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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.

If you drink wine, the wines of Bordeaux need  little introduction. There are the First Growths that collectors clamor over and there are the AOC classified dry, medium-bodied red wines and white wines that are affordable but also somewhat generic.

At Vin de Jardin (Garden of Wine), the goal is to make a wine that is bright, fresh, easy to drink and does not taste like all the others. Winemaker Marco Pelletier and his partners Jean Terrade and Gérard Pantanacce wanted a wine that displays power but is balanced. With Vin de Jardin, they have done that.


Marco Pelletier was born in Canada. Working as a civil engineer, he came to France in 1997 where he first fell in love with wine. He took a sabbatical and worked harvest in Champagne.  “Bit by the wine bug,” Pelletier decided that he no longer wanted to work as a civil engineer and applied to a sommelier program in Canada. Denied acceptance at first, Pelletier persevered, and when there was a cancellation, he took the spot. He may not have been a first choice at the school but subsequently he excelled and won a scholarship.