Tatler Philippines

A Taste of Freedom

At the heart of Langue­doc, Do­maine Gayda pro­duces or­ganic, un­re­stricted wines that give re­spect to its ter­roir

- BY FRANZ SORILLA IV

Nour­ished by the Mediter­ranean sun, the Langue­doc re­gion in the south­ern­most part of France pro­duces some of the finest wines in the world. Blessed with ideal cli­mate con­di­tions for grow­ing grapes as well as the Tra­mon­tane wind that is ben­e­fi­cial for the health of the vines, its soil varies greatly de­pend­ing on lo­ca­tion, which gives each win­ery dis­tinct char­ac­ter­is­tics.

In the foothills of the Pyrénées, in the vil­lage of Bru­gairolles, lies the cen­turies-old es­tate of Do­maine Gayda. It uses the ele­ments of the re­gion as well as hedge plant­ing and wild­ing (grow­ing other plants and trees in its un­used lands) to bring back a bal­anced ecosys­tem es­sen­tial for sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion. Mean­while, nat­u­ral compost from bovine waste en­riches the soils. With the rich­ness of the re­gion’s ter­roir—not to men­tion the ut­most care to pre­serve the struc­ture of the soils and qual­ity of the vines—the famed win­ery’s prod­ucts ex­em­plify the best of wine­mak­ing with min­i­mal in­ter­ven­tion in the vini­fi­ca­tion process.

“We are a small, pas­sion­ate team fo­cused on qual­ity, achiev­ing goals that we set high enough to chal­lenge us in all we do,” said wine­maker Vin­cent Chansault. The trio of Chansault and co-own­ers Trim Ford and Anthony Record ac­quired the es­tate in 2004 and since then have created wines steeped in tra­di­tion and tech­nol­ogy. The win­ery con­tin­ues to em­ploy new tech­niques such as the use of egg fer­menters and oak foudres (large wooden vats), as well as the lat­est avail­able tech­nol­ogy for blend­ing. “We de­velop, in­no­vate, and move for­ward with our cu­ri­ous minds to cre­ate our distinctiv­e range of qual­ity wines,” he added.

In its quest to­wards or­ganic viticultur­e driven by its re­spect for the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, Do­maine Gayda takes

pride in its wines with “prove­nance” and out­stand­ing qual­ity—true rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Langue­doc-Rous­sil­lon’s re­gional spe­cial­i­ties.

As a fully or­ganic vine­yard un­fet­tered by the strict laws gov­ern­ing the re­gion, Do­maine Gayda takes pride in its Fig­ure Li­bre (freestyle) range, which are wines pro­duced with­out any re­stric­tions of the Langue­doc AOC/AOP ap­pel­la­tion. The es­tate in­fused its cu­vées (a french wine term in­di­cat­ing the batches that come in vats) with grapes orig­i­nat­ing from the Loire Val­ley, par­tic­u­larly Chenin Blanc and Caber­net Franc. With the own­ers’ faith in Langue­doc’s sand­stone ter­roir and the wine­maker’s ex­per­tise in Loire Val­ley grapes, the Fig­ure Li­bre has proven a suc­cess. Com­bin­ing the sub­tlety of the Loire and the bold­ness of Langue­doc, Chansault brought to the ta­ble Do­maine Gayda’s very own Vin de Pays d’Oc, com­posed of non­con­formist sin­gle va­ri­etals.

“When we trav­elled to Bru­gairolles from Cape Town, South Africa in 2003, we were struck by the in­flu­ence of the At­lantic on the vine­yards and its Mediter­ranean cli­mate,” Chansault re­counted. “We were start­ing with a blank can­vas, and so we de­cided to plant the north­ern grape va­ri­eties Chenin Blanc and Caber­net Franc around the es­tate.”

Chenin Blanc is golden, with re­flec­tions of green. It is flo­ral and cit­rusy in the nose, and boasts great com­plex­ity, fresh­ness, and min­er­al­ity. It is well-bal­anced in the mouth, its fruiti­ness en­hanced by its round­ness and length. It has a pleas­ant and fresh fin­ish, mak­ing it an ideal com­pan­ion for veg­etable dishes and sal­ads. Its oak­i­ness and slight but­tery un­der­tone also makes it a good pair­ing for rich fish and cream-based chicken main dishes.

Caber­net Franc is opaque, and per­fumed with fra­grant black cherry, cas­sis, and spice. It is full-bod­ied and in­tense, with count­less lay­ers of flavour in­clud­ing black­cur­rant, cedar, and graphite. On the palate, it is dense, and fruity, bound by a struc­ture of fine-grained tan­nins and a lively acid­ity. This wine shows great depth and char­ac­ter re­fined by a long, el­e­gant fin­ish. It pairs well with grilled steaks and chops, and also with chicken, white fish, and quiche, if it is medium-bod­ied.

Do­maine Gayda also makes a mark with its other im­pres­sive wine ranges that are rich in his­tory and an

“We de­velop, in­no­vate, and move for­ward with our cu­ri­ous minds to cre­ate our distinctiv­e range of qual­ity wines”

in­no­va­tive spirit, such as Villa Mon Rêve, Sélec­tion Par­cel­laire, Chemin de Moscou, En Pas­sant, La Min­uette, Fly­ing Solo, T’air D’Oc, and Cé­page, all en­cap­su­lat­ing the true spirit of Langue­doc. For oenophiles who are in­ter­ested in vis­it­ing its lush vine­yards, Do­maine Gayda has a pres­ti­gious res­i­dence set amongst its vines which con­sists of four cot­tages that can ac­com­mo­date up to 16 guests. The restau­rant Mai­son Gayda and its ter­race make for an ex­cep­tional en­vi­ron­ment ifor dis­cov­er­ing the re­gion’s food and wines. A mem­o­rable din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence fea­tur­ing the re­gion’s best pro­duce awaits guests ev­ery lunch and din­ner from Wed­nes­day to Sun­day.

With its “Freestyle” wines, Do­maine Gayda favours freedom of choice, “re­flect­ing a de­sire to think out­side the box and bring to­gether grape va­ri­eties that would oth­er­wise never have met in the same bot­tle,” Chansault said.

Wines fea­tured are avail­able at Bac­chus Épicerie

 ??  ?? The di­ver­sity of Langue­doc’s ter­roirs adds distinctiv­e char­ac­ters to each of Do­maine Gayda’s wines
The di­ver­sity of Langue­doc’s ter­roirs adds distinctiv­e char­ac­ters to each of Do­maine Gayda’s wines
 ??  ?? Built in 1749, Do­maine Gayda used to be a stag­ing post for trav­ellers
Built in 1749, Do­maine Gayda used to be a stag­ing post for trav­ellers
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? ( From top) The es­tate; Own­ers Tim Ford and Anthony Record with the wine­maker Vin­cent Chansault ( in the mid­dle); ( in­set) Bar­rel aged wines are ma­tured in French oaks for
9 to 24 months
( From top) The es­tate; Own­ers Tim Ford and Anthony Record with the wine­maker Vin­cent Chansault ( in the mid­dle); ( in­set) Bar­rel aged wines are ma­tured in French oaks for 9 to 24 months
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines