Q. What is your earliest wine memory?
A. Of my mother being angry with my father, because he kept me away from school in order to work the vendanges!
Q. Did your international Rugby career teach you any skills that have helped or inspired you as a winemaker?
A. Building and motivating an effective team with the same ambitions and goals is as important in making and selling quality wine as it is in the world of sport. Preparation and attention to detail are also essential to success in both fields.
Q. What are the hardest, and most enjoyable, challenges of being a wine producer in the Languedoc?
A. Being a pioneer, creating the viticultural history of the region – compare this to Bordeaux or Burgundy, for example, where the history of wine has already been written.
A. We will succeed by promoting the unique terroirs of the Languedoc-Roussillon, and by sharing with customers around the world our passion for the Mediterranean Art de Vivre.
Q. What are your favourite grape varieties and why?
A. Grenache, because it produces so many great and diverse wine styles throughout the Mediterranean region. More recently, since acquiring the Domaine de l’Aigle in Limoux, I have discovered the delights of Pinot Noir.
Q. Is there ever a day when you don’t really feel like having a glass of wine?
A. Yes – when I am alone. Wine is a convivial drink that should be shared with family and friends.
Carignan Vieilles Vignes Réserve Spéciale 2009, Gérard Bertrand, PGI Pays de L’Aude
￡6.49 or ￡5.49 when you buy 2 bottles*
Rich aromas of plum, blackcurrant, wild strawberry and black cherry follow through to a smooth palate with fine tannins and concentrated fruits. Ideal with game.
Viognier Réserve Spéciale 2009, Gérard Bertrand, PGI Pays d’Oc
￡7.99 or ￡6.49 when you buy 2 bottles*
With intense aromas of white flowers, the palate is rich and lush with tropical fruits, dried apricots, hazelnuts and honey. Enjoy with seafood.
Grand Terroir Montpeyroux 2008, Gérard Bertrand
￡8.99 or ￡6.99 when you buy 2 bottles*
A blend of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah, this shows wonderful concentration with aromas of ripe fruit and peppery spices. Serve with grilled red meats.
Domaine de L’Aigle Pinot Noir 2008, Gérard Bertrand, PGI Pays d’Oc New!
￡9.99 or ￡7.99 when you buy 2 bottles*
Wild strawberries, cinnamon and clove-like notes lead to a long, mineral finish. Serve with soft cheeses, duck breast or rare lamb.
*All prices are valid until 1st November 2010 unless otherwise stated.