What better life can there be than blending business with friendship and pleasure ? In just a few days, Thomas Duroux, CEO of Château Palmer and the team of our Vietnamese agents Tankhoa have multiplied the exposure to our respective wines through a series of perfectly orchestrated events in Hanoi and HCM city (Saigon)
In just 3 days, we met in Hanoi with the staff of Bacchus Corner for a staff training session of the enthusiastic team supervised by Baldwin Jehanno. Thomas and I were greeted by the entire team of the Métropole Hanoi, first of the new series of the Sofitel Legend flagship brand. GM Kai Speth can be proud of his F&B team, Carl Gagnon, Charles Demange and their colleagues. The gala dinner was not only outstanding but also full of surprises, a bathtub used to chill down the wines had to be tested just prior to the dinner for photographic purposes and also to put us all in good spirit... The joint Palmer - Hugel dinner ended-up in good spirit (our 45° Framboise was served) and some of the local attendants even started a karaoke... in pure Vietnamese tradition ;-)
Next day was spent in Saigon, the economical capital of Vietnam. In the headquarter city of our importer Tankhoa, Dongkoi and ever efficient (and charming) assistant Nhu greeted us with the team of their retail outlet Bacchus Corner that has experienced a serious facelift since the last visit. The day's gala dinner was at centrally located Caravelle Hotel with guest chef Jean Baptiste Natali at the piano. Jean Baptiste runs l'hostellerie La Montagne, the Michelin starred restaurant next to the Mémorial Charles de Gaulle in Colombey les deux églises. The sold out event saw 65 happy gusts enjoying the carefully decanted wines of Château Palmer, including the 1990 vintage and ending-up with our Gewurztraminer SGN 2005, all specially airfreighted for the event. Good friend and ambassador for Hugel wines Eric Simard attended the dinner with his wife Nadège that took the photo of the "dream team" on
THE yellow Lambretta whose developing story has been featured on our Blog since 2007 and updated for the 3rd time...
Following Thomas Duroux's departure some more relaxing work took place, a most memorable boatride on the Saigon river organised by Hugel client Madlen Ernest that runs with her father Bonsai river cruise and uses Gentil on board their two ships. Some genuine
local food after all the French wining & dining. Chef Jean Baptiste Natali giving a finishing touch to the seafood soup with a splash of our Riesling. We still enjoyed the rest of the bottle even so we had to use teacups to drink the wine... The boatride with Dongkoi and Nhu and the scooter ride thereafter will leave ever lasting memories of a visit to a country in rapid evolution but where the inhabitants show a sense of hospitality rarely seen elsewhere in Asia.
Never been to Vietnam ? Call your travel agent right now ! Eric Simard's Victoria hotels are saving a room for you !