Outsiders Multimedia Wine Tasting at Vinisud

Beautiful Evie and Handsome Nael

Nicole & Adam Russell, Victoria & David Green came with beautiful Baby Evie Green! 

Nicolas & Nadia Souchon came with handsome Baby Nael!

Victoria Green posted a review on FaceBook:

“We had a wonderful afternoon with our kind, thoughtful and generous hosts. Delicious, flavoursome wine and tasty food in their spacious and comfortable home/establishment. Highly recommended. When we left it felt as if we’d known them for years.”

Who said one can’t have fun at work?

Three fabulous days of the France Show at Earl’s Court. Thanks to the many friends who came to help promote O’Vineyards B&B – Food & Wine Experience, and our UK/US distributor Naked Wines. Without your help we never could have handled the massive number of visitors requesting info about O’Vineyards Food & Wine!

To top off the trip, a private Soirée was held at Michael & Fay Storie’s house in Kent with dinner cooked by Liz. Joe animated the whole gamut of O’Vineyards wines ordered from Naked Wines by Michael & Fay.

 

 

 

 

From TripAdvisor Senior Reviewer Grant Hughes who visited us with his wife Fiona. Thank you Grant!

“An unexpected surprise, but what a great evening!”

TripAvisor 5 of 5 stars. Reviewed July 22, 2013

“We are spending a few days near Carcasson in France and we got a little frustrated with driving into town, so we did a search of local places to eat……we found this just a mile or so from where we are staying and thought it was just a restaurant!!!
When we arrived we were greeted by a nice American chap(Joe) – our first surprise as when we called to book we spoke to a French lady (liz).
We were then introduced to the other 4 couples (surprise 2) and given a superb crisp white wine to try.
Then Joe gave us all a tour of his vines and his winery and told us all about how he makes his wonderful wines. More tastings ……. Moving on to some out of this world reds (OMG is a good name for it!).
Then we all sat down to a lovely meal (prepared by Liz, who had obviously spent hours in the kitchen and prepared all sorts of interesting and tasty things for us all to eat) the wine and the conversation flowed and we met a crowd of interesting and friendly people.
This was more like a dinner party for friends than a meal out and we had a fantastic time and, even though we are not particular wine buffs, we appreciated the very fine wines that our host gave us, which he obviously was very proud of and rightly so.
This family obviously love their work and have a passion for their art! If you like wine you should try all of them! You can buy them through Naked wines on the Internet . Look for ‘Domaine O’vineyards’
Then we sat on the terrace in the warm evening looking over the vineyards and ‘sampling’ more delicious wines with cheeses and a hand made desert! More conversation and laughter…….
We finally bade everyone goodbye at around midnight and back to the b+b.
The wines were so pure and unadulterated……. No hang over this morning (surprise no …. I lost count after about the third bottle!)
I thoroughly recommend this as a ‘ must do’ if you are in the area. One of the best holiday decisions we have ever made!
Thank you Joe and Liz for a wonderful dinner party, great wine, great company and great food!”

 

Saint Vincent Celebration in Carcassonne

“We do good with very good,” was the motto of Prosper Montagne, master French chef and culinary writer, recognized as one of the most celebrated talents of French cuisine.

Club Prosper Montagne is unique. It brings together all areas of Food and Drink: butchers, bakers, chefs, chocolatiers,  farmers, restaurateurs, caterers, winemakers,… all are committed to develop quality products.

The club radiates throughout France with presidents by region . Its scope of action never stops expanding. Internationally, delegations are also present in Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Japan, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Alphonse Caravaca, President of Prosper Montagné Carcassonne put together a great event, celebrating the Patron Saint of Grape growers & Winemakers with a delicious private 350 sold out Lunch.

On Saturday January 19th, festivities will start at 11:00 with Deputy Mayor of Carcassonne leading the parade. Participants will be guided through the streets of the Bastide St Louis to the Church of St. Vincent where will be held the blessing of the wine!
Truffles supplied by Philippe Barriere will be the hi-light of the Celebration. Lunch will be served by a young and talented caterer.

