Jacqueline Friedrich WINE BY PEOPLE, FOR PEOPLE; WINE FROM THE HEART

Selected Works

Book
Wine Guide
An indispensable, user-friendly guide to France’s best and best-value wines. Don’t leave home without it!
Wine & Food Guide
The first and only in-depth guide to the wines and foods of the Loire.
My various reflections on Didier Dagueneau compiled and posted here.
For Those Who Want Yesterday's Papers
My Previously Published (and retrievable) Articles
Wine Tours
WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO PLAN YOUR TOUR OF A FRENCH WINE REGION?

FrenchFeast: Fizz, Frites, Fromage and Philosophical Fermentations

WHY YOU SHOULD BOYCOTT THE WINES OF DOMAINE MICHEL REDDE

January 24, 2016

THE POUILLY LANDSCAPE

WHY YOU SHOULD BOYCOTT THE WINES OF DOMAINE MICHEL REDDE

Sometimes we wine scribes get no respect – from the very people who, by all rights, ought to value us the most: the vignerons we interview, whose wine we taste Slowly, whose evolution we track and analyze, and, by extension, whose wines we publicize in our works.
Thus today’s Newsletter.
As many of you know, my last book “Earthly Delights from the Garden of France: The Wines of the Loire, Volume One: The Kingdom of Sauvignon Blanc: Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé and the Sauvignon Satellites” was self-published.
I made this decision because I’m allergic superficiality. I had a contract to update my first book “A Wine & Food Guide to the Loire” with the University of California Press. But the word limits would not permit me to explore all the changes that had occurred in the Loire since that book was published. I did not want to write “Loire Lite.”
At the same time, self-publishing had evolved to a point where it was no longer a “vanity” project but a real option for serious authors. That, then, was the path I took, starting with the Eastern-most part of the Loire.
As you may imagine, writing such a book is a 24/7 job. Even as you sleep, your mind is sorting out facts, descriptions, analysis. And everything – trips, daily life, design, formatting, indexing – constitutes and out-of-pocket expenses, not to mention blood, sweat, even tears.
Regrettably, the rewards are meager. It’s difficult to make a comparison in terms of compensation but let’s put it in vinous terms, no matter how far a stretch that may be. In that case, I’d be realizing about one litre a hectare.
So it’s serious for me when someone steals my work. And that is what Domaine Redde has done. They took the roughly 1000 words I wrote on their domaine, had that text translated into French and then published it on their website.
Frankly, I had always known that I had overrated them in the book. When producers are on the cusp of two categories, I usually give them the benefit of the doubt, to wit, the higher rating.
As they say, no good deed goes unpunished. But I thought that just maybe I could make things right and that we could reach a solution satisfactory to all involved.
I saw the current generation – Michel’s two grandsons -- at a tasting in Paris on January 18, 2016. I spoke with each individually and got identical responses.
I told them that I had seen their website with my text and pointed out that, while they had the right to quote a sentence or maybe a paragraph, they needed my permission to print the entire text.
“So what,” was the response, each time, accompanied a nonchalant shrug of the shoulders followed by turning their backs on me.
I asked if their winery had a shop. Yes. Did they sell my book in their shop? No.
In that case, I said, we should come to a financial agreement on your previous use of the text as well as its continuing use.
In a manner as rude and as lacking in respect as you might imagine, each told me to get lost.
They removed the text from their website though I assume it had been posted ever since the book was published – at the end of November 2011.
I wrote to Redde’s USA importer, Kobrand, and they basically told me to get lost as well.
I also contacted the Authors Guild of America, of which I am a member, and got this answer from one of their Senior Attorneys.

"Dear Ms. Friedrich: Under US law, yes, that would constitute copyright infringement and you could potentially sue them for such. I imagine this would be the same under French copyright law, but as we are not educated on French copyright law, I cannot say so with 100% certainty. You definitely seem to have grounds to pursue an infringement action if you wish to do so."

As the attorney also noted, the cost of pursuing such a claim may, however, prove too time consuming and financially uninteresting.

Therefore I’m seeking another solution, one that may bring home to the Redde family, and possibly to similarly arrogant winemakers, that stealing the product of hardworking writers is dishonest, abusive and entirely impermissible.

That’s why I’m asking you to boycott wines from the Redde family – in restaurants and in shops – and to ask all your wine-loving friends to do the same.

And to those of you going to the Salon des Vins de Loire, I’ll ask you to boycott the Domaine Redde stand. If you want to taste really nice Pouilly-Fumés, let me direct you to one or more of the following:
FAVRAY (CHATEAU) GP D 178
DAGUENEAU SERGE ET FILLES GP G 59
CAILBOURDIN (DOMAINE ALAIN) GP G 66
MASSON-BLONDELET (DOMAINE) GP G 83
TINEL-BLONDELET (DOMAINE) GP E 154
JONATHAN PABIOT who has a stand in the Levée de la Loire section.

In sum, whether or not you go to the Salon des Vins de Loire, please boycott Domaine Redde wines. Send this newsletter to your wine-loving friends and request that they do the same.


Finally, I forgot to put the link to the Azay-le-Rideau article in the last newsletter -- as some of you kindly pointed out. It's on the FrenchFeast page of the website.