New Roots Along the Canal du Midi

Ventenac-en-Minervois is a small village in the Languedoc, in the Occitanie department of southern France. The local cave is located on the Canal du Midi, a traveler’s dream of a waterway that was once used to transport wine across the country via barges, such as the Marie-Therese, a restored boat docked outside. Replanting an UNESCO Heritage Site The Canal du Midi…

What We’re Drinking: Wines from the South of France {#Winophiles}

Boomerangs, sunscreen, ice cream, adhesive labels, pianos, violins, scooters, slippers and even pool tables are some of the things that are made in Occitanie. For our purposes, the French Winophiles are more interested in the drink that has our affections: wine. Occitanie is the area that many of us call the Languedoc or Languedoc-Rousillion –…

It’s Time for Languedoc Wines

a chance to explore and share the landscape, people, flavors and wine of this beautiful region. Situated near to Provence, Bordeaux and Northern Spain, this region expresses stunning topography and miles and gorgeous vineyards of ever-increasing quality.

What Does it Mean to Be Made in France?

Earlier this month, I lined up a set of wine bottles from France. Each one from a unique and stated region, each one bearing a label like a little luggage tag: here is my home. To the French people, their government and producers indication of these regions is of the highest importance. While American consumers…

A Château in Provence

I wrote the book before I’d been there, which may seem a backwards way to craft a novel. But by the time the book had been outlined, characters created, fictional wines made this place had begun to feel like home. My novel isn’t about this place exactly, but it is about the feeling of this…

Drink Occitanie: Domaines Paul Mas Winemaker Bastien Lalauze

After a recent trip to the Languedoc (known now, departmentally as Occitanie) I’ve noted several themes running through the wine conversation about the area, present both in southern France and abroad. My recent conversation with Bastien Lalauze, winemaker and estate manager sustainably-farmed Château Martinolles in Limoux, a sparkling wine property in the Domaines Paul Mas family brought to life these themes, illustrating where practice and perception are coming together in a very exciting circuit

Mapping France in Wine Bottles: Where to Get Affordable French Wine

If you have the impression that finding affordable wine in France is hard – it is definitely time to revisit that stance. My husband and I have taken several road-trips through France, meeting winemakers and tasting wine – much of it high-quality, AOP wines with price-tags that need to be forgiven for their modesty. Where…

Affordable French Wine

Affordable is an arbitrary term. We all have our personal price preferences for wine we purchase to drink at home or at a restaurant. For most of us, triple- or quadruple-digit pricetags are out of reach for everyday drinking. Let’s say that around $20 (~€17, ~£15 at the moment) is affordable. Sure, you’ve seen the…

Rosé and Sea Salt

It has come up in conversation – many times – as one of our most extraordinary experiences in France. It is certainly hard to describe and after chatting about this place, I generally feel like I left out the real story. This is because Grussian, a commune in the southern French Aude department, is experiential….

Lessons from a Biodynamic Winemaker in France

I take a notes like a squirrel on the bird feeder – fast and and full, getting it all down before someone changes the subject. You’ll know me by my notebooks. More often than not, however, the stuff that really sticks with me doesn’t require a scribble. My memory serves in certain moments where everything…

Périgord Wines: Bergerac and Duras

It was the roses – and the view – that made us pull the car over. Though everyone wanted to make good time, we were compelled to stop, even as other cars whizzed past while we weaseled into a spot across the street from the local cave. Cameras are made with the panorama setting for…

Historic Vineyards of Mâcon

Burgundy, known as Bourgogne in France, is one of the world’s most incredible wine regions. Due to an intense history dedicated to winemaking, there are stories to be told, lifetimes to preserve. Let this video, from Bourgogne Wines provide an introduction:   Vineyards in Burgundy have been cultivated for over 2,000 years, first by the…

Like a Local in Languedoc Wine Country

We started May in France and ended it in California, with a bit of sweet ‘real’ life in between. The trips allowed us to bask again in warm favorite spots, and afforded us – in good measure – the opportunity to sit in new seats and chat with new voices. We’ve got stories to tell,…

Drink or Hold: Burgundy, Where Parker Got it Wrong

Today we feature a guest post from Gerald (Jerry Clark). Jerry has written for L’occasion in the past, recently with his thoughts on wine as an investment. This month he shares perspective on Burgundy wines, a great fit for our readers between a two-part series on Burgundy.  Jerry has a wide scope of experience with…

Thomas Jefferson in Burgundy

There is a phrase in the French language – déformation professionnnelle – which describes one’s tendency to perceive every situation through the biased eyes of one’s profession. But consider the constant shape-shifting of reality for a man with armloads of professions: inventor, farmer, author, diplomat, ambassador, drafter, architect, teacher, United States President, archaeologist and onward. Jefferson, Wine Lover Thomas…