I wrote a story for Decanter this week on Jean Michel Cazes taking a starring role in the cult Japanese manga 'Drops of the Gods', and particularly the 2003 vintage of his Chateau Ormes de Pez.
I thought I would add here the response from Marina Cazes, his daughter, with some interesting background on how it happened:
'We had absolutely no idea that my father was going to be pictured as a manga character and that such focus would be given on Ormes de Pez and our other activities.
Indeed, Shin and Yuko Kibayashi recently came to Pauillac where they were intronised by the Commanderie and, on that occasion, Shin Kibayashi ran the Marathon!
We only had a subtle feeling at that time that both of them had enjoyed pretty much Ormes de Pez 2003 during a dinner at Cordeillan-Bages. I think my father was not expecting at all to be featured as part of the story… but in my opinon, the cartoonist has managed to capture some of his expressions.
For me what was most touching was the allusion to my grand-father André Cazes: that is another detail where fiction meets reality as my father actually gave one of my grand-father’s hat to Shin Kibayashi...
We first heard about “Les Gouttes de Dieu” thanks to an article published in the New York Times last October 2008. And about the same time, my father ran into the cartoonist Shu Okimoto at Café Lavinal in Bages. She was visiting Lynch-Bages with a Japanese friend from Bordeaux. They had a good contact. Shu Okimoto told my father that the authors had been invited by the CIVB for the Medoc Marathon. He offerred to help them organize their visit in Bordeaux and invited them to stay at Cordeillan. The induction in the Commanderie was a "must". Then contact was established with both the publisher in Japan, Kodansha Company, and the French publisher Jacques Glénat who was also very helpful.
The authors are truly great French wines ambassadors. They do have a unique talent to describe wines; just think about the comparison between Château Mont Pérat and the band Queen for instance!
Also the series is very educational in a positive way: it creates a new connexion between manga readers (a traditionally young audience) and the world of wines as it turns it more accessible through emotions and images.
Of course we are aware of the impact of that series on French wines sales in Japan but our crystal ball is quite hazy to predict the effect on the sales of Ormes de Pez… I think it is too soon to come up with a forecast, however, our distribution partners have already given us a very positive feedback as they will undeniably use it as a promotion tool.
And last, but not least, we are very happy with the way Ormes de Pez is showcased in that episode: the fascinating dance of the flames in the fireplace, the crackling logs and family get-together… what a hearty and evocative description…'
Link to a reproduction of the manga here: