It was a wine tasting that was warm, generous and convivial, as warm and generous as the spicy red wine produced in his sun baked Southern vineyard. Our new friend makes up a case of red and rosé and carries it outside the ancient domaine to our car. As he does so two other members of the family are returning the ancient tractor from the fields and they smile at us, no doubt knowing that we have been charmed by the hospitality of their father. M.Oliver firmly shakes my hand and I bid him goodbye. Niamh’s hand he tenderly takes and bows to give it a gentle kiss. As we drive away down the dusty track we wave from the car and Niamh settles into her seat, her mind taken to another place. What a gentleman.
Our journey through the vineyards of the Languedoc is typical of the kindness and generosity shown to us by winemakers throughout France, from the Loire down through Burgundy to Provence. To taste wine and experience the pleasure of visiting the cellars and vineyards in the company of a knowledgeable and proud wine producer is a delight never forgotten.
As with my other three books that tell of our memorable encounters with the people and places of France this one is designed not specifically as a guide book but to inspire and encourage you to travel as soon as it is possible. I know you will not be disappointed.
However, I have in this book given the location and contact details of the vineyards and cellars we visited and all I am sure will delight you when you turn up at that cellar or domaine door
I apologize in advance for the overuse of the word ‘terroir’ and sadly I am still unable to give you a definitive definition of this uniquely French term.