One of the best parts of running an ethical, transparent business is having a good relationship with our suppliers. We are proud of the people and ethical businesses we support, so in this ‘About Us’ section of the blog we want to introduce you to them too, and get to know them a little better ourselves. Passionate people behind the products are a force for good in this world and we want to shine a light on them.
First up is Franck Martinaud who works with The French Market here in Galway. He has carefully selected the organic wines we sell and I spoke to him last week to find out more.
Tell me a little about yourself, how did you end up selling wine here in beautiful Galway?
“I am Franck Martinaud, representative in Galway for The French Market. I have been living in Galway since 2004 and spent 5 years in the London area prior to that. My wife is a Biochemist and she was offered a position in NUI Galway back in 2004. After a week’s holiday to see what we thought of the city, we went back home to Cambridge and packed up our bags. 2 months later, we had moved to Galway and don’t regret it. I was a trained video cameraman/journalist but did not have much work in Galway. One day, I went to buy a few bottles in a wine shop for my birthday party and landed a job. Since then, I have never looked back and love selling a product which is so diverse and representative of a place and the person who makes it. It was in this shop that I met Kenneth and Jenny for the first time when they were about to go into farming.”
Why are you passionate about organic wine in particular?
“I went to my first Organic wine fair in early 2007 and tasted some great wines but, at the time, prices were still high and the Irish focus on Organic products still in its infancy. Slowly but surely, the awareness has increased and Organic wines are nowadays widely available which is great. At The French Market, we work with small producers who are careful with their practice in the vineyard to try and protect the environment they live in and most of them are certified HVE (high environmental value) but working Organically is a step above and makes sense. It is all down to care and hard work but it usually pays off in the quality of the wines.”
Tell me about the wine we sell. Where does it come from? Why did you choose it? Are there any stand-out wine makers that we can’t miss? Which bottles are your favourites?
“You have wines from France, Italy and Spain with the addition of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The emphasis is on sourcing as close to home as possible. Ireland does not have the climate to grow vines commercially so we have to go south to source wines. I love the Cotes du Rhone villages for its great sun kissed red fruits flavours but also don’t mind a glass of Pinot Grigio from Settimo Podere in Italy. One of the pioneer of Organic wines in Italy, Settimo makes a Pinot Grigio to reconcile you with this grape varietal. It is rich with lovely notes of almonds, a world away from the blend Pinot Grigio so commonly found on the shelves. This producer is also constantly experimenting and makes PIWI wines, wines made from grape vines resistant to fungal diseases, which helps reduce treatments and preserves the soil from being compacted by tractors.”
Tell me about your favourite seasonal drinks. What do you open in mid winter, what is perfect in summer? Which bottle do you reach for when you are celebrating with friends? Which bottles are crowd pleasers? Which should be saved for really special occasions? Any tips for making simple, seasonal cocktails with the Prosecco?
“For me, wine plays an important role on the dinner table and I choose it according to the food we prepare or the mood I am in. Variety and discovery is my motto. I cannot see myself drinking the same bottle over and over again.
When I want an easy wine, I usually go for Prosecco but the Spanish Vinedo de la Vida Sauvignon is a great crowd pleaser and so easy to drink, if not too easy 😉
I love reds and I am fond of Nero d’Avola from Sicily or Cotes du Rhone. To pair with food and enjoy at Christmas or keep for a few years, Chateau Lamarsalle from the St Emilion area in Bordeaux is a fantastic wine with great aromas of black berries and a touch of vanilla from its barrel ageing.
If you want to make something fancy with Prosecco, add a strawberry or a raspberry in the glass and hey presto! At winter time, a slice of apple and a small stick of Cinnamon would do well with the apple flavours of the Prosecco. Our Prosecco is so good, it does not need any artifice to shine.”
Thank you Franck, for taking the time to talk to us about yourself and the wonderful products you have introduced us to! Liz
Let us know in the comments if you have a favourite from our wine selection here at the farm. And what do you pair it with? Did you know we are selling wine hampers for Christmas presents? Have a look at our selection here to gift the connoisseur in your life.