The 2012 edition of Vinisud includes a space devoted to the web called Pavilion 2.0
I’ll be spending a lot of time there. Additionally, I’ll be doing a presentation with some of my buddies from the Outsiders
on Monday afternoon at 16h
on Tuesday morning at 10h.
Each presentation will consist of a 10 minute talk about new opportunities in wine communication afforded by the Internet, followed by a tasting workshop where we’ll encourage people to talk about our wine with images instead of words.
Facebook event page
Invitation to the event
It should be a lot of fun. It’s a focused, high-energy event. Each producer is bringing just one wine to be tasted so it’s a small sampler platter of the Outsiders that will hopefully inspire you to visit the stand of your favorite producers. And we might revolutionize the way you think about wine writing while we’re at it.
The Languedoc Outsiders, a valiant team of men and women from all walks of life who have taken up the mantle of winemaking, work together to defend common values like truth, justice and the American way delicious wine, good company, and the French way!
This issue promises to reveal the secret origins of Ryan.Com, the geeky kid turned winemaking prodigy. As well as his parents Joe Builder and the Liztener, a couple of dedicated builders who were hit with a super dose of the radioactive element Wine-onium.
And many many more!
You should really come and taste the wines of the Languedoc Outsiders. I think it’s a great group with a very different range of wines. This is not the kind of group tasting where everybody has the same attitude or rhetoric. I vehemently disagree with lots of the group members about lots of different issues of import. And that’s what makes it amazing. We’re all clearly passionate about winemaking or we wouldn’t have abandoned our old lives. But our passion has taken on eleven totally different forms and given way to dozens of really special wines.
Come decide for yourself. January 24th from 18h00 to 21h00 @ Chez Boris which is in the pedestrian centreville of Montpellier.
RSVP on Facebook and join the Outsiders bandwagon.
PS – writing in the comic book tone really makes me want to work on my comic book about the winemaker who can smell the future. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME IN THE DAY.
“Même si on est un peu Américain en cave, on est très Français dans la vigne.”
While I was in London for the Languedoc Outsiders Tasting, I got interviewed by Marie Lahetjuzan with French Radio London. It was a very fun interview at the end of a long day of tasting and you all know how I can get chatty (especially in front of a charming girl). So they did a marvelous job of editing me down to fit into the time slot of her chronique on gastronomie, “A Table”.
If you understand French, then you can enjoy this mp3 of me stumbling through the interview that aired a couple times last week.
A Table avec Ryan O’Connell – source file
The O’Vineyards UK tour was a blast. Thanks to everybody who participated, organized, drank, or just wished they could be there.
There were two parts:
- The Languedoc Outsiders (scroll down for press coverage and reviews)
- Naked Wine Villages (click for a full post about the UK Villages Tour with amateur reviews)
- French Radio London interview
For now I’ll talk about the Languedoc Outsiders. Updates on the Naked Wine Villages Tour will come later.
The Languedoc Outsiders tasting took place at the Maison du Languedoc Roussillon on Cavendish Square where Louise Hurren united 12 winemakers from all walks of life who have come to the Languedoc Roussillon to make wine with a different perspective. The event went very well with something like 70 tasters over the course of the day. They were all engaged, enthusiastic and appreciative. And when I ran around at the end of the day to taste the wines myself, I understood why everybody had so much fun. Killer wines. Very happy with the whole event. Can’t wait for a version in the Languedoc!
Here is some of the press coverage O’Vineyards received from the Outsiders event so far:
“Each producer has its own interesting story to tell about how they came to the south of France — and having them all under one roof proved an inspirational way to demonstrate that good winemaking is an achievable feat for anyone, anywhere and at any time in their lives.”
“O’Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve: A blend of Old World and Californian styles, it has a nose of damson and deep-red fruits, with a hint of orange and cloves. The palate is juicy and dry, well-balanced with good length and a bright future. O’Vineyards wine is made by 20-something American Ryan O’Connell who came to Carcassonne in 2005 and is founder of blogging site love-that-languedoc.com”
–Harpers, Carol Emmas
“Ryan O’Connell, his American father Joe and French/Vietnamese mother Liz arrived France in 2005, having traded the family business building luxury homes in Florida for a more rural existence making wine in the Cabardès region. Ryan is full of infectious enthusiasm and, as well as making some very good wines, works tirelessly in promoting the wines of southern France as a whole. His favourite toy is his flip video camera, which he uses to good effect, creating an ever-increasing number of informative and enthusiastic (and occasionally very funny) short videos, featuring visits to different growers the length and breadth of Languedoc and Roussillon, which he posts regularly on his Love That Languedoc blog. In fact, Ryan leaves no stone un-turned in using the power of the Internet to get the message across about the joys of wine as a whole, and about Languedoc and Roussillon in particular. Long may he keep blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting and generally bigging-up his adopted region!”
