I am delighted to have spent last weekend at the Gérard Betrand’s Chateau l’Hospitalet estate, which is located at ‘la Clape’ just outside Narbonne in the Languedoc region of the south of France.
A group of twelve of us from O’Briens were visiting the estate for the harvest festival which marked the end of the 2015 harvest.
We were only away for two nights, but we certainly made the most of our time there in what was an activity–packed weekend.
Needless to say there were many tasting masterclasses included in the programme, but for me the highlights of the trip were the workshops in the vineyard and winery, first picking the fruit in the field and then following it through the winemaking process with tastings of samplesat numerous stages along the way, perfectly illustrating the evolution from fresh fruit juice to finished wine in a way no textbook ever could.
Our last activity of the weekend was a wonderful gala celebration dinner, with each course paired with wines from the range, the stars of show for me were the two vintages of Gérard's flagsip wine,Clos d’Ora which accompanied the main course.
The Languedoc may be France’s youngest wine region, but these two wines, each in their own way demonstrated the region’s capacity to produce genuine fine wines which could stand shoulder to shoulder with those produced anywhere else!