Traditional, Professional, and Family ~ I Am She

TRADITIONAL: My maternal grandparents were Pierre Bernier and Abbie Ouellette Bernier. My first four years of life, they only spoke French to me. I would give it a try back to them. I remember my grandmother telling me, “You have great intonation,” when I was then studying high school French in my first two years of high school. I switched to Spanish in my junior year, because I like to explore, and because I could see that French III was going to be a bear. I now wish I could have taken both French and Spanish. French III was going to be writing research projects in French. Advanced algebra, Chemistry, and French III? It would have been too much, and I just wasn’t ready. I’ve now also had two semesters of college Spanish, perhaps because I have married into the Spanish culture.

I called my grandparents Pipi and Mimi (grand-père et grand-mère). It was shortened for me, because Grand-memère was reserved for my great grandmother; Pipi’s aging mother, who lived with my grandparents, until she slipped back to paradis. For my formative years, I considered myself of exclusive French heritage. Then, I began to consider my father’s Anglo and Scottish roots. Today, I know that I’m a Western European mongrel, who’s traced myself back to Charlemagne.

I know, I know, everyone from Western Europe is related to Charlemagne.

My family tree then branches off to Charlemagne’s third son, Louis the Pious, then to the Kings of Scots, King James, and to the Reverend William Blackstone. (Blackstone was Boston’s first Anglican resident, sent by King James to preach the King James version of the Bible.) It was Patience Blackstone (Blackstone’s great grand daughter) who married Josiah Clarke, my fraternal great grandfather, seven generations removed). I’ve done my homework on this one, with the internet making it more simple, without’s help.

So, when I was reminded to enter the wine blogger’s Millesima Blog Awards, I thought, well, that sounds like fun. Alas, it was simply an infantile thought. I’ve done very little for Bordeaux in my passion, with regards to its wine and my own personal knowledge. I did think, “What an amazing way to learn about Bordeaux,” though; and then I was respectfully declined. I couldn’t blame them… I’m now chuckling. What was I thinking? I’ve done very little to explore Bordeaux. I’ve certainly done a lot for other wine regions, but not Bordeaux, much to my chagrin.

PROFESSIONAL: Like wine merchant Patrick Bernard, the CEO and Founder of Millesima Cie, wine is part of my civilization and part of my life.

FAMILY: Also like Patrick, my (three) daughters and husband work with me. It was I who first began a wine career. As my needs began to grow with Diaz Communications, a company that I founded, each member of our family – beginning with my husband – was called into support my wine publicist and marketing efforts.

The Passion of Wine

So now, I’m off to explore Bordeaux. I’ve listed the people within my own family who have French roots, only to demonstrate that it’s in my best interest to really get to know France on a more intimate level. I talk with my body. I have a socialistic point of view, in that I take humanity’s suffering as a serious reason to share more of the wealth with my fellow human beings. I embraced  foreign exchange students from around the world (Paris, Brussels, Chile, Brazil, and Japan), so that my own children would have more broad life experiences. When I talk, I also use my body. What else can I now learn from Bordeaux? I need to know more about their wines…

My beginning aspect, therefore, is how wine grapes got to France, and most specifically Bordeaux. Where did they come from, and who brought them? My answer will lie within the Roman invasion, but then – How did the Romans discover them and from where? And, as I’ve written about Portugal, The Wines of Portugal ~ First you must understand the people. Part of my ancestry is from France; I have a very personal interest, and thus begins my journey.


The Great Wine Grapes Exodus

Stay tuned for the journey.