2012 Customer Tour June 17, 2012 This year’s customer tour was a crazy five days of driving, tasting, eating and hiking through vineyards. Here are a few photos from the whirlwind. Immediately upon our arrival in Burgundy our host Nicolas Potel, of Domaine de Bellene, took us out into the vineyards. That’s the famous Corton hill in the background. Our guests this year were (l to r): Elke Brendel, portfolio manager at L’eft Bank Wines in Wisconsin; Randy Wautlet, owner of Steve’s Wines in Madison, Wisconsin; Chris Lozano from Atlanta Wholesale Wine; Nicolas Potel; Bill Erwin from Classic Wine Imports in Massachusetts; Cameron Mills from Verity Wine Partners in New York; Ken Fredrickson and Doug Marello from Tenzing Wine & Spirits in Illinois. In his organically farmed Domaine vineyards, Nicolas Potel uses a horse instead of a tractor to do the tilling. This causes less compaction of the soil and reduces the carbon footprint of his operation. Nicolas sources fruit from throughout the region for his Maison Roche de Bellene négociant wines, so he knows every inch of the vineyards. Here he explains to the group how the soil, climate and farming practices all affect the wines. The group poses on the low wall above the Premier Cru Amoureuse vineyard in Chambolle-Musigny. The famous Clos de Vougeot is in the background. The group gathers at the entrance to Domaine de Bellene, Nicolas Potel’s winery in Beaune, the very center of Burgundy. The domaine’s name is new, but the buildings are a former Cistercian abbey from the 16th century.