I just saw off the last of my Cabernet Day friends. It’s been a real blast.
Seeing Local Winemakers
2010 was a really heartwarming Cabernet Day because it was one of the first events I organized to really get a great deal of support from local grape growers and winemakers. I was worried about 2011 because the slightly early harvest means a lot of winemakers are too busy to celebrate with us.
Some winemakers managed to send samples to be tasted in their absence. Notably, Gerard Bertrand sent a few bottles of his Cabernet Franc from Cigalus. That’s a big name in the region and I’m so excited that he decided to participate. And everybody enjoyed tasting the wine while watching high def video footage of the Corbieres vineyard from a helicopter! Bling bling. We’ve come a long way from #Cabernetday’s humble beginnings. ;D
I was also really pleased to see some winemakers tore themselves away from harvest to come in person. And they brought wines! Which is also very exciting because a lot of the growers around here are very shy and don’t like promoting their own wine. I’m very proud of them for coming out and braving a mostly anglophone audience to help share some of the Cabernet love.
Sharing with Anglophones
And it should be noted that this year was VERY English-speaking. Many English families retire to this region around Carcassonne, and I feel like they make up a really strong community that will enjoy a lot of local wines. Probably 90% of the attendees were speaking in English.
And I’ll add that almost everybody tonight was a wine novice, which is great. I was happy to have a very professional/wine trade crowd in 2010. But I’m even happier to share the joys of Cabernet with an amateur/novice crowd. People who just love life in the south of France and want to drink some good local wine.
We got to spend a lot of time sharing simple winemaker pleasures like “how to taste grapes for ripeness“. We all went out to the rows of Cabernet Sauvignon and tasted how the fruit was coming along. Chewed the skins and seeds separately. Talked about the importance of sugar and phenolics.
It was a lot of fun because we had a huge deal of neighborhood support. I’m getting too mushy, but it felt wonderful to have such a big block party here at O’Vineyards all around some Cabernet.
Lots of good friends!
2011″s Cab Day turned out very different from 2010 here in the Languedoc, so I’m anxious to hear everybody’s reports. I hope everybody has a piece of the magic we had here in the Languedoc Roussillon! Thanks again to Rick Bakas for organizing a wonderful Cab Day.
Cabernet Day is coming up on September 1, 2011 and O’Vineyards is going to be a French HQ for this International celebration of Cabernet grapes.
885 Ave de la Montagne Noire
De 18h-24h (pour synchroniser avec les États Unis)
Grignotage, Beaucoup de Vin. 😉
What is Cabernet Day?
It’s an International event that gets people around the world to talk about and taste Cabernet wines. People will be buzzing on all sorts of Internet forums and in the real world too. The whole thing is organized by Rick Bakas, an American wine promoter and social media guy.
At O’Vineyards, we’ll be having a big tasting at night. Hopefully lots of winemakers will show up with their own wines. And it’ll be just as much fun as last year’s event. We’ll be trying to put as much of the event as possible online. And we’ll be staying up late to synchronize with the Californians who can’t start drinking until our usual bedtimes here in France.
Why is Cabernet great?
I talked about this last year too. A lot of people criticize Cabernet, especially in the Languedoc. After all, it’s not a varietal that’s really from here. But I stick to my guns! Particularly in areas like the Cabardes and Malepere where we have a distinctly Atlantic influence on our climates. We get winter water reserves deep down in our clay soils and we get more surface area of leaves and we have fresher nights during the late summer. And all that means we can play with Cabernet to make some very interesting wines. They’re not mere imitations of Bordeaux or California. They’re unique and delicious expressions of a great grape varietal.
Furthermore, Cabernet has an important part in the contemporary Languedoc scene. In the 1970s, when nobody believed in the region’s wines, Aimé Guibert came and planted Cabernet in the Terrasses du Larzac. And since then, many have followed his example in the higher altitude terroirs of the Languedoc.
But do we need a Cabernet Day?
