Women Winemakers Harvesting in 2012 — Photos in the Languedoc Roussillon

Here’s another round of my favorite photos and posts about the harvest in the Languedoc Roussillon wine region of France. This year there’s a distinct theme of women in the vines!

Clos Romain

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The Vigneron’s Wife (or his daughter, as the case may be…)

 

Guilhem Barré

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Pech d’Andre

Marion sourire

Mas de l’Ecriture

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Rives Blanques

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women have played a huge role in the winemaking of the Languedoc Roussillon since the very beginning. They’re finally taking some of the credit. ;)  And as a lot of the pictures show, there’s a generation of little winemakers in the making who will be just as talented as their mommies and daddies!

 

 

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Update to Languedoc Roussillon wine blogs and twitter accounts

It’s been several months since I’ve updated the twitter and blogger lists for Languedoc Roussillon wine producers.  So I sat down and did it this morning!

Lots of winemakers have been added to the list of Tweeting winemakers:

A few winemaker blogs worth adding too:

  • Pour le Vin, Cotes Catalanes – Michel Smith doesn’t blog much about his wines, but he is a winemaker now so there you have it.
  • Domaine de Cadables, Gabian – Met Bernard Isarn at the Matinale du CIVL / BUCE event in Narbonne.
  • Sieur d’Arques, Limoux – A bit embarassed that I hadn’t seen this one sooner.  But there it is now!  :)

Then a few blogs that fall into some grey areas:

  • The Outsiders - strictly speaking, this is a blog for a group of winemakers.  But the winemakers don’t handle the blogging ourselves.  But a lot of the text is written by us.
  • Idées Liquides et Solides - I don’t think Vincent Pousson is a winemaker, strictly speaking (although I might be wrong!)  I know he designs the labels and aesthetics for Castelmaure and is very heavily implicated in their communication strategy.  Anyway, he blogs under his own name, but I can’t help thinking of it as an extension of the Castelmaure cooperative (even though it’s explicitly not that).
  • 20 de Corbieres - This is a website hosted by the AOC Corbieres / CIVL (an interprofessional group) and it hosts a blog that any winemaker in the Corbieres can post on.  This is a brilliant idea.  The Corbieres is massive and having a joint winemaker blog accessible to all its producers can generate a huge amount of quality first-person content with just a little bit of effort from each winemaker.  Awesome initiative.  The posts are still often CIVL-ish or AOC-ish because some of them are posted by the syndicat Corbieres, so it’s not totally a winemaker blog.  But it’s getting very very close.  Or maybe even it’s better than a winemaker blog?

 

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8 Languedoc Roussillon Winemakers from the Great Beyond

ViniSud is coming up soon, a huge trade fair with a massive amount of Mediterranean wines. I gather that a lot of Love That Languedoc readers might be in attendance this year. If it’s your first time at ViniSud, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. So I’ve been writing some lists and guides to help newcomers navigate ViniSud.

This is one of those lists. And since all the producers also Love That Languedoc, I thought I’d go ahead and put them on this site instead of the O’Vineyards blog.

The Outsiders

I belong to The Outsiders, a group of winemakers in the region who all originate from elsewhere.  A lot of us are presenting at ViniSud.  We’re doing an event together at the Pavilion 2.0 on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.  So those are great opportunities to taste our wines in one place.

More about the Pavilion 2.0 tastings on Monday and Tuesday.  RSVP on Facebook

And if you miss those events or just want to delve deeper into one of our members in particular, here’s a list with stand numbers and a wine they’ll be showcasing, explained by the winemakers themselves.  Enjoy!

Pinacle Syrah 2002 – Domaine de Sainte Rose
Cotes de Thongue – Hall 1, stand A8
Ten years ago, we moved to France, bought a vineyard, set up two businesses and started a family all at the same time!  To remind ourselves never to try and do that again all at once we have released a rather special wine from that first, rather stressful vintage!  Come and visit us at Vinisud and you can try the very exclusive, bottle aged 2002 Pinacle Syrah.  It is a huge wine, made with our real blood, sweat and tears and it is a living testimony that Languedoc wines can and do age well!

Occitania 2010 by Rives Blanques
Limoux – Hall 9, Aisle A, Stand 70

Occitania 2010,  the only 100% barrel-vinified Mauzac in the Limoux appellation.   We are particularly partial to this wine, maybe because we drank up the whole of the first vintage ourselves – nobody else would even taste it, let alone buy it.  Happy to say, the wine now sells out every year.   Mauzac is an old, traditional grape variety that has been growing in Limoux for over 600 years, used for Blanquette, the region’s famous fizz.   We have set aside two (organic) hectares of uncloned 50-year old vines for Occitania, and we’ll have a bottle of the latest vintage with us on at 9A70.

Domaine Jones Blanc 2010 by Domaine Jones
Roussillon – Hall 11, Aisle D, Stand 64 (Tuesday only!!)

