Voix De La Terre

Thomas Jeffereson, our third President; the author of the Declaration of Independence; and America’s first wine connoisseur. On Monroe’s election to the presidency, Jefferson sent him a four-page letter, the first sentence of which stated how elated Jefferson was that our country was in Monroe’s capable hands – and the remainder of the letter contained detailed instructions regarding purchasing, storing, and serving wine at the White House. Thomas Jefferson was a wine guru and loved sharing his passion with friends. He had a wine society and buying consortium whose charter members were George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and James Monroe.

While Ambassador to France, Jefferson toured that country’s finest wine regions and was totally captivated by the “voices of the earth” concealed in the French terroir – the incredible rainbow of tastes that the earth, the environment, and man engraved into the wine. Jefferson visited and kept careful records of his favorite vineyards which are today – TWO HUNDRED YEARS LATER, THE SAME VINEYARDS THAT PRODUCE FRANCE’S FINEST WINES.
 
These vineyards are in Hermitage, Cote Rotie, Cornas, Chambertin, Volnay, Vosne-Romanee, Meursault, Corton Charlemagne, Bonnes Mares, Clos de Beze, Clos Vougeot, Musigny, Montrachet. Today our consortium, Voix de la Terre (VDLT) sources wine from these vineyards. It is widely acknowledged that France produces the finest wines form the Chardonnay grape (white Burgundy), the Pinot Noir grape (red Burgundy), and The Syrah grape (Cote Rotie, Hermitage, Cornas, St Joseph). Today both the quality and quantity of the wine produced from these vineyards is significantly greater than it was 200 years ago. VDLT has and continues to select the best offerings from this group. Tom and his buddies would be in awe of our portfolio.
 
Jack Kennedy once said to a group of Nobel Prize winners at a dinner at the White House, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge that has been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” However, even Jefferson the inventor couldn’t imagine the conveniences of the 21st century which would develop to enable an American’s immersion in the exceptional experience of France’s wine regions – boarding a plane at dinnertime and tasting wine in a Burgundy cellar at 10 AM the next morning; looking at a vine laden with ripe grapes and instantly enabling a friend who is thousands of miles away to share the discovery. VDLT’s purpose is to share our extraordinary discoveries with our members. Yes, Tom, George, Ben, and the two James’ would be jealous of the ease with which we can experience enological gratification.

Learn about Thomas Jefferson

Incredibly the same grape varietal produces very different aromas and tastes from virtually contiguous vineyards. These are the “voices of the earth” and exploring and enjoying them is the culture of VDLT. For almost two thousand years, the monks, the Greeks, the Romans, and the French have culled and cultivated to find and maintain the magic of the French “terroir”. Chardonnay is Meursault, Montrachet, Puligny Montrachet. Pinot Noir is Chambertin, Volnay, Vosne Romanee. The finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is made from grapes grown on the slopes of the Cote D’Or, a 35 mile patchwork quilt of vineyards extending north and south from Beaune.

Yes, we search out and buy excellent wine and make it available to members at prices significantly below the retail market but we are much more than a buying consortium. VDLT creates an environment for wine lovers and wannabe wine lovers that greatly enhances their wine experience. Wine is for sharing. It is an interest just like football, art, music, and dance. VDLT is about learning, exploring, tasting, growing, and sharing.
 
We don’t have Thomas Jefferson’s brilliance nor do we have George Washington and Benjamin Franklin as members. However, with today’s communications technology, VDLT is Jefferson on steroids. Our current members like our model. However, we listen to their voices and our model is constantly evolving. We access terrific wine but we are continually hunting new treasures. We believe that we have new and exciting ways in which members can select the wines they want to purchase but we will continue to respond to new ideas. We have had and will continue to plan super member events. For example, wine tasting dinners with Christine Dubreuil of Domaine Dubreuil-Fontaine and Philippe Colin and our forthcoming wine dinner with Burghound (Allen Meadows).
 
Read carefully all of the opportunities that VDLT offers and, of course, the commitment expected of members. Then read the bios of management to assure yourself that we can deliver on our promises. Next slowly wander through the website and, if everything feels good – ENTER HERE TO BE AND FIND A FRIEND.

Learn about VDLT

Michael Kimelman

“Enter here to be and find a friend.” In 1953 Michael Kimelman walked under this inscription entering the Hackley School as a shy, insecure, mediocre student. Three years later, thanks to the School’s culture and Pop Lindsay (an incredible human being and teacher), he graduated as a young, confident man prepared and anxious to seek and enjoy life’s journey.
 
In 1986 Blue Chip Farms and the Hambletonian Society took Kimelman to Paris. In 1989 reading Robert Parker’s Rhone Valley book inspired a visit to Auguste Clape in Cornas. Tasting in Clape’s cellar and dining with him at Restaurant Jacques Pic transformed Michael from a mere consumer of wine to someone with a passion for the industry. He was overwhelmed by the people and the beauty of the Rhone Valley. Clape, Chave, Hermitage Hill, vineyards of Cotie Rotie, Cornas, Condrieu carved out of huge hills. The only thing that prevented the Kimelmans from having a home in the Rhone Valley was visiting Burgundy and realizing they didn’t want to give up either area for the other. 
 
