The deep midwinter can make you long to escape the rat race, stop the world and get off, live a life less ordinary.
A group christened the BritPack has done just that: taken the plunge, moved to southern France to make wine and live the dream.
Stephen Cronk and his young family eschewed London’s ‘nappy valley’ for Mirabeau in the far more glamorous Cotes de Provence. Their Mirabeau Rosé is made by sustainable viticulture from Provence grapes of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. £8.99, Waitrose. See cute videos of the adventures here.
James and Catherine Kinglake’s Domaine Begude uses Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc grapes to create ‘Burgundian’ style whites in Limoux. The Domaine Begude Chardonnay is attractively fruity, softened by round, savoury texture. £7.58 pro rata bottle in case of 6 from Goedhuis.
Charles and Ruth Simpson bought Domaine de Sainte Rose in 2002. The Languedoc estate produces a range of confident wines. The 100% Roussanne is described as a ‘baby Beaucastel’. The Coquille d’Oc white blend including Viognier and Muscat is perfect with light suppers – Waitrose £7.49.
Robert Eden established Chateau Maris after cutting his winemaking teeth at a young age in Australia with the famous Len Evans. He fell in love with La Liviniere and was certified bio-dynamic in 1997. Chateau Maris Old Vine Grenache shows how gorgeous as a varietal it can be. Enquire at Slurp.
For more info on wines of the area, see Sud de France and Provence Wines.
(photo – Deirdre Boyer / Flickr Creative Commons)