The New Business Traveler: Vineyard-Hopping in France With Natural Wine Importer Jenny Lefcourt

The New Business Traveler: Vineyard-Hopping in France With Natural Wine Importer Jenny Lefcourt

Jenny Lefcourt is no traditionalist when it arrives to sleeping preparations. Considering the fact that the dawn of her wine importing profession, she’s put in evenings in the backs of cars, in tents pitched on rogue campsites, and in bunk beds (formerly) belonging to winemakers’ kids.

Of system, that was in the early aughts, when Lefcourt was even now lugging bottles of natural wine, packed in suitcases among balled-up sweatshirts, from Paris to New York—long in advance of her importing company, Jenny & Francois Picks, took off. “At the time, I was ending my PhD in Paris, so I was residing on my grad university stipend,” she says. “Actually, I lived off that stipend for lots of, quite a few, quite a few a long time. We didn’t have any finances eternally.”

Jenny & Francois Alternatives is no more time a area of interest importing enterprise, while. The magnate, which Lefcourt released with her then-husband in 2000, has been a central pressure behind the organic wine motion. (Take a appear at the back of the normal wine bottles in your frequent rotation—Laura Lardy, Intestine Oggau, Hervé Souhaut, for example—and you will probable obtain the company’s stamp.)

This also means that Lefcourt often flies back again and forth involving her dwelling on New York’s Upper West Side and many worldwide wine fairs, shopper meetings, and harvests. When on the ground, she normally drives hours to attain new vineyards just about every day—journeys that are inevitably adopted by wine, food items, and extra wine. “When I very first moved to Paris and fell in appreciate with food stuff and wine, I recognized they were this big component of lifestyle I’d been missing out on,” she states. “My dad and mom didn’t genuinely prioritize excellent cooking—we ate jointly each and every evening, but it was largely soggy greens, no garlic or something. As soon as I discovered what enjoyment meals and wine could be, that was it. That grew to become the center of my planet, my work, and the way I traveled.”  

Lefcourt sat down with Condé Nast Traveler to talk about her most the latest 8-day sojourn throughout France and the Loire Valley, property to La Dive Bouteille reasonable, the hottest yearly fête for natty wine purveyors.

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What was the route?

Paris, Champagne, Beaujolais, [followed by] the Loire. 

Reason of the trip?

For many several years, I’ve been going to La Dive Bouteille in Saumur in the Loire—it’s just one of the major organic wine fairs in the entire world. And though I’m in France, my workforce and I test to travel about to stop by as lots of of the winemakers in our portfolio as we can. Some are people we’ve visited just about every year for a ten years, and some others are more recent additions, but it’s usually nice to stop by the cellar, style new wines, and walk through the vines. 

For my workforce customers who haven’t put in much too significantly time in France, checking out these vineyards is seriously vital. It aids them inform the tale of a wine, or a winemaker. That 1st-hand expertise is definitely critical. Even for me, when checking out individuals I’ve frequented a million occasions, I always want to taste the new classic, or see what a maker has been experimenting with because I was previous there.