It’s hard for normal people to understand what harvest means to a winemaker. It’s an intense moment (a moment that can last a month) in which a whole year of hard labor takes substance. So much can happen in so few days. And since I’m in a slightly later-harvesting portion of the region, I always get to watch the signs of harvest at my neighbors’ before things really take off at O’Vineyards.
Seeing the turned over fruit crates and empty buckets gets me all worked up.
As early as 2 weeks ago, I was getting reports about precocious harvests in some parts of the Roussillon and Limoux. Now, we’re getting to the bulk of harvest season. Even though I won’t be harvesting until mid September, I can still share all the Languedoc buzz that’s going down today.
So this list is much much longer. And it’s actually pretty hard to find people. . . so I’m going to publish it in multiple parts. Here is the first part.
I included wineries, vineyards, negociants, grape growers, etc. Anybody who presents themselves as a producer and could presumably prove it with tax receipts or something.
Please feel free (Obliged even) to email me to add more to this list or leave a comment at the bottom of this page with a link to the facebook page you’d like to add. And while you’re doing me favors, somebody needs to tell Georges Frêche that he can’t abandon his facebook page just because he was re-elected. Obama is still emailing me like DAILY. (edit: RIP Georges Freche, you will no longer be judged for a lack of social media updates)
Here we have one of TWO epic panel of winemakers at the Grenache Symposium held in the Rhone last week. The Q&A can get a little dry at times, but I think some of you will appreciate it. If it gets too technical, feel free to fast forward through the video to see other people talk.
I think the most interesting thing about this footage is that it shows the huge amount of knowledge and detail that went into the Symposium. This was not a fluff-oriented conference. We had a group that truly understands the strengths and challenges facing Grenache grapes around the world. If anything, posting video from the Symposium is making me realize that we need to do a sort of entry-level translation for people who just like wine. More on this to follow.
The people who talk in this video include:
Ray O’Connor, wine writer of the year and my name nemesis, asks “What is the ageability of Grenache as a single varietal and as a blend?”
Randall Grahm, winemaker at Bonny Doon, answers by talking about the hidden power of Grenache
Vincent Avril, of Clos des Papes, gets into some of the details about blended Grenache in Chateauneuf du Pape
Chester Osborn, from d’Arenberg, talks about how Grenache responds to vintages in Australia
Eben Sadie, from Terroir Al Limit Soc. Lda and Sequillo Cellars, talks about making single estate Grenache in Priorat and South Africa and the challenges involved in single varietal Grenache and ripeness
Philippe Cambie, winemaker in Chateauneuf du Pape and around the south of France, talks about the effect of fermenting with stems versus destemming
Hervé Bizeul asks about the proper level of volatile acids in a good grenache and a great grenache
Cambie coyly answers that the good level is the one you have when you finish fermenting, wherever it is.
Tim Atkin asks if there is any place in the world where Grenache should be grown where it is not already grown
Cambie coyly answers “In my garden.”
Ryan O’Connell, host of Love That Languedoc, is a winemaker in the south of France.
Ryan is a self-professed ascended fanboy who has been making wine since he was nineteen. He has won the recognition of the Guide Hachette, Revue du Vin de France, Bettane et Desseauve, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wall Street Journal: Europe, and JancisRobinson.com.
In 2009, Ryan founded Love That Languedoc, a website devoted to talking about the region he lives in and the producers who influence his work. He has interviewed legendary winemakers like Aime Guibert of Mas de Daumas Gassac and Claude Gros who has made many of the region’s most prestigious cult wines like La Negly, La Peira, and more. Whether he’s pigging out at a Michelin-starred restaurant or attending an exclusive trade show, Ryan’s goal is to capture the spirit of the region and serve it up to his friends online.
In 2010, Ryan started a campaign to train other winemakers and agricultural producers to use web tools that work for his winery. A champion of rural web technology, Ryan believes that agriculture and other rural businesses need to have their own personalized approach to web marketing.
Ryan is proud to live in the Languedoc and to have the support of so many great individuals and institutions in this part of the world.