O'Vineyards wines hilighted

Friends of O’Vineyards step up:

When an unexpected problem prevented us from attending several scheduled UK tastings, we were bailed out by our very understanding friends.

Michael and Fay Storie organized a successful O’Vineyards party where they introduced a variety of O’ wines to thirty plus of their friends. I had plan to cook a “Liz’s duck casserole” and judging by the pictures, Fay covered for me admirably.

Kevin and Frankie Jacklin replaced Joe at their wine tasting club and presented a four year Vertical Tasting of our O’Syrah!

Rob and Chris Traynor, John and Lucy Clark, both held their dinners featuring O’Vineyards wines including the Proprietor’s Reserve.

Thank you to all! We are very fortunate to have friends like you ! You are our best  Ambassadors!

O’Vineyards Proprietor’s Reserve 2006 was delivered in the UK recently and the reviews are pouring in as quickly as the wine is being poured into glasses!

Try a bottle

Everybody orders in increments of six bottles.  Even though this is a wine they know can sit for a long time in their cellar, it’s only human to want to taste one straight away and evaluate for themselves how it will age and when would be the best time to open the other five!

So right away, we have a lot of people trying a bottle.

Posted by Stephen Engel on 19:13 28/08/2011

Comment on: Domaine O’Vineyards Proprietors Reserve 2006

Just sampled my new delivery of Propritor’s Reserve 2006 Cabardes. Wow! What a beautiful wine, gentle on the palate but full bodied. Tres bien Domain O’Vineyards!!

 How to cellar a wine

Once you discover the wine is good, it’s very hard to resist the temptation of drinking them all young on the fruit flavors!  One customer suggested her perfect solution: buy 2 cases ;D

Posted by Julie Boulton on 16:17 25/08/2011

Comment on: Domaine O’Vineyards Proprietors Reserve 2006

The characteristics of this wine make it go well with a wide range of foods. We tried it with tapas and each dish brought out different undertones. A real medley of tastes! I’d highly recommend trying it this way, but do include some spicy meats, chicken and cheese dishes. Wonderful and very smooth.

Agree it’s too powerful to drink on its own.
A very special wine to be savoured with every mouthful…

I’ve put 6 bottles aside, so there are 5 on my rack to indulge in whenever the urge takes us… now you’re thinking I’ve been a bit greedy buying 2 cases, but I’m very glad I did (at Market Place prices)! Well done Ryan and Joe… a votre sante!

 Dealing with Negative Feedback

I should confess that one person has given us a negative review on the wine.  It’s really great how Naked Wines puts me in direct contact with my wine drinkers, and this comment is a perfect example.  The man says he’s disappointed and “Delivery was left in porch foe some days” [sic]   A-ha!  I think that’s a good guess, and I recommend the best way to get his money back.  Crisis averted.

In the wine world, there is such a long chain of custody between vineyard and your cellar, there are a million things that can go wrong.  If he hadn’t offered this information, I’d be left scratching my head wondering how anybody could describe this wine as lacking oomph.  If anything, the major criticism of the O’Vineyards Reserve is too much oomph!  ;D  So here, the comment system allows me to discover what went wrong and offer the best course to rectify the problem.  All businesses should be so lucky!

Inspired by some of my favorite musicians who often favored rural village tours over big city stages, we hit the road in rural England.  And I think it was a huge success. Our UK Villages Tour was short but awesome. It’s definitely a concept I want to pursue further!

What is the UK Villages Tour?

We used my importer’s website to find people that were organizing rural wine tastings in the UK, and I offered to show up in person.  This year was a quick trial run, and it went really well.  We spotted two tastings happening the same week in Oxfordshire and Cumbria and all I had to do was hop over on a RyanAir flight from Carcassonne to Stanstead.

These were tastings where the organizers had pooled money from the group and bought a large quantity of wine from Naked Wines already.  Compare that to other tastings where it is often up to the winemaker to furnish the wine, the structure, the organization, etc.   On the Villages Tour, people are already paying for wine and they are really appreciative that you’re coming, so they put up room and board and travel.

How did it go?

It went very very well.  But don’t take my word for it.

Here is photographic evidence:

Phil Hardy’s photo album of the Windemere trip.

Here are some reviews posted on Naked Wines’ site:

“Thanks for organizing such a good evening on Wednesday – he’s quite a character! I thought the wines were, overall, the best selection we have enjoyed at any of the Club’s meetings. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.”