The five winemakers representing the Region are:
Joe O’Connell, O’Vineyards,
Raymond Julien, Chateau Mirausse,
Jean Louis Poudou,  Domaine de La Tour Boisée,
Domaine de l’Horte,
Antech Limoux.

Alphonse called a meeting to verify the final preparation…we drank and ate as much as we talked!

Unique O’Vineyards Experience, Rare Personal Service:

We started in 2005 with the intention of creating a wine experience that we often looked for and would like to experience ourselves. Our love for food and wine is something we felt many people love to share.

Located in Carcassonne, O’Vineyards is an easy week-end get away from the UK and many other European locations.

Meeting so many enthusiastic foodies and wine lovers, we now know we had the right idea. We are proud to have received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience.

Free O’Vineyards wines :

Make your own personal Gift Package for any occasion. Get £50 O’Vineyards wines free, delivered to your door, when you spend £300 or more.

Unique Gifts:

Offer an O’Vineyards Experience for as little as £22

  • Two hour Winery Visit & Wine tasting with hot hors d’oeuvres: £22 per person
  • Four hour Visit & Wine tasting with Lunch, wine included: £42 per person
  • A day of Winemaking and Cooking workshops with Joe and Liz,  including a five course dinner and lots of wines: £80 per person
  • A luxurious double room with large bed and views on the vines, full breakfast for two, all taxes included  £125 per night

Continuing testimonies from our visitors:

Posted  by Anthony and Sarah Nolan on TripAdvisor:

“I’m still smiling and cannot wait to go back!”

It was Wednesday… I think! My wife and I popped by to see if we could have a simple tasting & tour. We were on our honeymoon and are novices when it comes to wine, so as you can imagine a little apprehensive about being judged on what we liked and disliked. Then we met Joe, the winemaker! And as is his manner, he and his wife Liz made us feel so welcomed that we decided to come and stay on the Sunday.
Firstly, the wine… exceptional. The range was extensive enough to meet both the needs of my wife and myself. They’re grown with love and as organically as you can. I’ve fallen for the 2010 Stranger, Stranger and my wife loves the 2005 O’Syrah. Do try the others there’s many a good one.
Secondly, the accomodation was outstanding and better value for money than staying in Carcassonne.
Thirdly, the food. Liz, you are a genius. You ability to cater for vegetarians is exceptional. The best by a country mile. And I loved the duck and foi gras. I also like Joe’s scrambled eggs.
Number 4 on the list – Muse… I miss you. (it’s their dog!)
At number 5, you introduced Sarah & I to great people like Terri and Michelle from the States and Chris and Vicki from Wetherby, UK.
Finally, it’s about the people. Joe, Liz and Muse. They make you feel so welcome and…. they make wine!
Many thanks for making our honeymoon so special and memorable.”-Anthony & Sarah Nolan- Visited May 2012

Posted by Joe The Winemaker:

“Finnnnnnnnnnished! The 2102 harvest has finished fermentation and the pressing of the skins was completed Saturday 3rd of November!

When you grow grapes and make wine, you sometimes wonder whether the months of September and October exist. You start to clean and prepare for harvest in late August and the next thing you know; you are getting ready for Christmas!
During the harvest season, visitors are always amazed at how much happens on a daily basis.

Anyway we are extremely happy with the quality of our 2012 harvest and look forward to tasting with all our visitors!”

“C’était une très agréable visite pour nous, surtout parce que nous n’étions pas les seuls à nous amuser–eux aussi!”

(It was a very enjoyable visit for us, especially since we were not the only ones having fun, [the O’Connells] too!)

This morning, I had the idea to reread my TripAdvisor review from when I first visited O’Vineyards back in September 2010. I was not surprised to rediscover my first impression of this place–it hadn’t changed one bit. Since day one of my current stay, I have been telling myself the same thing every day: the O’Connells have way too much fun making wine. Their joy and passion is contagious, too.

