As part of Women’s History Month, we're highlighting five inspiring Languedoc women who, year after year, produce some of the most exciting and delicious wines in the region.
They are skilled winemakers as well as farmers, chemists, artists, and marketing wizards.
Meet them, and their fabulous wines, below!
Lidewij Van Wilgen left a high-powered career in advertising to pursue her dream of creating luscious, beautiful, organic wines. Her wines have received awards from Decanter and Wine Spectator, and glowing reviews from British wine maven Jancis Robinson. We agree!
Rich, delicious and smooth, this wine will make you swoon! Try with Pork Tenderloin stuffed with garlic, orange peel, and cherries soaked in Flor de Caña Rum.
Laurence Jougla draws upon winemaking expertise handed down through her family for generations. Her organic wines are made from grapes grown on varied soils, giving the wines a beautiful richness and softness.
All the varietals of this wine will speak to you in the glass—Syrah gives spiciness and black pepper, Grenache Noir rich, soft fruits, Carignan a rustic leather tone, and Mourvèdre tobacco and chocolate. Great with barbecued ribs, chicken, and burgers.
Cathy Izarn and and her daughter, Camille, run an internationally recognized domaine in the St. Chinian appellation. Their organic vineyards are surrounded by wild herbs of the garrigue which contribute to the delicious flavors of their wines, five red and one white. We love them all!
Enjoy rich flavors, nice freshness and acidity, and a lovely finish. Think pineapple, pears, and ripe yellow plums. Try with grilled halibut with pineapple and red pepper salsa, or seabass and cabbage spring rolls with ginger and chili dipping sauce. Or both!
"I fell in love with my first vines, on the highest point of the Causse de Montpeyroux," says Pascale Riviere. "My vineyard is made up of a century-old Cinsault near the village of Arboras, an ancient Carignan tucked away amongst the Olivettes, a purebred Syrah on the edge of an oak forest, and a goblet-trained Grenache in the heart of the Seranne landscape." Could her wines be anything other than divine?
The name l’Égrisée means “diamond dust” which perfectly describes this wine. Such a complex blend of local white varietals and the Carignan Blanc is quite rare! Crisp and clear with rich tones of white fruit, lemon, and lime with a clean finish. Perfect with seafood, chicken, and salads.
Madame Losfelt has been the winemaker at Chateau de l’Engarran for more than 30 years. Her guiding principles are authentic terroirs, elegance, and personality. Each of her wines shows a strong character and high style, like the winemaker herself.
This Sauvignon Blanc is clean and drinkable. Perhaps too much so! Besides the fruity and floral notes, you'll find a hint of almonds and honey in the nose and taste. The fruit is more tropical like pineapple. Serve with grilled fish, veal, and pork.
We are proud to offer the wines of these accomplished winemakers. And there will be more in our next wine club shipment!
In honor of this week's beautiful celestial events (a Full Moon, the Spring Equinox and the last Full Supermoon of 2019), we want to highlight the Languedoc-Roussillon farmers who follow biodynamic practices, caring for their grapes and wines by planting, pruning, harvesting and bottling according to the position of the Moon and stars.
If the Moon can affect the tides, why not the sap of the vines and the wine itself? In fact, March 15 was this year’s “best biodynamic bottling day” for whites and rosés according to Quentin Modat, one of our new Roussillon biodynamic winemakers!
Biodynamic farming was developed in the 1920s by Rudolph Steiner, father of Waldorf education. It follows organic principles but also includes more esoteric soil amendments such as spreading nettle tea in the vineyards and enriching the soil with cow manure that’s been fermented in cow horns buried in the earth. Biodynamic winemakers say these homeopathic practices enhance the soil and the ultimate quality of their wines.
While scientific studies may not have the means to measure the desired subtle influences of these practices, as one of our new Languedoc biodynamic winegrowers, Simon Coulshaw, remarked, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating!” A test that was conducted in 2004 by Fortune Magazine concurs. Of ten blind taste comparisons between biodynamic and conventional wines, nine of the winners were biodynamic! 
Additionally, Washington State University has conducted several studies on biodynamic compost and there appears to be more measurable microbial activity than in conventional compost, helping to control pathogens in the soil.
Vignerons have taken notice. Renowned Languedoc-Roussillon wine mogul, Gerard Bertrand, has decided to convert his thousands of acres of vineyards to biodynamic farming.
How do we feel about biodynamic wines? We deeply resonate with the emphasis on earth-centered agriculture and the view of the vineyard as a living, interdependent system. But it’s the taste of these unique wines that made us true believers!
We currently offer four of these exquisite wines including Belle de Nuit (Beauty of the Night), which is a nod to this excellent winemaker, Michel Escande’s, reliance on the Moon in his vineyards and in his winemaking:
This La Féline cuvée is made from handpicked, organic grapes with long maceration on the skins. A 2016 vintage, this wine is still in its youth; very spicy in the nose (pepper, cumin). In the mouth, it's deep and fruity with licorice and garrigue, smooth and silky in the aftertaste.
One of the most stunning Chardonnay wines outside Burgundy we've ever tasted. This wine has a nice attack with zesty, fruity aromas. As it evolves, the wine is smooth and rich without being heavy. Refill my glass, please!
This Beauty of the Night, is an exceptional cuvée, both complex and alluring. Completely based around old vines of Grenache Noir this voluptuous wine will enchant you!
This wine is rich and upfront, silky tannins follow, and the Grand Finale is long and lingering. Food: Think big red meat, truffles, even game. Dive in and surrender!
 (Jean K. Reilly, "Moonshine, Part 2: A blind sampling of 20 wines shows that biodynamics works. But how? (This, by the way, is why we went into journalism.)", Fortune, August 23, 2004. Accessed March 18, 2018).