Domaine de Gayda, Brugairolles, France
Domaine de Gayda
We had our second English in Toulouse vineyard visit today.
There were 12 of us altogether and we met up at Domaine de Gayda in Brugairolles, a relatively new vineyard in the Languedoc Roussillon region, between Castelnaudary and Carcassonne.
The tour started outside in the warm midday sunshine, overlooking the vineyard.
Our French guide spoke in English and explained all about the vines, the history of the land and the process of growing and caring for the vines.
Next we headed into the area where the wine is made.
We stood among the giant shiny vats, learning about the pressing and maturation process.
Outside again, we watched fruit pickers checking the quality of the harvest as it went through a sorting machine on its way to being pressed.
Our guide picked up a big bunch of Syrah grapes and offered them around the group for us to try! The grapes were marble-sized, shiny and blackish blue and felt soft and warm on our fingertips. And the taste? Bursting with ripe berry flavours! They were the nicest grapes I've ever tasted!
Next we went into the shop to try the wine. We tried two white wines and two red wines and had a crash course in how to taste wine. The wines were all very drinkable, even the cheap table wines at 3,90 euros!
After the tasting we went upstairs to the restaurant, which we had all to ourselves, since it's closed for lunch on Saturdays (odd, eh?). Lunch was light and refreshing and unexpectedly modern for this part of France. We had tuna sashimi, smoked salmon, serrano ham and salad dressed with sweet red chilli, with crusty bread, little bowls of vinaigrette and soy sauce. This was followed by a choice of scones with jam and cream, or a cheese platter. It was all wonderful, not to mention beautifully presented!
After coffee, we went back to the shop to buy some wine to take home, loaded up the car and took a short detour home via Limoux — home of the Blanquette de Limoux, this region's sparkling wine.