31st May 2011
French Wine Producers Taste Leeds’ Finest Tipple
Jet2.com’s route from Leeds Bradford to Bergerac brings wine exchange to Leeds
Leading leisure airline Jet2.com, in partnership with Leeds Bradford International Airport and Marketing Leeds, has flown wine experts from the renowned Bergerac wine area of France, specifically the award winning Chateau Masburel vineyard, to taste tipple grown at Leventhorpe, Leeds’ very own wine producer.
The wine connoisseurs, along with members of the French media, flew from Bergerac in the beautiful Dordogne Valley, an area renowned for its wine, to Leeds Bradford International Airport, as part of efforts to strengthen ties between the two areas, promote the flight route and build relationships.
The French delegation brought with them some wine varieties of their own for a unique wine exchange, which took place at Leventhorpe Vineyard. Following a tour of Leventhorpe, and the chance to taste some locally produced wine, the visitors, including Arnaud Isnard, manager of Château Masburel and representative of the ‘Wines of Bergerac’ area, journalist Christian Lacombe and Bergerac Airport manager Olivier Gribelin, were treated to a civic lunch with Alan Taylor, Lord Mayor of Leeds and a tour of the city, courtesy of Marketing Leeds. Other guests included representatives from Leeds Bradford Airport and Jet2.com.
The project coincides with the start of Jet2.com’s weekly flights to Bergerac and the beginning of English Wine Week. Flights start from £29.99 one way including taxes and operate through the summer until 24th September.
There are 13 appellations in the Bergerac area producing a whole range of fantastic wines including Pécharmant and Montbazillac. Château Masburel produces red, white and sparkling wine including vintage lines from a range of grapes including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle. Meanwhile, Leventhorpe, which has won plaudits from Rick Stein and Oz Clarke amongst others, produces mainly white wine along with some sparkling and early varieties of red.
George Bowden from Leventhorpe Vineyard commented: “While winegrowing in Yorkshire might seem unusual to some people, wine has been produced in the region since the 16th century so we've certainly got some good heritage, with Leventhorpe producing fine wines for the last 25 years.
“It was a pleasure to welcome our guests to the vineyard – they really enjoyed all that Leventhorpe has to offer and of course it was great to taste some of the Dordogne’s finest wine.”
Managing Director of Jet2.com, Ian Doubtfire, said: “This is an excellent initiative which highlights the strengths of both regions. It has helped us to foster strong and mutually fruitful relationships with businesses and individuals associated with our Bergerac route.
“The Dordogne is a magical area for holidays, boasting some of the most beautiful countryside in France, picturesque villages, historical chateaux and ancient caves - and that’s before we even mention the wine! It’s also a great area for active holiday makers with excellent hiking and cycling available, plus the opportunity for swimming, boat rides and canoeing on the Dordogne river.”
Deborah Green, Chief Executive of Marketing Leeds, said; “Leeds is a truly diverse city that offers a great experience for tourists and visitors alike and we are delighted to be working with Jet2.com and Leeds Bradford International Airport to showcase the city. This is a fabulous opportunity to highlight the fact that Leeds has a vineyard, justifying the claim that the city is full of fantastic surprises.”
Tony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford Airport’s Commercial Director, added: “We’re thrilled to be involved in this project – what a great way to celebrate the start of Jet2.com’s flights to Bergerac. Yorkshire passengers will be delighted this popular route has returned this summer and I’m sure they’ll enjoy sampling all the Dordogne has to offer.”