The new vintage of Jones blanc 2011 has been desperate to get out and show itself off to the world.  Up Until now I have kept it back to mature and mellow just that little bit longer but on Tuesday the 21 st February I can hold it no longer and the Jones blanc Grenache Gris 2011 will be revealed to the world (or at least visitors to Vinisud).

Cuvée Henri 2008 by Château de Combebelle
Saint Chinian – Hall 9, Stand 9C18

For the first time, we will be presenting a magnum of 2008 “Cuvée Henri” (only like 150 produced). Made exclusively from a single vineyard on the estate and aged in 500l barrels for 2 years, this wine reflects our intensity and passion!  The bottle commemorates the birth of Henri into our family and a further addition to the family named Hugo may also be present (depending on its drinkability at the time!)  That is another single vineyard wine made exclusively from 70 year old Grenache.

Grand Vin Rouge 2008 by Château d’Anglès
La Clape – Hall 8 Aisle C, Stand 69

While Eric Fabre worked Cabernet and Merlot at Château Lafite Rothschild, he was dreaming of growing some Mourvèdre by the Mediterranean sea.  We will launch at Vinisud our Grand Vin 2008 which is our prestige red wine made for the first time of a majority of Mourvèdre! The former island terroir of La Clape gives to this Mourvèdre an amazing silky tannin structure, a savory balance and an incredible length. This new vintage will wear a new skin for the occasion : come have a chat with Eric and Vianney and taste!

Felgaria 2009 by Domaine de Cébène
Faugères – Hall 9, Aisle A, Stand 30

Brigitte Chevalier, this relatively neophyte winemaker, achieved both critical and competitive acclaim for the very first vintage at her Domaine de Cébène vineyard in Faugères. Being a woman in the übermasculine winemaking field makes her exploit even more notable. At Vinisud, taste her “Felgaria” 2009. The high proportion of Mourvèdre on schist soil makes this wine unique: she manages to master the masculine character of this impetuous varietal and crafts apowerful yet svelte wine full of grace. The balance between Yin and Yang.

Motus by Domaine Treloar
Cotes du Roussillon – Hall 6 Aisle C Stand 12 (Tuesday Afternoon ONLY)

This is my wine that is the most respected by connoisseurs and probably the biggest seller from the winery but has never had a high rating from a professional critic with most of them “Not getting it”. I don’t know if it’s because it is Mourvedre and they don’t really know what to expect or because it is labelled Cotes du Roussillon and doesn’t taste like other Cotes du Roussillons. Come and taste the Motus and tell me what you think.  If you can’t catch them Tuesday afternoon, the wine will be on tasting in the Palais Mediterranée for the entirety of the fair.

O’MG 2011 by O’Vineyards
Cité de Carcassonne – Hall 1 Aisle B Stand 21

While my parents have built a reputation around our estate wines at O’Vineyards, I’ve been building another kind of business on the side; I’m going to be able to start selling my neighbors’ wines abroad in addition to our own.  So this year we’re launching our first négociant cuvée.  A close collaboration between O’Vineyards and an estate on the other side of Carcassonne to make our new wine: O’MG.  The goal is to make a jaw dropping wine at a jaw dropping price so that people will say O M G.

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Does Decanter Love The Languedoc?

Andrew Jeffords and Rosemary George tackled the Herculean task of writing an eight page feature to describe the Languedoc in the March issue of Decanter.  A region so diverse and adventuruous is incredibly hard to encapsule in just a few pages, so they focused on giving readers a taste of that diversity.  And I think they did a really fantastic job.

Andrew Jeffords explains the pleasure of discovery and adventure in the Languedoc:

“One of the reasons why I wanted to live in this area was discovery.  Sure, we could have moved to Dijon and I could have biked down to Vosne every Sunday and worshipped at the walls of Romanée-Conti, saving up for a bottle per decade, but where’s the pleasure in that?  Languedoc, by contrast, is a giant funfair complete with eye-popping rides and weird sideshows, flashing lights and duck shoots and test-your-strength bells. Some of its wines are impolite, barely house-trained; others are exciting enough to make your hair stand on end. I love it.”

After Jeffords’ brilliant introduction, Rosemary George digs into the meat of the Languedoc.  A blow by blow analysis of Faugeres, La Clape, Terrasses du Larzac, Limoux, Minervois la Liviniere, Cabardes, and Pic Saint Loup (and Pezenas gets its own feature later in the magazine, p 114).  Each area description tries to explain what makes it so special and I think she George does a great job creating an image of each appellation.  She also gets a couple namedrops in for each area so you can get a feel for some of the movers and shakers.

No ink about me this time, but that’s actually pretty encouraging!  This article is about how vibrant and unexpected the region is.  And in a way, I’m old news.  Since I started Love That Languedoc (years ago!?) dozens of new wineries have started up and dozens of wines have come to new levels of prominence.  This region is a vast sea and we’re seeing a rising tide that I hope will change the wine world forever.

Decanter's "love the languedoc"

Why people love the Languedoc

If you’d like to read the full article, another winemaker in Limoux has already uploaded it.

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