Wines of Carcassonne – The Cabardès AOC
By: Ryan O’Connell
This is a book/ebook/Kindle book written by a wine producer about the wines of his region. Ryan (that we know personally) is a young and very dynamic winemaker in Languedoc. He is also a talented Web 2.0 marketeer, which helps when you make wine in one of France’s lesser known appellations. The ebook is an overview of the appellation of Cabardès, located around the historic walled city of Carcassonne (UNESCO World Heritage) on the western edge of the Languedoc.
Ryan is passionate about his own wines but also about the whole region and this is his first attempt to present his appellation in a more packaged form. “I think people want to hear winemakers talk about our land, our neighbors, our trials and tribulations. There are a lot of great reference books on the market. They’re objective and that’s what makes them useful. This book has a lot of soul. It’s not objective at all” says Ryan.
The book is an excellent introduction, quite more than an introduction, to this AOC. Ryan explains the complicated history, and the equally complicated geological situation. Cabardès is often considered as the link between east and west in southern France, taking some of its inspiration from the Languedoc (and even from the Rhône Valley) and some from Bordeaux, bridging the two. Ryan also lists and describes most of the major producers in the region. One can tell that it is a passionate wine lover and wine maker who writes the text (and not a career journalist).
The book is only 24 pages long, which is perhaps reasonable for an appellation that is only 500 hectares. Ryan promises new editions of the book and if one can make a wish it would be for some more comments on the wines themselves and a section on tourism information, villages to visit, restaurants etc, to make it even easier for people to come and visit this beautiful region. (And a new edition might also iron out some design problems).
I can think of no one better suited to sing the praise of this appellation than Ryan. An enjoyable read! Ryan also writes a blog called, unsurprisingly, Love That Languedoc. More info: ovineyards.com. Get the book: www.amazon.co.uk. We can only agree with Ryan: we hope that more winemakers will write about their regions!
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