It’s not about needing a Cabernet Day. Cabernet Day is coming whether you like it or not. So my choice is to be a part of this fun excuse to party or to stand aside and “save my energy” for another cause.
Well, I’ve got lots of energy! And I love an excuse to party. 🙂
A lot of people are going to be thinking about Cabernet on September 1st. It’s my job to make them also think about the Languedoc. 🙂 Let’s not leave this beautiful opportunity to other more ambitious wine regions. Let’s show the world how much we love Cabernet.
When I first heard about Cabernet Day, my immediate reaction was to jump on board. And I kind of assumed that everybody would follow me unquestioningly… but there have been some questions, rightfully posed, as to why exactly I’m hosting a Cab Day event in the Languedoc. I want to take a moment to explain what Cabernet Day is and why I want lots of people to participate.
On September 2nd, a bunch of people around the world will drink Cabernet Sauvignon and talk about it online. A lot of the talking will happen in real life too at special events organized in wineries around the world. But a lot MORE of the talking will be happening online.
Some will blog, and even more will casually tweet with the hashtag #Cabernet. It’s called a tweetup (twitter meetup … I really hate web-related portmanteaus). And while I personally wanted to have a real-life party, the success of Cab Day will largely be measured by the participation on Twitter and the rest of the online chatter channels.
Cab Day is about celebrating the grape varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, a varietal that is so popular it seems like it doesn’t really need to have a party. So I guess that’s why some people are asking me “Do we need a Cab Day?” and “Why are we doing Cabernet?”
I’m gonna answer these questions in two parts. Part 1, since when do we have to attach moral imperatives to wine parties? Part 2, I need to communicate how awesome Languedoc Cabernet is.
Why people want crazy moral imperatives to party? – A lot of the people who are really into tweetups are also into promoting obscure varietals and communicating on more esoteric themes than Cabernet Sauvignon. I like talking about rare grape varietals too, which lets you communicate on themes like authenticity, local culture, history, etc. But I also realize that a mainstream subject can be just as interesting as an obscure one. And more mainstream topics can bring more people into the fold while very obsucre topics can sometimes alienate people who don’t feel “initiated”.
The interesting mainstream topic – The Languedoc is not known for it’s Cabernet Sauvignon. We’re a Mediterranean region and you can’t grow Cabernet just anywhere around here. So the few parts of the Languedoc that do make great Cabernet Sauvignon absolutely must communicate on that. So I’ll try to round up some Cabs from the Malpere, Cabardes, Aniane and so on. Cab Day is going to get a lot of people online who are interested in the grape varietal and we’ll be able to talk about how certain parts of the Languedoc make really great Cab. Sounds like a great opportunity!
And I hope other winemakers and Languedoc fans will take up the banner with me. Come visit on September 2nd or send your friends. We’re gonna drink great wine, have a blast, and it should be a lot of fun!
How to find us
Domaine O’Vineyards, located in the North Arrondissement of Carcassonne, is just minutes from the Carcassonne train station, the Medieval City, and the Carcassonne Airport.
GPS coordinates: 43.259622, 2.340387
Wine, Dine, Relax at our Boutique Vineyard
Unique thing to do in Carcassonne
Wine Cellar. Winery Visits. Wine Tasting.
Wine & Food Pairing
North Arrondissement of Carcassonne
885 Avenue de la Montagne Noire
11620 Villemoustaussou, France
Tel: +33(0) 630 189 910
Best by GPS.
Follow the signs to Mazamet/ Villemoustaussou using the D118. At the end of the last straight part of D118, you will come to a roundabout with the Dyneff gas station.
Take the exit towards Pennautier. Continue 500m to a small roundabout and go straight over.
Look out for the second road on your right, Avenue des Cévennes which curves up hill (about 1km) to Avenue de la Montagne Noire on the left.
At the last juction, bear left. the road sign “Ave de la Montagne Noire” (confusing as it seems to show a right turn)
After another 500m you will see our red brick color building in the middle of the vines.