Pays d’Oc Trip & Other Vino Adventures.

Hey everyone!

First blog for Wine Not! 🍷

What a whirlwind month it has been, filled to the brim with all things wine-related and some truly incredible sips shared with some amazing people. Just recently, I had the pleasure of embarking on a journey that took me from the charming canals of Amsterdam to the sun-soaked vineyards of Montpellier – and let me tell you, it was nothing short of spectacular.

Montpelier, France

My adventure began with a one-night stay at the opulent Richer de Belleval in Montpellier. This place was nothing short of stunning, boasting not just one, but two Michelin stars. As if that wasn’t enough, they also treated us to some impeccable wine pairings that danced harmoniously with every dish.

The following day brought us to Lattes, where we dove deep into the details of Pays d’Oc IGP. Let’s get down to some facts, shall we? Vins Pays d’Oc IGP encompasses a whopping 110,000 hectares of vineyards, blessed with a Mediterranean climate that naturally ripens grapes to perfection. This leads to wines that are intensely aromatic and packed with fruit-forward flavors.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting: Pays d’Oc IGP is not just a label; it’s a certification of origin and quality that adheres to rigorous standards. They’ve got a dedicated team that conducts year-round monitoring, ensuring that every bottle meets their high standards. Can you believe that 18,000 wines are controlled and tasted by 120 tasting commissions, with 350 dedicated tasters involved? That’s a lot of wine love! With a stable production of approximately 6 million bottles per vintage and a staggering 58 grape varieties to choose from, the reds (Merlot, anyone?) take the lead, followed by Chardonnay and the ever-delightful Grenache Noir for rosΓ© lovers.

Our wine escapade continued with a visit to Domaine Les Yeuses in Meze, where we ventured into the cellars and witnessed the winemaking magic, including carbonic maceration.

Next up was a stop at Cave de Richemer in Marseillan, where we marveled at their state-of-the-art production site. Lunch at the picturesque Pool House, paired with Cave de Richemer’s wines, was nothing short of divine. And did I mention our visit to Chateau de Mus? This place was straight out of a fairy tale, with the owners residing in their charming Chateau in Thezan le Beziers. Our day concluded with yet another sensational tasting and breathtaking views at Chateau Les Carrasses in Quarante, complete with a miniature farm and an adorable pig named Elliot. Dinner featured a four-course meal paired with exquisite wines, and we spent the night in what felt like a page out of “Beauty and the Beast.”

The following day, we hit the road and made our way to Famille Fabre in Luc Sur Orbieu, where we embarked on a wine escape game – my first one! It was a cool and immersive way to learn about the history of the Languedoc, the winery’s heritage, and of course, savor their delectable wines.

Our journey continued down winding roads to Domaine Carmel and Joseph in Montirat, where we enjoyed yet another tasting and a family-style feast. The wines here were nothing short of sensational.

Afterward, we rolled into Carcassonne, where we settled in for the night before heading to Domaine Gayda in Brugairolles for a blending bench workshop, followed by a mouthwatering steak dinner that hit all the right notes.

Our adventure reached its pinnacle with a fantastic tasting and brunch at Comptoir de la Cite, Les Vignobles Foncalieu, offering breathtaking views of the old town castle in Carcassonne.

This journey was the epitome of luxury, and I feel incredibly blessed to have been a part of it. Huge shoutout to Dutch Wine Apprentice for making it happen, as well as Pays d’Oc IGP and all the wonderful wineries and fellow wine enthusiasts I had the pleasure of sharing this experience with. Check out my Instagram reels here;

Additionally, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve embarked on an exciting collaboration, contributing regular articles to A Glass of Bubbly, a prestigious British-owned publication dedicated to the world of sparkling wine. You’ll be able to find these published articles in the dedicated section on my website, providing you with the opportunity to enjoy and explore the effervescent world of sparkling wine alongside me.

This month has been filled with wonderful moments, and to top it off, I had the delightful opportunity to partake in an exquisite lunch at Restaurant Flora in Breukelen. What made it even more special was the chance to interact with the head winemaker from Nederberg, a renowned winery in Paarl, South Africa. During this memorable event, we had the privilege of savoring a selection of their exceptional wines, expertly paired with a five-course degustation menu. As a keepsake, we were each gifted a bottle of their 2019 Brewmaster Bordeaux blend, personally engraved with our names.

Now to my standout wines of the month which I have had the pleasure to try! πŸ‡πŸ₯‚

  • Brewmaster Bordeaux Blend by Nederburg 2019
  • Gayda Grenache Gris Altre Cami Grenache Gris 2021
  • Villa Blanche Piquepoul Noir Calmel and Joseph 2020
  • La Marquise Roussanne Calmel and Joseph 2019
  • Cantaussels Chardonnay et Viognier by Bonfils 2022
  • O d’Yeuses Les Yeuses 2020
  • Domaine Les Yeuses Les Fruits Murs Grenache 2020

Cheers to a month filled with incredible wines, unforgettable experiences, and the joy of sharing it all with fellow wine lovers. Until next time!

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