And these Elden Selections are the fruit of that life.
Of days tromping through vineyards with winemakers, gleaning what they have learned from the generations. Of evenings shivering around a barrel in quiet winter cellars, listening, tasting how to see the future in a hard new wine. Of years watching a generation pass as young vines become old vines and old ideas become new again.
We bring you not just wines from masterful winemakers, we bring you their best wines, wines that we follow from vineyard to bottle, vintage to vintage. The very wines that we choose to put in our own cellar.
But we bring you much more than that. We take you into the vineyards, into the cellars, into the life, so that you too can learn as we have learned. One cork at a time. One question at a time. In a place where your enthusiasm opens doors that are not open to just anyone.
We’re Eleanor Garvin and Dennis Sherman (el + den = elden, get it?), and we’ve been here since the summer of 1983, when we left Maryland, bright and early, with one-way tickets and the naive idea of apprenticing ourselves to the great chefs of France. Our first job was a grape harvest near Avignon, and that got us into our first winter. Then an under-the-table gig at a plat du jour joint got us through it. A phone call in the spring offered us a real job, and took us to Beaune for the first time. There, as chef du picnic for a hot-air balloon company, we were finally in the loop of French cuisine. The following year we signed on as cook and crew on a hotel barge in the Alsace, and then the next year on another boat that took us back to Burgundy for good.
Two years later, we bought our own barge, Le Papillon, a hundred year old gem of a boat, carrying six passengers. And for the next decade it was our alternative to restaurant life. Elden Wine got started there in 1995. The wine we served our guests aboard Le Papillon was small-production Burgundy, little known outside of France and certainly not available in the US at the time. Human nature being what it is, however, it wasn’t long before we had requests from guests who wanted to ship these wines back home. And to be honest, it didn’t take much encouragement for us to bow to the demand. In fact it quickly became a labor of love. We believe in the wine; we have life-long relationships with the winemakers and their families; and the appreciation and enthusiasm that our clients have shown over the years has taken us to a level way beyond commercial. It’s a lifestyle thing. Burgundy is home.