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Fruits of the Harvest – Vendange chez Lorgeril

Each year Majestic staff are invited to help out at various harvests (vendanges) in France and Spain, picking the grapes and pressing the wine. Ant from the online team shares his photos from a long weekend in Carcassonne…

Last week James, James, James (yes 3 in total) and I flew down to the south of France to visit family winemakers Lorgeril. Having stocked their wines for many years, it was a great opportunity to get some hands-on experience and explore the region.

After a warm reception from Frank Frügge, our guide and expert from Lorgeril, we kick started our trip with a hearty BBQ up in the sprawling hills of the Languedoc. Here the 3 James’ sport their pinnies and overlook the feast to come.

The next day it was down to work at Domaine de la Borie Blanche based in Minervois. Led by winemaker Dominique, we harvested a parcel of Syrah that would be used to produce the Terroir d’Altitude.

Back at the winery we got a taste of some true French winemaking. Using pumps and pipes, we moved wine from one vat to another in order to intensify the maceration of the grapes present in each vat. In doing so we increased the extraction of colour, tannin and fruit, a necessary technique at Borie Blanche to produce their rich, jammy reds.

On our third day we explored the Côtes de Roussillon area, home to our popular Mas des Montagnes wines, and explored the towns of of Banyuls and Collioure. If anyone is planning some late summer sun then these are certainly two spots that would not disappoint!

We finished our trip at Château de Pennautier, a magnificent Château and estate that has been in the family since the 1620 and forms the heart of Lorgeril. Having seen many of their other local wine estates it was good to finish at the Château where the business was founded and learn its history. After our tour it was just left to our final lunch and tasting before the begrudging journey home.

We had a fantastic experience so here’s a cheers! to Lorgeril and Frank for hosting us and let’s just hope it’s a good vintage!

You can see more travel blogs from Majestic staff on our Travel page here.
Want to find out more about the trip? Comment below or tweet me @majesticwine