Christmas Spirit

What did you do today?

Today I revisited Castel de Brames near Gaillac.

Ces images sont un vrai cadeau de Noël, et sous le sapin de Noël …” ~ meaning ?

Thus the story of my day begins to unfold …

For years the proprietor, Alain Boullenger has invited local artists to create a design for his wine bottle labels.

He has a collection of the bottles.

Castel de Brames, Alian Boullenger

Alain had not asked me for a wine label design.

When I tentatively mentioned this he said he asked local artists but could not ask a “great artist“.

I was nonplussed.

L'Occitaine, Castel de Brames
Hyperlink to the painting page > Castel de Brames

At Castel de Brames, today I was with Alain Boullenger and  Francine Bosc,  for a very special reason at their invitation as per the following …

Bonjour Gordon

Merci beaucoup. Ces images sont un vrai cadeau de Noël, Sapin.

Bien entendu sous le sapin un carton de noble boisson Gaillacoise vous attend. Nous sommes présents jusqu’au31 décembre. Appelez-moi pour que l’on puisse vous accueillir. (Nous serons absents le 26 décembre pour un repas de famille.)

Un joyeux Noël pour vous et à très bientôt.


Are you sitting comfortably? Here comes my explanation …

I first met Alain when I was asked by the Mairie [town hall] of Gaillac to paint for exhibition a series, the most interesting domain and chateaux of the Gaillac region.

Of course I’ve had to ‘sample’ Castel de Brames wines… and buy some as gifts, they being so rare they make excellent gifts  … after all, this is  part of my business and how I like to show my appreciation.By the way, that exhibition, described as “more than a match for anything in the Musee d’Orsay” by Alain Soreano of Gaillac, author and historian when opening my exhibition at the Centre Culturale, Gaillac, December 2016

This collection has never been shown, yet, outside Gaillac; an opportunity for you?

I quickly discovered that Castel de Brames, remote, isolated, largely unknown, was the only place in France 3 rare grape vines had survived the 19 th century phylloxera devastation in France.

Castel de Brames, Gaillac, France
Hyperlink to > Castel de Brames 27.12.19 < web site

Alain has made his life’s work, to restore the vines and rediscover their unique qualities.

Those qualities had previously made some #Gaillac wines more exclusive than the best of Bordeaux.

My impression is each year the Castel de Brames wines, already superb, are improving …  I’ve felt it wise to buy a few more.

As for the labels, Alain was very helpful when I had to paint his Castel de Brames so I offered him the use of my copyright for his labels, web site and publicity as a thank you gift.

At Castel de Brames, Gaillac
Wine label collection,

He was so delighted that today I had to return to collect a box of his best wines which he insisted I have as a thank you from him.

Now how can I repay his generosity…?

This signature appears on all my more recent paintings.






Alain Boullenger, Francine Bosc et Camille Bauguil are literally making wine history at Castel de Brames, Domaine viticole d’appellation Gaillac Contrôlée.

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