Inspiration / Travels in Wine

6. A brotherhood of wine with an old friend

Contents

Joanna Goodman Joanna Goodman

A brotherhood of wine with an old friend

Jo with David Ling
David Ling with Jo Locke at the château in Kientzheim

An appointment with the Confrérie Saint-Etienne d'Alsace (a wine brotherhood), particularly one held in a castle, sounded intriguing. I was half-wondering whether we'd be asked for a secret password when we got there, but we had been invited by old friend of The Wine Society, David Ling. David worked with the Hugel family for many years and was a frequent supporter of our tastings and well-known to the many members who have visited Hugel's premises in Riquewihr.

Since retiring from Hugel, David has become increasingly active in the Confrérie whose role it is to promote the wines of Alsace at home and abroad. David was the outgoing 'grand master' and now holds the position of international relations.

Picture with medals
David explains what the different coloured ribbons of the chevaliers signify

It was fascinating to hear a bit more about how these organisations work, get a guided tour of the castle (and its amazing wine museum and archive of old bottles) and learn about the work they do on the educational front. They are really proactive in organising events for youngsters in the region to come along and taste older wines, for example.

Amazing collection of old bottles in the cellars of the confrerie
The confrérie has an impressive library of old bottles in its cellars

One of the reasons the Confrérie was keen to talk to us was because they have lost, quite literally, what they call their UK delegation and they thought that we might be able to help in some way. It seems that they had a very strong group working here in the UK with them back in the 1960s but when the man running it all died suddenly, his widow sold up and gave everything away, including all the contact details of the members in the Confrérie. They also had a chapter in London for a number of years but unfortunately that met with a similar fate.

We have since heard that progress has been made in setting up some activities here in the UK and knowing how charming David Ling is, I'm sure they will be able to convince someone to take on the baton.

If you want to find out more about the Confrérie, there's plenty more on their website here.

Gateway to Kintzheim
Beware all who enter here! Gargoyle protecting the gateway to Kientzheim

Home via Metz

View from our hotel room – the impressive Germanic-looking railway station
The impressive Germanic-looking railway station

We had hoped to be able to call in on producers in the Moselle on the way home, but sadly they were closed up for the holiday (gone skiing!). However, we broke our long drive home in Metz, another impressive northern French university town which despite the atrocious weather was positively buzzing on a Friday night.

We had little time to wander and it really was pouring down, but a quick dash through the old town with the medieval colonnades and the gothic cathedral was enough to inspire a return visit one of these days.

We managed to get a table at a convivial restaurant where we could buy very reasonable wine by the glass and were impressed with the number of tables of young women out dining and drinking wine together. Who says that the younger generation aren't enjoying wine?!

Where to go next?


Members' Comments (1)

"Having recently returned from the Alsace, a region I have visited before, I can vouch for all that Joanna and Jo have said here.
Lovely region and georgeous wines of which we returned with a couple of cases, particulary the Pinot Gris which is somewhat under represented in this country.
Your photos brought back memories, we stayed in Kientzheim and we met Severine at Sclumbergers in town, a better representative for the firm and the region... Read more > would be hard to find.
And of course no trip to the region could go by without mentioning the food, you are spoilt for choice here as the Alsace is one of Frances premier foodie regions with as many Michelin stars as anywhere else.
Nice article.
"

Mr John Wigglesworth (10-Nov-2018)

Society Promise
Members before profit
Awards

Our website uses cookies with the aim of providing you with a better service. By using this website you consent to The Wine Society using cookies in accordance with our policy.

Close

4.4. Cookie Policy

By using The Wine Society website, you agree to cookies being used in accordance with the policy outlined below. If you do not agree to this, you must alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you or cease using the website.

The Wine Society uses cookies to enable easy navigation and shopping on the website. We take the privacy of all who use our website very seriously and ensure that our use of cookies complies with current EU legislation. The following guide outlines what cookies are, the types of cookies used on The Society's website and how they work.

You may alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you, but this will cause difficulties when accessing and using some areas of the site. Instructions on how to do this can also be found below.

4.4.1. What are 'Cookies'?

  • Most major websites use cookies.
  • A cookie is a very small data file placed on your hard drive by a web page server. It is essentially your access card, and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. It is uniquely yours and can only be read by the server that gave it to you.
  • Cookies cannot be used by themselves to identify you.
  • The purpose of a basic cookie is to tell the server that you returned to that web page or have items in your basket. Without cookies, websites and their servers have no memory. A cookie, like a key, enables swift passage from one place to the next.
  • Without a cookie every time you open a new web page the server where that page is stored will treat you like a completely new visitor.
  • More recently, cookies have also been used to collect information about the user which allows a profile of their preferences and interests to be created so that they can be served with interest-based rather than generic information about available goods and services.

4.4.2. How do Cookies help The Wine Society?

Cookies allow our website to function effectively. Cookies also help us to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't.

4.4.3. How does The Wine Society use cookies?

The Wine Society does not accept advertising from third parties and therefore, as a rule, does not serve third-party cookies. Exceptions to this include performance/analytical cookies (see below), used anonymously to improve the way our website works, the provision of personalised recommendations, and occasions when we may team up with suppliers to offer special discounts on goods or services.

The Society uses technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site.

4.4.4. What type of cookies does The Wine Society use?

We use the following three types of cookies:

4.4.4.1. Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are required for the operation of our website, enabling you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services like shopping baskets or e-billing cannot be provided. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Authentication Cookie and Anonymous Cookie
    These cookies remember that you are logged in to your account – without them, the website would repeatedly request your login details with each new page you visit during your time on our website. They are removed once your session has ended.
  • Session Cookie
    These cookies are used to remember who you are as you use our site: without them, the website would be unable to tell the difference between you and another Wine Society member and facilities such as your basket and the checkout process would therefore not be able to function. They too are removed once your session has ended.

4.4.4.2. Functionality & Targeting/Tracking Cookies
These cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website and to provide enhanced features. This allows us to personalise our content for you. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Unique User Cookie
    This cookie is used to:
    • store your share number in order to identify that you have visited the website before. Without this cookie, we would be unable to tell whether you are a member or not.
    • record your visit to the website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We use this information to make our website, the content displayed on it and direct marketing communications we may send to you or contact you about more relevant to your interests.
    • This cookie expires after 13 months.
  • Peerius Cookies
    These third-party cookies are used to provide you with personalised recommendations based on your purchase and browsing history. They expire within 4 hours of your visit.

4.4.4.3. Performance/analytical cookies
These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information which identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Google Analytics Cookies
    These are third-party cookies to enable Google Analytics to monitor website traffic. All information is recorded anonymously. Using Google Analytics allows The Society to better understand how members use our site and monitor website traffic.

4.4.4.4. Authentication Cookie
In order for us to ensure that your data remains secure it is necessary for us to verify that your session is authentic (i.e. it has not been compromised by a malicious user). We do this by storing an otherwise meaningless unique ID in a cookie for the duration of your visit. No personal information can be gained from this cookie.

4.4.5. How do you turn cookies off?

All modern browsers allow you to modify your cookie settings so that all cookies, or those types which are not acceptable to you, are blocked. However, please note that this may affect the successful functioning of the site, particularly if you block all cookies, including essential cookies. For example, In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools Menu, then go to Internet Options, then go to Privacy. Here you can change the rules your browser uses to accept cookies. You can find out more in the public sources mentioned below.

4.4.6. Learn more about cookies

4.4.7. Changes to our cookie policy

Any changes we may make to our cookie policy in the future will be posted on the website and, where appropriate, notified to you by email. Please check back frequently to see any updates and changes to our cookie policy.