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Wine Tourism

First select the wine. Gerard Bertrand Wines define Southern France

© Dr. Elinor Garely, Editor in Chief, (a division of eTN Publishing)  Aug 14, 2016

It is very likely that your wine default is French and there is a high degree of certainty that the selected wine is from the Languedoc-Roussillon region as it produces more than one-third of the country’s wine, each year. The production from this region exceeds that of the entire United States. Starting with the Greeks, this is one of the oldest and most important wine regions in the world for viniculture and there are hundreds of thousands of acres of red and white grapes growing in this very favorable Mediterranean climate. The variety of wines available runs the gamut from still red and whites to dessert wines and creamants.

The consumption of French wines has declined. While half of adults were drinking wine on a daily basis in 1980, today, this number has dropped to 17 percent. To make matters even worse, 38 percent of the population of France has never consumed any wine.

Research suggests that wine consumption has declined because life has changed. Office workers need to stay awake and wine can encourage the desire for a nap. People drive everywhere and a few glasses of wine can impede safety. Many of the millennials do not start to develop an interest in wine until their mid-to-late 20s and wine is considered just another product! This group needs to be persuaded that a bottle of wine is worth their money.

People in their 40s and 50s perceive wine as an occasional indulgence. They are likely to drink less but spend more money per bottle. It is the 60 to 70-year-old consumers who grew up with wine at every meal and for this group, wine continues to be an important part of their patiirmoine (cultural heritage).

Curated Experiences

To bring the joy of wine to the world Gerard Bertrand is spreading his magical touch to the vineyards of southern France and the global market place, making delicious wines at value prices – with the mission to share his love of wines with the world.

A short time ago I had the good fortune to spend a few days experiencing the interesting and unique wines from the vineyards owned and directed by Gerard Bertrand in southern France. We visited wonderful restaurants, enjoyed sunny beaches and cold Mediterranean waters, listened to contemporary jazz and village marching bands, always surrounded by the Gerard Bertrand wines… perfectly illustrating that there is no place (at least in southern France), where a glass of his wine does not enhance the experience.

• Le Paparazzo. Pôle Nautique des Chalets, 11430 Gruissan, France

It was a beautiful evening on the Mediterranean coast. The sun was setting, dozens of restaurant guests were fresh from the beach and settling into what the French do exceptionally well, enjoy local wine and conversation. This urbane / casual sea/beach-side restaurant specializes in the very freshest of seafood enhanced by the delicious wines from the Girard Bertrand collection.

The Wines

1. Gris Blanc Rosé 2015. Grenache Noir and Grenache Gris.
Handpicked grapes from Roussillon region near Tautavel. Matured on the fine lees for weeks before bottling.

The palest of gossamer pink in the glass delights the eye, while hints of strawberry, watermelon and citrus deliver a delicious experience to the palate. The light acidity leads to a dried herbs and slight cherry end that enhances every bite of fresh seafood. Lively and fresh – it is perfect for watching the sun set on a Mediterranean beach.

2. Côte des Roses 2015. Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. The bottle’s base is in the shape of a rose and features a glass stop.

To the eye, pink with a tint of blue trending to hints of coral. The nose is delighted with a bouquet of summer fruits - strawberries, melons with a touch of orange, berries and raisins tied to notes of roses and hints of grapefruit. The finish is fresh with a brief moment of sweetness. (Love the wine and the bottle).

3. Royal Chardonnay 2015. 100 percent chardonnay from coastal vineyards. A green-skinned grape variety that makes white wine. Originated in Burgundy wine region. The taste is influenced by the terroir and oak.

To the nose, apples, cloves and oranges; to the palate – creamy with a hint of acidity; well – balanced and refreshing.

4. Kosmos 2014. Syrah 30 - percent, Grenache - 20 percent, Mourvedre - 10 percent, Cabernet Sauvignon - 10 percent, Merlot - 10 percent, Malbec - 10 and Marselan - 10 percent.

Eye appeal: Deep ruby-red color. The palate is pleased with an elegant and balanced cuvee that presents scent of red fruit. Intense finish.

• Chateau de La Soujeole (“Little Stream”). Sophisticated and Rustic. Malepere appellation, bordered on the west by Castelnaudary, on the east by Carcassonne and on the south by Limoux enveloped by a Mediterranean climate of oceanic humidity from the west.

Gerard Bertrand acquired the estate in 2012. He selected the property because of the terroir and climate that is favorable to Cabernet Franc, the grape that dominates the vineyard. The vineyard produces Cabernet Franc and Merlot from the Malepere soil (Molasse de Castelnaudary with alternating layers of sandstone, puddingstone and shale).

It is a very sunny day and the guests at the formal opening of the Chateau look as though they are waiting for the photographers from Town and Country Magazine to arrive. Nothing as pretentious as a display of Ralph Lauren Black Label, or a parade of Armani frocks, and yet the elegance is not diminished by the absence of labels, in fact, it was probably enhanced.

Thomas Jefferson Rosé 2015

To the eye, a lively Caribbean coral that brilliantly reflects the sunshine. The nose picks up the smell of strawberries and raspberries on a hot summer day. Delicate bubbles last through to the final drop in the glass. An outspoken but well-mannered wine that is rich in taste without being ostentatious. The name: President Jefferson recorded his love of this wine – the only sparkling wine located in his personal cellar.

