Hi, we’re Amy Lillard and Matt Kling of La Gramière. As you can see, we are standing in our vineyards in the town of Castillon du Gard in Southern France. We bought the vineyards in 2005 and have been farming them organically ever since. The grapes are picked by hand with friends and family in September and then brought back to our house in St Quentin la Poterie where we make our wine! Most of our vines are old Grenache, and we have lots of grasses growing and bugs flying around - part of our quest to create a natural, living biosphere for our vines to flourish in. So far, we have sent most of our wine abroad, to places like the US, Canada, Norway, Switzerland and Germany, but now we’d like to focus on increasing our sales locally. Since we don’t live at the vineyards and our winery is integrated into our house, this is quite a challenge. We don’t really have the space for a tasting room, so we have been thinking of ideas of how to sell more wine to the friendly tourists that flock to this beautiful region every summer. What did we decide to do, you ask?
We bought a truck!
Yup here’s a photo of it:
It’s a 1979 Citroen Type H, better known as a Tube. The Tube was introduced in 1948 as a new generation of utility vehicle. There were many many uses as you can see in this old ad:
Police roundup vehicles, school buses, ambulances and all sorts of delivery vehicles. The one we bought was known as a bétaillère (pronounced bay-tie -air), which was expressly for carrying livestock. Here’s an old ad we found touting the number of animals you could fit in it!
Our truck spent most of its life in the Camargue transporting the famous white horses between ranches, but now we’re going to give it a new purpose. We’re going to turn it into our mobile tasting room! The side will open up like a food truck, we’ll drive down to the vineyards and set up late afternoon for a fun evening of food and wine pairing. Matt and I love great food as much as we love great wine, so we’ll be preparing lots of yummy tapas and small plates for our customers to enjoy while tasting our wines. We will also use it to participate in local markets and other events. We’re doing everything on a shoestring budget and, in keeping with our “green” ethic, we’re trying not to buy anything new. We’ve bought old school chairs at local flea markets, and we’re going to use the sides of a shipping crate and saw horses to make tables (don't worry we'll put a table cloth over it!). The dishes and glasses have all come from garage sales, flea markets and antiques fairs. The other day I bought a set of vintage dishes with more than 30 pieces including serving platters and bowls for just 20€!
The only problem is we didn’t quite expect the transformation of the truck, the paint job and the equipment to cost so much. It’s the one thing that we can’t do ourselves, so we’re asking for your help! Our time is short and so is our Kickstarter campaign. We want to make this fun, and we’ll keep you up to date through our blog, Facebook and Twitter, and when you come to visit us in Southern France, we’ll have a really good time!
So for all of you who dream of one day owning a vineyard in the South of France, or elsewhere, here's your chance to be a part of ours!
- (14 days)