Wine & Travel

Snooth User: Louise Hurren

Helping hand in Languedoc wine country

Posted by Louise Hurren, Aug 6, 2014.

Dear All, I'm new to Snooth so I wanted to start by making a contribution to the community. I've lived in Languedoc since 2002 and work in wine as a marketing/PR consultant. When I travel in wine country I often seek  personal recommendations via the internet, so I'm always happy to help wine enthusiasts who are planning a trip to MY region, by making suggestions of good places to visit/taste (bars, restaurants, Maison des Vins, tasting rooms, wineries and so on... ) based on my personal experience (I wrote the 2013 Languedoc wine travel guide for Wine Enthusiast's Top 10 Wine Destinations, so I've done a fair bit of research). If you'd like to ask me a question, I'll do my best to answer! Looking forward to hearing from you!


Reply by dmcker, Aug 6, 2014.

Very good to hear from you, Louise, and thanks for offering to contribute!

Can I start by asking a few questions?

1) What are some overall guidelines you'd recommend to approaching a wine-centric visit to Cahors--what wine and winemaking styles to particularly look for, how much time to spend, where to stay, and the like?

2) How to best enjoy the French Catalan coast for its food and its wine--Coullioure is calling me back, but I'm wondering where else I should pay attention to. I enjoy the beach and the light and the attitudes and the food there, but also would like to know more about the local wines. I enjoy everything from picpoul de pinet with anchovies to the most complex reds you might know.

3) Who are the winemakers in Minervois I should pay closest attention to right now, for maximum pleasure? I used to travel to southern France a lot, but not so much the last few years. Currently located in Tokyo, and it's hard to keep up from way over here.

It's hardly my first rodeo, but I'm very interested in finding new sources--of info and wine!  ;-)




P.S. How old do you think that vine is you're leaning on?

Reply by dvogler, Aug 6, 2014.

Welcome Louise,

This forum hopefully will give you some less formal interaction, thereby making it enjoyable and not feel like work!  I'm in British Columbia and have access to plenty of French wine, but typically I buy local.  I know nothing of Languedoc wine, so I will have to do some research.

Reply by duncan 906, Aug 6, 2014.

 I have had some lovely wines from Languedoc and I have been there as well. It is certainly a beautiful part of the world but not as touristy as Provence

Reply by EMark, Aug 6, 2014.

Welcome, Louise.  We look forward to your on-the-scene reports.

Reply by Louise Hurren, Aug 7, 2014.

Greetings to all from sunny Languedoc, thanks for taking the time to resond, I appreciate the welcome and the questions (although I cannot answer all of them, or necessarily provide as much detail as you might hope for, as I work full time as well as raising a family). To respond briefly to the questions: Cahors is not in Languedoc-Roussillon (it's the next region across to the west, Midi-Pyrénees) so it's not my area of expertise, sorry. How best to enjoy the French Catalan coast? If you're travelling in holiday season, I'd suggest heading a little inland and avoiding the crowds at the coastal sites of Collioure and Banyuls (although both are very pretty and steeped in history, as well as wine). I spent a very pleasant week driving around the Thuir area last year, visiting wineries and the fascinating town of Thuir itself, where the Caves Byrhh are located (I wrote about it here You can find some excellent value-for-money wines in this area, I'd suggest Domaine Treloar (Trouillas) for starters but there are many others in the Les Aspres area. As for the Minervois, again, plenty of people doing great things wine-wise here, can't begin to list them all, but I'll throw in Chateau Cesseras because they've been ploughing their furrow for a very long time, they don't tend to shout about themselves much, but their wines are excellent (as borne out by the recent Decanter World Wine Award (International Trophy) they've just won for their Minervois La Liviniere 2011 (try narrowning down your Minervois search to the cru area of La Liviniere for quality results... just a suggestion. Ch. Cesseras also produces wines under the Domaine Coudoulet label FYI). And finally... I'm leaning on an ancient head-trained Zinfandel vine in Sonoma County, along a stretch of Hwy 12 named the Valley of the Moon. It was probably planted in 1880, according to the current owners of the vineyard... a beautiful piece of California wine history (you can read more about it here Hope this goes some way to answering the questions, wishing you all the best, Louise.

Reply by duncan 906, Aug 7, 2014.

Talking of Minervois,I had a bottle of Chateau Saint Jacques d'Alba back in June which I thought gorgeous.I did write up a review on Snooth

Reply by Louise Hurren, Aug 7, 2014.

Hi Duncan, that's good to know: I know Graham Nutter (the owner of St Jacques d'Albas), he recently joined a group of winemakers (The Outsiders) that I coordinate (he's a Brit, like me... and it's a group of producers who are from outside the Languedoc region). In fact, there are quite a few winegrowers here in Languedoc who have come from other parts of the world (or indeed, from other regions of France) to make wine. I'll have a look for your review in a second. Thanks for the heads up!


Reply by duncan 906, Aug 7, 2014.

Hi Louise

         I am pleased to say that I still have a bottle of the 2009 in my cupboard waiting for me to drink.!

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