Château la Soujeole Grand vin 2014

The wine presents as a deep claret red while the nose is delighted with delicious hints of mocha and cashews linked to ripe fruit, spices. Tight dynamic finish.

Domaine de l'Aigle Chardonnay 2015. 100 percent Chardonnay

The area of the Eagle is located in the picturesque village of Roquetaillade at the foot of the Pyrenees and is one of the highest vineyards in the upper Aude valley and the entire Languedoc area. Planted Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Chenin, the Domaine de l’Aigle produces wines noted for their freshness and minerality - a signature of the Languedoc Roussillon region.

Golden (with a wink to green) to the eye; to the nose hints of dried fruit (definitely apricot), honeysuckle and vanilla. Refreshing minerality with subtle tannins brings us to a delicious light finish.

Domaine de l'Aigle GewĂĽrztraminer 2015

The grapes are farmed Terra Vitis, ensuring traceability of cultural practices verified by an independent organization. The juice is extracted using gentle pneumatic pressing which guarantees quality musts. After settling, the alcoholic fermentation is introduced. The wine is aged on the lees and a percentage is placed in oak barrels.

To the eye – golden and trending to grass green; fresh, fruity and flirty, with a touch of spice (naughty but nice) - to the palate.

• Chateau l’Hospitalet… and all that JAZZ. It was a RED hot night. This is the opening event of the infamous JAZZ at L’Hospitalet. The star studded evening started with a lavish buffet in the gardens surrounding the 82-room hotel and was followed by a 90-minute concert featuring Selah Sue. The evening ended with another open bar of Gerard Bertrand wines and local jazz musicians, playing until sunrise.

Code Rouge. Blanc de Blanc: Chardonnay – 70 percent, Chenin – 20 percent, Mauzac -10 percent

The wines selected for the evening festivities revolved around a major contribution to the world of sparkling beverage, Code Rouge. Clever marketing has given this young, refreshing, delicious sparkling wine a wonderfully memorable name. It is easy to remember and the red bottle makes it easy to find on a wine shop shelf, no embarrassment (at all) when ordering it at a restaurant, and the superb packaging (with the Alpha and Omega symbolizing the endless circle of nature), actually adds elegance to a dining table. The wine pays homage to the world’s first sparkling wine made by the monks of Saint Hilaire Abbey near Limoux.

Soft and crystal-like to the eye, with light bubbles and the fragrance of peach, cherry and pear to the palate. A refreshing gentleness (without losing its identity) leads to a debonair and elegant taste experience that does not fade (or become boring) throughout the evening.

Chateau La Sauvageonne la Villa 2015. Grenache and Syrah

Acquired in 2011, Chateau la Sauvageonne is located north-west of Montpellier, near Saint Jean de Blaquiere and Causse du Larzac. The terroir is located on west – facing slopes and the soil consists of hard red slate – giving the wine volume and intensity with elegant tannins and a touch of minerality.

Palest of birthday party pink to the eye, that trends to coral. To the palate it is lively and fruity with a crispness from the suggestions of citrus (grapefruit?). Partial aging in the barrel adds texture and interest but does not diminish its innocence.

Cigalus Blanc 2015. Chardonnay, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc

Produced entirely with biodynamic fruit from the Cialus estate. First the sauvignon grapes are selected and then the chardonnay grapes are picked (when they have reached with full maturity) and the late-maturing Viognier is selected last.

Seventy percent of the juice is fermented in new French oak barrels, 30 percent is vinified in stainless steel. The wine is aged for approximately 8 months, with 70 percent in barrel with frequent stirring, batonnages, the remaining 30 percent isaged on it fine lees in stainless steel vats.

Gold and bright as sunlight to the eye while the nose is introduced to ripe grapefruit, white peaches, dried fruit and honey. Look for suggestions of vanilla, butter and toast, and a suggestion of pineapple on the palate.

Cigalus Rouge 2014

Deep reddish-brown to the eye, with an intense aromatic aroma that satisfies the nose; hints of licorice and truffles, combined with suggestions of spices and plums satisfies the palate along with rich and velvety tannins. Hints of blackberries, black ripe cherries and plums enhance the long finish.

Drink More GB Wines

Some may think that eliminating a glass or two of wine at lunch or dinner will save calories. In reality, one 6.4-ounce glass of white wine contains only 133 calories while a glass of red delivers 141 calories. In contrast, a glass of grape juice holds 131 calories. So – dropping wine from a meal is not going to be much help in weight loss.

Wine is a good beverage to consume. Health care professionals have acknowledged the nutritive properties in wine for thousands of years. There is historical evidence that finds that wine was in use as a pharmaceutical as early as 3,150 BC. Hippocrates prescribed it to lower fever, disinfect and dress wounds, as a diuretic and a nutritional supplement. A French doctor (1410 AD) wrote the earliest known printed book about wine. Most of the pathogens that threaten humans can be inhibited or killed off by the acids and alcohols in wine. Up until the 18th century wine was considered safer to drink than available tap water.

Wine is also a tranquilizer, reduces anxiety and tension, provides the body with energy, aids digestion, and adds small amounts of minerals and vitamins to a daily diet. Because it has a euphoric agent it is recommended for the convalescent and the aged.

With wine research supporting the reasons to increase daily wine consumption – now is the perfect time to contact your local wine merchant and order a case or two of the recommended Gerard Bertrand wines. Especially Code Rouge!

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First select the wine. Gerard Bertrand Wines define Southern France

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