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Monday, October 8, 2012

I am discovering that I am French by Philip S. Kampe



I am discovering that I am French by Philip S. Kampe

The time in Pays D’Oc IGP has come to an end. My five days of ‘Pays D’Oc IGP Nirvana’ is now a living and lifelong memory. My first wine ‘Undercover’ a la James Bond adventure has come to a close.
Naturally I timed my trip to coincide, to the day, with the release of 007’s first movie, Dr. No, fifty years ago. The news filled the front page of France’s ‘Le Figaro’ newspaper.
All of France is still in awe of James Bond, hardly taking note that I may be 007’s newest incarnation, a Pays D’Oc  IGP wine spy.
I was in France on assignment.
As you know from my recent articles, I went ‘Undercover’, sunglasses and all, to learn why the wines from the Pays D’Oc  IGP region of southern France are so special, so unique and so good.
My goal is to discover what makes the Quality and Diversity of  the Pays D’Oc IGP wines?
I used the guise as a wine journalist to infiltrate Pays D’Oc IGP. I traveled with three other overly competent American based wine journalists to Montpellier, where we were picked up and driven to our hotel, by two, young French women, who were employed by the Pay D’Oc IGP wine region’s governing body, Inter Oc.
The hotel we stayed in is named Massane in Balliargues. It is a golf focused hotel and a perfect cover for me, the ‘Undercover’ wine spy.
The three wine journalists who traveled with me reside in San Francisco and New York. They were veterans and I was a mere novice.
You never know what you can learn on a Press trip with knowledgeable wine journalists.
Thanks to Delphine Lorentz, Inter Oc represnative at Clos de Rignac in Lattes.
One of the things I learned was the correct pronunciation of the word ‘vineyard’.
Delphime led an orientation session for our group about the Pays D’Oc.IGP region. In her amazing, insightful power point presentation, Delphine pronounced the word vineyard as VINE, like wine, YARD. That pronunciation will always be with me, as for the next five days I said vine yard the correct way.
Isn’t is odd to travel across half of the world to learn how to pronounce a word that you use daily?
Life is strange.
Speaking of oddities, I learned that the French people, which I am one, do not enjoy visual luxuries the way we do. For example, if I ware successful in France and bought a flashy car with my wealth, it would be looked down upon. The French game plan is to fit in and don’t stand out. That rule does not apply, I was told, to families with old money, race horses and chateaus.
In America, society encourages us to show off our wealth.
I am a bit confused which path is correct.
As the days mounted and our vine yard visits reached double digits, a strange voice came from within me. The voice became stronger and stronger, whispering and reminding me, clearly, that my origin is French and it is time to bring my background to the forefront.
Everything French is in my blood. To show my newly-found loyalty, while touring the mediaeval walled-town of Carcassonne, I purchased a French flag to hang on my doorway in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
To top that off I have decided to change the pronunciation of my last name from Camp E to Camp Hay.
Have I gone mad?










1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's never too late to discover your Roots..Viva la France!