Four weeks since setting up the company and after countless meetings with Accountants, the Chamber of Commerce and other bureaucratic organisations, we’re off !

It feels great to actually to get started and finally bring a long held dream to fruition. My first event at Vinécole was a tasting at a dinner for over 60 delegates staying at the domaine for a conference on the ‘Heart in Business”. A rather appropriate title as this is what my new venture is all about.

I presented 4 wines which encapsulate for me the richness and diversity of the Languedoc/Roussillon and show, particularly to those who had never visited this wonderful place, what the region can offer. All were from the 2006 vintage :

Blanquette de Limoux – Rives-Blanques. 90% Mauzac. Lively, fruity, elegant, with real finesse. You can see why Dom Perignon took the secret back to Champagne.

Mas Champart Blanc St Chinian. Less than 1% of this region’s wines is made as AOC blanc, but it’s really worth seeking them out. It’s the constant ability to surprise that really excites me about the Languedoc/Roussillon and this wine certainly does that. A blend of Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Bourboulenc. Who could fail to be intrigued with a line-up like that ?

Domaine de la Rectorie – Coté Montagne AOC Collioure. The red wine of the evening, sumptuous but with a vibrant streak of stone-filled minerality . A blend of 5 different varieties, trumping even the white. For those interested – 30% Grenache, 30% Counoise (surely one of the few outposts of this rare cépage outside Chateauneuf), 27% Carignan, 12% Syrah, 11% Mourvèdre. A triumph of man over topography from some of the steepest and most breathtaking vineyards to be found anywhere.

Late Harvest Chateau La Bouscade Vin de Pays d’Oc. 60% Maccabeo and 40% Vermentino from almost 100% Botrytis berries, harvested one month later than normal. Made by owner and winemaker David Cowderoy – a garagiste in the literal sense (his garage is his winery !) Unctuous, concentrated with 198g/l residual sugar supported by a backbone of rapier-like acidity, this wine was considered the best value of the whole evening. When asked the price, many considered it to be 30€+. To find out it’s staggeringly good value at 10€ will find many beating a path to the door of this emerging Minervois domaine.

A really fun evening and a great way to start the new business. With wines like this to work with, it should be a ball !