“Last Wednesday’s club meeting was absolutely wonderful and Ryan was a very informative speaker. I learnt a lot more about wine making and had a very enjoyable evening. The wines were excellent, and not one that I was displeased with. Thank you for organizing it and a thank you to Ryan.”

“It was a great night! Ryan was not only knowledgeable and passionate, but very engaging and not too heavy for a Wednesday evening. His humour and humorous approach to his tasting notes and his anecdotal style were an ideal combination. Some of the wines too are definitely worth a bottle or several”

“Please can I adopt him!”

Read more about the Upton Village tasting on their very own blog.

One of my favorite reviews came from a customer who wasn’t totally converted on our wines.  You have to realize I’m one of the most expensive wines on Naked, and people really need a good reason to spend an extra 3 or 5 quid on a bottle of wine.  It has to be really special.  Well, one of the Angels had tasted our wine on its own and he only liked it as much as his other favorites on the site (which are less costly).  But our tasting on Lake Windemere allowed him to taste some of his favorites side by side with my wines.  And he had one of those aha moments!  There’s something to those O’Vineyards wines that makes them just a little different than the new world fruit bombs.  There’s something to it!  Hard to pinpoint!  Well, it was a very nice comment.

Why only 2 stops?

Because that’s all that we found.  I tried to do a thing near Edinburgh but it didn’t work out.  Most likely because it wasn’t a Naked Wines customer and thus much harder to communicate and motivate.   The Angels at Naked Wines are the best.  I hope next year we can line up 3 or 4 village tastings.  Make it a more legit tour.  If you think you can get some people together for a wine tasting next year, let me know!  I’d love to explore more of rural England.

Will I do it again?

Yes.  On the one hand, I had a lot of fun.  Lake Windemere was gorgeous.  A geology that, in some ways, reminds me of the south of France.  But with a lot more grass and sheep.  Presumably, way more rain too, but we had considerably sunny days.   The beer was also delicious.  Great pubs.  Cool experience.  Good company.  Upton, the village in Oxfordshire, was also beautiful and the group of 40+ people at the village tasting had a lot of fun going through my wines and a couple wines from Benjamin Darnault.  I also got to spend a day in Oxford, checked out some of the sights and popped into the Ashmolean.  A big thanks to Ivy and Doug for being such wonderful hosts in the Lake District.  And a big thanks to my hosts and chauffeurs, Frankie and Kevin Jacklin, who made the whole trip a delight.  So I would absolutely do this again because it was a lot of fun.

It also doesn’t hurt to mention the spike in sales on Naked Wines.  Naked ran a promotion on a mixed case of my wines right before I came to the UK, selling 50 cases of 6 bottles at a discounted rate.  And on top of those 300 bottles, Naked sold another 1600£ of my wines at full price this month.  They have some pretty intense cashback offers, so it’s hard to pin down an exact number of pounds that changed hands, but the point is that this vacation of mine was very interesting financially.  And my Reserve which comes in at a whopping 30.99£ on the site is rated a 4.8/5   That’s a big deal for this customer base that is VERY value-conscious and very demanding at higher prices.

There’s also talk of the Upton Village Club taking a big trip to my vineyard one day!  That could be a lot of fun too!

This is the second part of a series on O’Vineyards wine tastings we held in the UK this year. You can read about the first part in my post about the Languedoc Outsiders Tasting in London.

I just got an email from Rowan Gormley: “you’re on!“.

Residents of the United Kingdom can find mixed cases of Domaine O’Vineyards wine online at Naked Wines.  The mixed case will be a perfect introduction the wide range of big, bold red wines we make.  We try to balance that new world compulsion to make extracted, flavorful wines with an old world tendency toward seriousness and restraint.  The result is O’Vineyards and I hope you’ll love it.

Only one way to find out. You have to order our wines online.

naked screenshot

We work in the vines all year to make the very best wine possible.  And it’s such a pleasure to find an importer like Naked who is willing to cut back their margins and offer a real deal for the first release across the UK.

But there are only a few hundred cases left!   They just put it up this evening and people are already buying dozens of bottles at a time.  So hopefully you read my blog frequetly enough to catch this deal.  Otherwise, you might miss out.

The mixed case has 2 O’Syrah, 2 Trah Lah Lah, 1 Les Americains, and 1 Proprietor’s Reserve.  But find out all the details by clicking the link at the top of this post!

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

  1. 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.
  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 curves up hill (about 1km) to Avenue de la Montagne Noire on the left.
  4. At the last juction, bear left. 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.