O’Vineyards O’Syrah 2005 Vin de Pays de La Cité de Carcassone
100% Syrah. Cassis, plums and bramble, beef and spice aromas – lots of fruit, but savoury too, with notes of garrigue herbs. The palate is rich and very spicy, but the Syrah character still comes through, and it is surprisingly elegant, for such a big wine. At 5 years old, it is good to drink, but there is absolutely no hurry.
O’Vineyards Trah Lah Lah 2005 Vin de Pays de La Cité de Carcassone
65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, dark colour, with a tiny rim. Again, a savoury, meaty nose, like a fruity gravy, with hints of new leather. The palate is rich with sweet fruit, still quite tannic, but with good underlying acidity. The finish is bitter-sweet. Another keeper. For me, not quite as enjoyable as the Syrah, but a good wine nonetheless.
O’Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve 2005 Cabardès
Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. There’s oak, but it is nicely integrated, with plenty of rich cassis and plum fruit, leather, polished wood and spice. The palate is loaded with rich, sweet fruit flavours, but with excellent balancing acidity, something akin to a new world Claret blend. In fact, if I somebody told me it was from California, I might believe them – and that would be no mean compliment. Very nice wine!
I like the way Ryan and his father are pushing the boundaries in the somewhat unfashionable (by which I mean relatively unknown) region of Cabardès, immersing themselves totally in the French culture, whilst bringing fresh ideas and new world innovation to the winemaking process. They deserve to succeed.
Brett the Wine Maestro:
Ryan O’Connell, the cheeky chappy, together with his parents, Joe (American) and Liz (French Vietnamese) moved from Florida in 2005 to set up the O’Vineyards in Cabardes, within view of Carcassonne. They now produce a range of five robust, rich red wines made with Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ryan is a great ambassador for the Languedoc, the Outsiders and la joie de vivre.
–Brett the Wine Maestro
O’Vineyards must be as well known for Ryan O’Connell and his extrovert Languedoc wine videos as it is for wine. Being near Carcassonne the Mediterranean influence is relatively feeble which is why Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are more suited. One word that summarises the three 2005s, their first full vintage, is oomph – but these wines are certainly not out of control and are not trying to be Bordeaux. O’Syrah 2005 is nice and chewy and I got pine, mint and dried plums. Trah Lah Lah 2005 (Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) had spice and plenty of classic Merlot fruit cake and plum. Proprietor’s Reserve 2005 (Syrah with Merlot and Cabernet) combines the elements of the first two but racks up the fruit concentration while keeping everything in balance – it will go on for years.
–Graham Tiggs, Languedoc Wine
Juliet Bruce Jones:
Passion is an overused word when it comes to wine but it’s difficult to see what else could justify giving up a well-paid desk job to scrape by making wine in rural France. Any romantic dreams vanish after weeks of pruning in January’s biting winds. So they have made a conscious decision to move country and careers, as opposed to inheriting a domaine. Starting from scratch means having to learn quickly, not be afraid to ask lots of questions and to ask for advice. And just, well, give it a go.
–Juliet Bruce Jones, MW
Attending the tasting of the “Outsiders”, a group of Languedoc-Roussillon producers, in London this week made me think about what might have been. They’ve all done what I briefly considered, investing in vineyard and winery projects in the south of France, in many cases giving up successful careers to do so. The dozen members come from the UK, Ireland, Holland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Sweden, the USA and Bordeaux. If the last location sounds less exotic, it shouldn’t do. To most Bordelais, the Languedoc might as well be Tahiti.
–Tim Atkin, MW
Early Bird Wine
Along with F.O. shoes and F.O. money, there is F.O. wine.
–Early Bird Wine News
The Mediterranean south is France’s biggest vineyard area, and one of the country’s most exciting wine-producing regions. So much so that over the past couple of decades folk from all over the world have been relocating to the south and following their vinous dreams, a move that invariably involves a change of career, from teaching, the law, advertising, finance, sales and marketing etc.
At a tasting this month in London a number of these so-monikered, (for the purposes of creative PR, one imagines), ‘Languedoc Outsiders’ presented some of their wines.
–Sally Easton, MW