guests are.

I really like to spend time with them to get to know them and understand why their wine is special to them. This background gives some context for the wine and can translate to a great story for our guests as well as help set a wine apart. If the feeling is that the wine and the producer is a fit, we bring on the wine. If it doesn’t work or if it’s wine that we can’t support for a long time period, then we try to be honest with that. Relationships run both ways and we want to uphold our end of the bargain as well.

– Andy Chabot, Director of Food and Beverage

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