So we would like to take this opportunity to send out a special thanks to all the guests who have kindly left a review on the “Domaine O’Vineyards” TripAdvisor site. We greatly appreciate your praise, compliments, feedback and striking photos of our vineyard (see below for a few of our guests’ own snapshots). Above all, it helps us keep all the memories alive too!

Whether you stayed at our Bed and Breakfast, dined with us at our Winemaker’s table, or simply popped in for a tasting, we’d love to keep in touch through the TripAdvisor site. Donnez-nous de vos nouvelles…Don’t be a stranger!

 

Photos de Domaine O'Vineyards, Villemoustaussou
Cette photo de Domaine O’Vineyards est fournie gracieusement par TripAdvisor

Photos de Domaine O'Vineyards, Villemoustaussou
Cette photo de Domaine O’Vineyards est fournie gracieusement par TripAdvisor

Photos de Domaine O'Vineyards, Villemoustaussou
Cette photo de Domaine O’Vineyards est fournie gracieusement par TripAdvisor

This is part of my guide to ViniSud 2012

Like all the great music and art festivals, Vinisud draws a lot of talent to the area where it’s held (Montpellier).  So every day, after the fair ends, the party is just beginning for other people.

The French refer to afterhours parties and tastings as “OFF’ events.  This is a run down of all the OFF events I’ve heard about so far.  Feel free to add your own in the comments section or email me if I’m missing some.

If you find this list helpful, consider tweeting about it or sending a link to your friends by email.

Events that require a reservation or paid entry are marked as such.  Note that virtually all of these events are meant for wine buffs.  Especially the ones that are invitation only.  You should probably only attend if you’re in the trade or press, or if you can demonstrate a pretty professional enthusiasm for wine.  The dinner events are probably more open to amateur visitors.  Don’t get mad at me! You know I don’t make the rules. :)

Sunday OFF Events

Le Vin de Mes Amis – 14h-19h – Domaine de Verchant 34170 Castelnau le Lez
RSVP to charlotte.senat@gmail.com
Cost 10€
Vin de Mes Amis blog
PDF of invitation vdm 2012 pdf
A huge list of very good wines.  A lot of the usual suspects from Changer l’Aude en Vin, but tons more to boot.  See page 2 of the Vin de Mes Amis PDF for details.  I heard that this might be at Trinque Fougasse O’Nord but the invitation says Domaine de Verchant. Look into it if you’re interested!

Haut les Vins! – 10h-20h – Chateau de Flaugergues (in Montpellier)
official website
list of participants
A large group of winemakers from all around France, and a couple from Portugal, Spain and even Serbia.  This gang will be doing their tasting at a Domaine that is actually located within Montpellier’s city limits.  My buddy Benoit will be pouring his zero dosage Champagne and lots of other good winemakers are in attendance.  It’s open all Sunday so if you get to Montpellier early, this is a great way to ease into ViniSud.  But don’t party too hard as you have three days of salon ahead of you!

ViniFilles – 18h30 – Jam 100 rue Ferdinand de Lesseps 34000Montpellier
invitation required
contact presse@vinifilles.fr
This group of Languedoc Roussillon winemaking women are having a rock show and tasting at the Jam.  There’s a buffet and ample wine.  The bands playing are Les Gazelles de Bruxelles and La Mal Coiffée.  But there is a guestlist so you have to contact them if you want to get in.

Chateauneuf du Pape, Tavel & Rasteau – 19h – Chateau de la Banquiere Vauguieres le Haut 34130 Maugio
dinner & music
invitation only
contact: soiree.crus@hotmail.fr
The AOCs Chateauneuf du Pape, Tavel & Rasteau are organizing a nice dinner with music and winemakers from the three appellations presenting their wines around a buffet dinner.

