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Languedoc Notebook - July

As a teenager growing up In Bedarieux I can't remember how many times I must have passed the road sign to Berlou, on my way to Roquebrun for a afternoon swim in the river or canoeing down the rapids to Vieussan; but I never actually made it to the village. Later the name became synonymous with red wine, as Berlou is in the middle of the celebrated St Chinian appellation. So for many years I have enjoyed the wines from Berlou and the black bottle with the gold painted writing was a feature on the table of the Gauffre family at Sunday lunches.

When planning a recent trip to the Languedoc I realised that St Chinian was an appellation I had neglected and also that my mum's favourite Muscat is made nearby at Vieussan Audier. A schedule was established!

The road to Berlou is a single track winding across the Garrigue following the meanders of the river Orb until the vineyards appear. We parked the car on" La Place du Village" and aimed for “ le Caveau" . Monsieur Rieux was on hand to welcome us and explained that the Caveau was open in the 1980's  by 6 local winemakers who decided their  product needed to be better represented. Efforts were rewarded with the Berlou brand and the St Chinian appellation. 

The Schisteils range is a winner for every day wines; the blends of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussane  for the white, and Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault  and Carrignan for the red and rose are very representative of the terroir whilst cuvées the Terre De Loup  and Chateau des Albieres are more sophisticated. The cuvee Calisso is superb and one of the best wines I tasted this year whilst the Carthagene, a  local vin de liqueur, is sunshine in a bottle. They also produce a very sexy rosé called “Murmure" really appreciated on a warm afternoon siesta by the river while dipping my toes in the fresh water......

Did I mention that those wines are soon going to be available at the restaurant? Silly me!
À Bientôt"
J-Michel from La Garrigue, 23 Jeffrey Street. 

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