Virtual South of France April 2021
A new era is dawning for everyone involved in classrooms and events. Using modern technology, we can enjoy learning about our favourite wines (and gin) from the comfort and safety of our own homes.
This has the added advantage that nobody needs to be the “designated driver”.
Using Zoom video conferencing is just like being in the room with Gary, who will, as ever educate, inform and entertain you for about an hour.
All sessions will be recorded and if you can't attend at the last minute just let us know so you can go through the event at your convenience later.
Why not invite your friends to make it a truly social experience?
The South of France covers a huge area along the Mediterranean coast and its hinterland. In years gone by this area produced a huge volume of fairly forgettable basic wine. Those days are long gone and Provence, Languedoc and Roussillon are now rightly recognised as capable of producing outstanding wines of great regional styles.
Join us as we explore this fascinating region over 4 weeks, with wines supplied by The Wine Society.
Week 1 – 16th April
We start in Provence, with what else but a rosé. Rosé has become an incredibly popular wine style in recent years, but Provence is where its ancestral home is. Our example is a “proper” Provence rosé, this is full-flavoured, savoury and refreshing, with weight enough to go with food. The grape varieties are Grenache and Syrah of course.
Next, we visit a very special place in Provence where they make wine from the Mourvèdre grape variety without blending: Bandol AC. A sumptuous red wine from the sandstone-based soils of the cooler eastern part of Bandol, deep in the south of France and with its toes almost in the Med. It is deliciously rich and ripe-tasting with plenty of spice.
- Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rosé, Château Vignelaure 2020
- Bandol, Domaine Dupuy de Lôme 2016
Week 2 – 23rd April
Journeying West from Provence we reach Languedoc. Our first wine is the tres chic Picpoul de Pinet, branded as “the Muscadet of the South”. Full-flavoured, dry yet with crisp freshness and a beguiling citrus and herb flavour, and perfect to enjoy it on its own or with fish and seafood.
Next onto a very well-known appellation, Pic Saint-Loup, a soft, fruity Languedoc red, luscious and fruity in 2019, made from a blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan with no oak. Purity of fruit and elegance combine to make an attractive Rhône-style red for enjoying with grilled meats, vegetables or stews.
- Picpoul de Pinet, Domaine Félines Jourdan 2020
- Pic Saint-Loup Espérance, Château de Valflaunès 2019
Week 3 – 30th April
Perhaps even more well-known are the appellations of Fitou and Minervois. If the only time you’ve encountered these labels is on an inexpensive supermarket wine be prepared to be amazed what they can do in the hands of a skilled winemaker. We start with Katie Jones’ fantastic old-vine Fitou, a blend of Carignan and Grenache. Full-bodied, ripe, plummy, figgy and rich-tasting.
Next, we have a look at a Minervois from the recently created sub-appellation of La Livinière. A Syrah dominated blend, unoaked to let the fruit shine through.
- Fitou, Domaine Jones 2018
- Minervois La Livinière Grand Vin, Château Sainte-Eulalie 2015
Week 4 – 7th May
Finally, we arrive in the far West of France as it becomes Catalonia, the region known as Roussillon. Our first wine is from the last AC in France before it becomes Spain – Collioure AC, and you can definitely detect some Spanish style influences on this old-vine blend of Grenache and Carignan.
Our last wine is another well-kept secret, a “vin doux naturel” – a sweet fortified wine aged in cask for 20 years, made from the white Macabeu grape rather than the more common Grenache based wines. A complex wine with notes of preserved orange, spice cake, dried fruit, caramel and sweet spices. The appellation is Rivesaltes, think Tawny Port or even Madeira for a style comparison. Perfect with blue cheese or anything chocolate
- Collioure, Adéoat Rouge, Domaine Augustin 2016
- Rivesaltes Ambré, Domaine de Rancy 1998 50cl
For this tasting, all the wines will be supplied by The Wine Society. Because this is a membership-only organisation, uniquely we will arrange for the delivery of the wine ourselves. This means that you can simply place an order for the course, including the wines, and we will arrange delivery to your home address. Please allow a minimum of 7 days for delivery of the wine.
This event will stop taking orders on Friday 9th April.
Price: £225 (including all 8 wines listed above) *
*In the event that a particular wine is out of stock we will ensure it is replaced with the closest possible alternative wine.
Places remaining: 4
Course Date/Time: Fri 16th Apr 2021 at 7.30pm
Duration: 4 x 1 Hour
Venue: Online Via Zoom (Link sent by email)