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Harvest 2014 is coming to an end. We are very fortunate not to have been hit by any of the hail or severe thunderstorms that occurred during this growing season. Looks like another promising year!
Starting the days at 4:00 to get our grapes in at cooler temperatures.
Hard work! but of course the fun continued with our guests!
Delicious Food & fine Wine continued to be served during the long harvest weeks!
Don’t worry we had an extra help force….
- Ryan flew back from Napa for a short week …. and long days!
- George Gracia, Maitre Sommelier, came to help entertain our evening visitors!
This was without doubt one of the best experiences we’ve had on our honeymoon in France. Joe and Liz, the owners of O’Vineyards, are a fabulously welcoming, friendly, fun couple who made us feel completely at home the moment we arrived for our visit to their winery to be followed by lunch.
We had biked up from Carcassonne (about 35 mins if you take the D118 route) and arrived somewhat hot and bedraggled. Joe immediately offered us a large glass of ice cold water, swiftly followed by a glass of delicious white wine, as we cooled down in the surroundings of their beautiful home.
Joe then took us outside, where we enjoyed 360 degree views of the beautiful countryside and rolling vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see. He explained about the different grapes they grew, and the different cultivating and cropping techniques they used to get the best crop out of each type of grape.
We went then went into the sorting and fermentation room. Joe talked us through the entire process, from harvesting to sorting, fermenting, distilling, mixing and barrelling. We tasted generously sized samples of their reds straight from the tanks and barrels. (Joe later quipped that he couldn’t understand why French domains normally serve such small sample sizes – the one thing that they have in abundance as wineries is wine!)
This was then followed by a delicious lunch cooked by Liz, where the conversation and wine never stopped flowing. To start, we had a fresh salad with slightly curried eggs, local red spiced lamb sausages and home made pates. For the main we had perfectly cooked crispy whole legs of duck with artichokes and courgettes picked less than one hour ago from their garden, with the tastiest fried rice I’ve ever had (no grease, but packed with flavour) and a duck sauce with fresh herbs from the garden. We then had some excellent cheeses (including a brie that Liz had added walnuts to – yum) followed by chocolate brownies and vanilla ice cream.
Throughout the whole meal our glasses never went empty. We had a glass for both red and white, and we continued to try different wines throughout lunch. Our favourite was their Proprietors Reserve 2005, of which we bought 2 bottles.
Throughout lunch Joe and Liz kept calling their gardener, Michael, over for glasses of wine and to sample all the dishes – this seems absolutely in keeping with their characters, which are welcoming, inclusive, fun and caring. It was just like being with friends and family.
We had such a great time that we’ve booked to come back for their B&B getaway weekend – 2 night with meals and wine. We absolutely can’t wait to return.
Joe and Liz, thank you for such an amazing experience (especially when it was supposed to be your day off!) and pass on our thanks to Michael for making the garden look so lovely and produce all those yummy vegetables and herbs.
Can’t wait to see you again soon! Helen and Aaron xx
Honeymoon, Anniversary, Birthdays and Family reunions!
A great Celebration week at O’Vineyards
Jacques ordered a surprise birthday party for his wife Yolande!
With Jacques, his sister Dominique & her husband Georges, Yolande stepped in O’Vineyards empty grand room…..Her children and grand children rushed out of O’ kitchen, singing Happy Birthday Mamie Yolande!
Happy St Patrick’s Day to you all! How do you like our O’Chasan dressed in green and ready to go!
At O’Vineyards, St Patrick’s day will be celebrated ALL WEEK! ….. Good excuse to have more green … or white … O’Chasan! Cheers!
The 2014 Saint Vincent’s Parade
O’Vineyards O’SYRAH 2006 was blessed at the Blessing of the wine during the Prosper Montagné Association’s 2014 Saint Vincent’s Parade!
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!”
O’Vineyards main activity is making and selling wine. In a region where wine can be found in abundance, we are fortunate to be able to attract a high number of adventurous epicurean world travelers because of the good wine we serve generously to accommodate the fine food we provide.
Nothing is irrelevant to a wine enthusiast who likes to tour a winery/vineyard: the vines, the pruning, the harvesting, the winemaking process. We show our equipment and explain each step.
A thorough tour requires time and energy, and our international visitors evidently appreciate our efforts. And we thank them all. Cheers!
Tourism and Cinema in the heart of Aude
The Oenovideo film festival chose the Medieval Cite of Carcassonne and the Hotel de la Cite to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
The OenoVideo Festival was hosted by the Syndicat du Cru Minervois in the heart of it’s vineyards and in the walls of Carcassonne from 30 May to 2 June 2013. Oenovidéo found one of the best possible places to stage its international scope. For twenty years, Oenovidéo international showed that it is possible to unite the seventh art and wine.
It was four long days for the Grand Jury but the Minervois region treated the Jurors to many excursions hi-lighting the beauty of the Carcassonne area.
The Festival started by a meet and greet luncheon for the members of the jury at the restaurant Saskia. and that was only the beginning!
The gala was held at La Barbacane, the Hotel de la Cité Michelin starred restaurant located in the Midieval Cite of Carcassonne.
Œnovideo 2013 Grand Jury
Grand Jury Président
Christophe Barratier. Director – Writer – French Producer
Grand Jury Members
Fabrizio Bucella. Doctor of Science University of Brussels. Sommelier – Columnist
Corinne Destombes. Executive Producer – Studios Folimage
Pascal Frissant. Winemaker – Château Coupe-Roses
Daniel Hernandez. CNRS physicist. writer
Patrick Masbatin. Master Sommelier – film Buff
Bernard Nauer. Fiction and documentary filmmaker
Joe O’Connell. Vineyard owner-winemaker. Historian, University of Massachusetts. Domain O’Vineyards, Carcassonne
Marc Olivier. Journalist – Journalist – Honorary Director ANEV
awards from the Festival Grand Jury chaired by Christophe Barratier
- Grand Jury Special prize to the full length film :
Pelican's watch. Greece. Lea Binzer production.
- Best full length Film is awarded to two films:
Red Obsession Australia. David Roach et Warwick
À la poursuite de Mme Li France. Anne-Marie Avouac production.
- Best short film is awarded to :
Vendanges d'hiver France. Guilhem Connac production.
- Price for best picture goes to feature film :
Boom Varietal - The rise of Argentine Malbec USA. Sky Pinnick production
- Award for best screenplay and staging is presented in short film:
Le vin, culture universelle Spain. Jorge Mazo production
- Best Picture “Promotion” is given to the short film:
Do Rias Baixas - A year of wine. Spain. Ramses Rivera production
- Best film for professionals in feature film :
La vente en primeur des vins grands crus classés bordelais. France. Production Hervé Remaud, Mylène Jaillette, Christophe Villain.
- Special Mention of the Grand Jury for the feature film :
Like the old vine. Croatia. Milka Barisic procduction
A year in Burgundy. USA. David Kennard production.
Lafleur. Germany. Mathieu Charrière production.
- Landscape and Environment Prize awarded by Bayer CropScience :
Do Rias Baixas - A year of wine Spain. Ramses Rivera production
- Imaginarium Prize awarded by Imaginarium :
Le vin, culture universelle Spain. Jorge Mazo production
- Best work of general interest Prize awarded by ANEV :
UJVR, Union des jeunes viticulteurs récoltants France Florent et rémy Gaillard production
- Revue des Œnologues Prize awarded by la Revue des Œnologues :
Zucco, le vin du fils du Roi des Français Italy. Lidia Rizzo production
- Wine – Health – Pleasure of Life Prize awarded from VSPV :
No wine left behind USA. Kevin Gordon production