The Bogtrotter

Visit a vineyard and taste the terroir

by on Apr.07, 2009, under France, French Experiences

Visiting a vineyard can be seen as little more than an excuse to drink a few glasses of wine. But lets be honest – who needs an excuse? The real reason for visiting a vineyard is to try to find out more about the wines and what makes every wine so distinctive.

Vineyard near St Christol

Vineyard near St Christol


Good old Oz Clarke (now theres a job I want – paid to drink wine all day and talk about it) always talks about the terroir – the relationship between the wine and the land on which it is grown. It is this mix of soil and micro-climate which makes each wine unique.

Whether it’s a famous chateau or a small vineyard most will happily open their doors to visitors to let you “discover” their wines. When I’m in France I love disappearing into the back of beyond and stumbling across a small vineyard to drop into. One of my favourites is the Chateau des Hospitaliers jsut outside St Christol in the Herault region. The Martin-Pierrat family that owns it are always welcoming, the wines are excellent and the free tasting lasts as long as you wish. Needless to say I have now discovered the Chateau several times! If you do visit yourself then don’t miss their “green wall” – the plants growing on a specially constructed frame up the walls of the inner courtyard.

If you like wine then you should consider it your moral duty to get out and visit a vineyard. So go on – you don’t need an excuse.

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