“Does Francois Mikulski live here and do you know if he speaks English?”, The Chief shouted to a handsome young man mowing the lawn. “Yes, and when he finishes cutting the grass, he will offer you to taste his Meursault”. Ten hours later, Mike and Pat Kimelman kissed Francois and Marie Pierre goodbye. A terrific friendship was born that now embraces almost all members of both families. 
 
Given The Chief’s passion for people, food, and wine, the creation of Voix de la Terre was practically pre-ordained. Hosting stimulating dinners for six to twelve people was at least a weekly high for Mike and his sidekick, Lenny (“Marvelous”) Samson. Whether family, friends, or fellow board members – work or pleasure – it was always pleasure and with dazzling food and wine. 
 
With each trip, the relationships in France grew both in quality and quantity and, With each year that passed, the wines at the table in New York multiplied as did those who wanted to buy them along with The Chief. In 2008, Raphael, Madina, and The Chief agreed to jointly build VDLT. Dinners entertaining winemakers were held in France and winemakers came to New York to participate in tasting dinners at restaurants and at Kimelman’s home. We were more than buying wine together – we were developing a wonderful atmosphere of sharing and growing. Now thanks to a push from my friend of forty years (Alex Porter), we have built a website. We invite you to slowly study the opportunities that “Voices of the Earth” offers and, if inclined – ENTER HERE TO BE AND FIND A FRIEND.
 
Michael Kimelman – Background
 
Formed Kimelman & Baird, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser and Broker Dealer, now 45 years young 
 
Formed Blue Chip Farms with Oscar and Ted Kimelman – today one of the world’s leading standardbred breeding farms 
 
Trustee of The Hackley School
1987-present Member of The Hackley School Advisory Board of Trustees
1987-present Director of the Hambletonian Society
First Vice President and Member of the Executive Committee 
 
 
Madina Djabbarova
 
Takhir pressed his palm to his forehead in disbelief. His “little Princess” was Gargling vigorously with some red liquid taken from a barrel with a syringe. Oh, no!! She spat the mouthful on the floor. Yes, Madina was tasting in a winemaker’s cellar and she had taken her Dad along to experience her new craft.
 
In 2001, at the age of 21, Madina came to America. Smile, charm, and ambition enabled her to capture a series of continually improving sales jobs. Then in 2006, she competed for and won the job of Assistant to the Director of Marketing at a $500 million company. Madina very much enjoyed the challenge of this job – interesting people and demanding projects. Nevertheless in 2008, she became a founding member of the VDLT team. She entered Fabrice Larochette’s tasting room, an occasional drinker of a glass of wine and left on a new career path. From the moment that Raphael taught her to smell the wine and then taste in search of fruit, acidity, alcohol and tannins, she was hooked. Madina has a terrific sense of smell and a wonderful palate heretofore confined to flowers and Mom’s cooking. Raphael opened her eyes to a whole new world which she has pursued relentlessly. Madina has been a hands-on participant in every aspect of our organization. Building the VDLT culture requires full dedication of a talented team and Madina’s endless supply of positive energy has motivated our lawyers, website builders, winemakers, and warehouse staff.
 
Going forward, 90% of Madina’s focus will be assuring every member the opportunity to learn about and experience the Voices of the Earth. Between Raphael’s mentoring and her determination, she has become an excellent taster and now is consumed with finding ways for members to taste all of our wonderful wines.
 
As a result, we have a very well designed and extensive tasting kit program. These are mixed cases that represent different treatments of the same grape or might give the member the opportunity to experience different grape varietals. These kits have already been extremely well received by our members. Additionally Madina will be in charge of organizing special events like tasting dinners and conference calls. Her pride and joy has been working with Erica Meadows on our forthcoming (October 9) tasting dinner with Allen Meadows (Burghound). She will be available for guidance by email at voixdelaterre@gmail.com and telephone (855) SIP VDLT. 
 
Raphael Gimenez Fauvety 
 
Among the five most interesting, talented, knowledgeable, honorable and passionate souls I have met in a life filled with exciting, wonderful people, is a Frenchman and partner of VDLT who I affectionately call “the Grape”. Francois Mikulski (Meursault not vodka) introduced us to “the Grape” ten years ago. His given name is Raphael Gimenez Fauvety.
 
Raphael has made the most of his privileged upbringing. His parents inspired without inhibiting – exemplified by his ponytail and the motorcycle parked outside his wine store in the Bastille section of Paris. Our “Man of La Mancha” is living his dream. He isn’t tilting at windmills but rather continuously circumnavigating France’s wine regions bringing his sunshine and passion to every winemaker’s cellar he visits. He monitors each vintage from the first bloom on the vine to harvest – from the barrel to the bottle – and from bottling to the wine’s maturity. He is admired because of his knowledge and work ethic and he is enjoyed because of his warmth and engaging personality. VDLT’s treasure trove of exceptional wines has been assembled with the careful guidance and sensibility of “the Grape”.
 
Raphael’s wine store in Paris, Les Caprices de l’Instant , is filled with followers eager to taste the treasures that his travels have unearthed. In addition to the wonderful relationships he enjoys with established, well-known winemakers, Raphael is constantly tasting in the cellars of winemakers with potential to become future stars. Consequently, several of our extraordinary wines have never before been imported into America.
 
Yes, our chivalrous knight is the source of our wonderful wine. However, he is also an intricate part of the team that has molded the VDLT experience and culture. To fully appreciate Raphael, you must read his winemaker write-ups and enjoy his tasting videos.

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