A new group of wine growers were recently established in the Languedoc-Roussillon. It is an exciting mix of interesting growers, from western Limoux to eastern Costières de Nîmes, And what do they have in common? Maybe you have guessed already – they are all outsiders, meaning they do not originally come from this area. Most of them are actually foreigners but a few come from Bordeaux (maybe as foreign as another country for the Languedoc people…). All of them see the potential of making good, and even great, wine in Languedoc-Roussillon. Some of them worked in the wine business before but for most of them it’s a change of career. Before they worked in teaching, taxation, finance, investment banking, TV production, sales and marketing…We are sure a lot of this knowledge will come in handy also as a wine producer!
So what does being an outsider mean? According to the members themselves, it means having an alternative perspective and maybe seeing things and doing things a little differently. We wish the group a lot of success.
- Château Rives-Blanques, Limoux (Jan Panman from Holland och Caryl Panman from England)
- Château d’Anglès, La Clape (the Fabre family from Bordeaux)
- Mas Gabriel, Languedoc (Debora and Peter Core from UK)
- Mas des Dames, Languedoc (Lidewij van Wilgen from Holland)
- La Grange de Quatre Sous, Vin de Pays d’Oc (Hildegard Horat from Switzerland)
- Domaine Jones, Roussillon (Katie Jones from UK)
- Domaine Hegarty Chamans, Minervois (Sir John Hegarty and Philippa Crane)
- Domaine de Calet, Costières de Nîmes (Anna-Lena – from Sweden – and Yvon Gentes)
- Domaine Treloar, Roussillon (Jon and Rachel Hesford from UK)
- Château de Combelle, Saint Chinian (Catherine Wallace from UK)
- Domaine Cébène, Faugères (Brigitte Chevalier from Bordeaux)
- O’Vineyards, Cabardès (Ryan O’Connell from USA)
In November The Outsiders invited to a tasting of their wines in London. We could not be there in person but our friend and wine writer Brett Jones was there and has kindly shared his impressions. You can read a full account of the tasting, Inside with the Outsiders of Languedoc on Brett’s blog The Wine Maestro brettthewinemaestro.wordpress.com. Here are Brett’s comments for the Brief:
“The Outsiders are an informal group of good wine producers, none of whom is a native of Languedoc-Roussillon – they are all ‘immigrants’. All keen people, they are from far and wide: UK, USA, Holland, New Zealand, Switzerland and even Bordeaux!
It was a sunny November morning when I arrived at the La Maison de Languedoc-Roussillon in Cavendish Square, in the heart of London, to be greeted by the twelve Outsiders who were behind their tables ready to show their wines. All of them from outside the region, all of them keen, enthusiastic and proud of what they have achieved and what they are doing.
As I tasted their wines and spoke to each of them, I appreciated each producer’s individuality as well as the quality. When I tried wine made from vielles vignes I thought of the graceful old age the vines are enjoying, producing a tiny amount annually compared to the huge yields required in their youth, for table wine…
The Outsiders show a care and attention as well as an inordinate pride in what they are doing and I enjoyed the tasting very much.”
PS: If you are going to Millesime Bio in Montpellier at the end of the month there is a wine tasting with the Outsiders on the Monday evening at Bistro Boris. Contact Louise Hurren for more info.
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