Monday OFF Events

G-Night, Occupy Grenache – 19h-2h – location not yet announced (underground ;D)
PDF of invitation G-Night Invite Vinisud 2012
Facebook event page
A night devoted to Grenache.  Run by the same people who organized the Grenache Symposium at La Verriere.  Should be fun.  The location is still a surprise so I expect they’ve got something fun in store to reveal it closer to the date.

Le Vin de Mes Amis – 10h-19h – Domaine de Verchant 34170 Castelnau le Lez
RSVP to charlotte.senat@gmail.com
Cost 10€
Vin de Mes Amis blog
PDF of invitation vdm 2012 pdf
Les amis this time around are Jean Yves Bordier with butter and cheeses from Saint-Malo, Irene et Julienne Daniaux with glass art, and Antony Cointre a roving chef.  And a huge list of very good wines.  A lot of the usual suspects from Changer l’Aude en Vin, but tons more to boot.  See page 2 of the Vin de Mes Amis PDF for details.

Haut les Vins! – 10h-18h – Chateau de Flaugergues, Montpellier
official website
list of participants
If you’re not in town on Sunday, they’re doing it all over on Monday.

Contains Sulfites…Mais Pas Trop! – 18h – Le Ban des Gourmands, Place Carnot, Montpellier
Official blog
RSVP required on the official blog
This hilariously named group of reasoned winemakers are doing an event on Monday night at a restaurant. It might be a sit down dinner… the invitation just bills it as an Intergalactic journey. :D  Reservations should be made before the 10th so hurry up!

Mas de l’Ecriture – 18h-20h30 – Chez Boris (brasserie)
invitation only, for wine trade and press
contact: louisehurren@wanadoo.fr
A 12 year vertical of Mas de l’Ecriture. Pretty stunning opportunity, but very limited space in the venue.

Tuesday OFF Events

Mardi Gras des Gaillardises – 11h-20h – Aeroport Hotel Maugio/Montpellier
blog post about the event
facebook page
25 winemakers will present their wines at the Aeroport Hotel which is easy to get to by using the regular airport shuttles from the Parc des Expositions.  There are some really top notch producers from all over France.  And of particular interest to my blog readers, there are a couple of Internet superstars including my mom from O’Vineyards, Iris Rutz-Rudel from Domaine Lisson, Isabelle Perraud from Cotes de la Moliere, Amy Lillard from La Gramiere, and Lilian Bauchet from Les Bachelards.   So if you’ve been reading our blogs and wondering if the wine is as good as the words, here is your chance.  Full list of vignerons available in the link above; you’ll see there are some heavy hitters.

Mas de l’Ecriture – 18h-20h30 – Chez Boris (bistrot)
invitation only, for wine trade and press
contact: louisehurren@wanadoo.fr
A 12 year vertical of Mas de l’Ecriture.  Note the venue changes from the similarly named Chez Boris Brasserie to Chez Boris Bistrot.  But still limited space.

So OFF that they’re ON

There are a few events that are structured like OFFs or have the spirit of an OFF, but they’re actually going to take place within the walls of ViniSud.

The Outsiders will be teaching you new ways to communicate about wines.

on Monday afternoon at 16h @ the Pavilion 2.0
and
on Tuesday morning at 10h @ the Pavilion 2.0


This is part of my guide to ViniSud 2012

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
and
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. :)

How to find us

Domaine O’Vineyards is just a few kilometres north of Carcassonne. GPS coordinates: 43.259622, 2.340387

Domaine O’Vineyards
885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire
11620 Villemoustaussou, France
Tel: +33(0) 630 189 910

  1. Follow the signs to Mazamet/ Villemoustaussou until the D118 (the last straight road) and the Dyneff gas station on the roundabout.
  2. Take the exit towards Pennautier. Continue 500m to a small roundabout and go straight over.
  3. Look out for the second road on your right, Avenue des Cévennes which goes up hill (about 1km) to Avenue de la Montagne Noire.
  4. At the last juction, bear left at the road sign “Ave de la Montagne Noire” (confusing as it seems to show a right turn)
  5. After another 500m you will see our red brick color building in the middle of the vines.