When Xavier Bazart told me that he was starting a winemaking business I had a lightbulb – or rather a wineglass – moment. Why not a Handspring own-brand wine combining my enthusiasm for the fruit of the vine with our ripening bodywork books list? I should explain that Xavier is our neighbour when we are at our holiday house in the foothills of the Pyrenees. He has been tending upland vineyards for years, but only recently decided to move downstream, as it were, and make his own wine. Gleaming machinery began appearing in spotless, newly constructed buildings, and within a year we were tasting the first cuvée.
We needed our own wine label, and artist Robert Adam, who had melded intense blues and pinks to create our first embodiment of the ‘handspring’, adapted his design to produce a striking and colourful design. These decorate bottles of young Cabernet Franc, a grape variety that Jancis Robinson characterizes as ‘gently flirtatious’ against Cab. Sauvignon’s massive muscularity, and very much on the up in the Languedoc.
Gently flirtatious seems to characterize Handspring pretty well, and we hope that authors and others will be able to enjoy this unassuming but seductive wine.
Andrew Stevenson, Director, Handspring Publishing, Pencaitland, August 2017