Domaine de Clovallon Village: Bedarieux Appellation: 10 ha IGP Haute Vallée de L’Orb Vin de France Grower: Alix Roque The Orb River runs for 135 kilometers from the Larzac Causses in Haut-Languedoc down to the Mediterranean Sea. Domaine de Clovallon is situated in the Haute Vallée de L’Orb which refers to a small stretch of the river valley that runs east to west with exposed hillsides and excellent southern exposure. Spanning geological periods from the primary to the quartenary, the Haute Vallée de L’Orb contains virtually every soil type found in France, and many of them are present in Clovallon’s 10 hectares. To be in the company of Catherine Roque and her daughter Alix, is to be in the company of and feel the energy of passionate farmers. Catherine says that seeing the results of her bio-dynamic farming practices has greatly inspired her. In the vineyard, the Roques use fertilizer from their neighbor’s cows along with a mix of valerian and dolomite. In between the rows, the natural grasses are left to grow and Alix is contemplating buying a few sheep to help with the “mowing”. They already employ the help of their chickens. As non-interventionist winemakers, their wines naturally convey their respect for and delight in their land and vineyards. Read Alix’s comments Languedoc Vintage Reports Pinot Noir The Clovallon vineyard is located outside of the village of Bedarieux in a small valley protected by some imposing dolomite cliffs. The vineyards are planted up to altitudes of 500 meters. Catherine Roque first planted Pinot Noir here in 1989. She has a few different parcels now, grown on different soils with different aspects. The harvesting is done manually and the wines are bottled without fining or filtering whenever possible. The “Domaine” Pinot Noir is produced from younger vines on red sandstone soils. Fermentation is done in vat with indigenous yeasts and no heating. The wine is matured for about six months in three year old barrels before bottling. Sulfur is added only at bottling and in a minimal dose. The Pinot Noir cuvee “Pomarèdes” is a two hectare parcel of 25 year old vines grown on dolomite chalk soils. Les Aurièges The cuvée Les Aurièges is a blend of seven grapes. The most important to the blend are Chardonnay, Petit Manseng and Reisling, but also included are Viognier, Roussanne, Clairette and Petite Arvine, a variety native to the Valais in Switzerland. The grapes are all harvested by hand and put whole into a stainless steel tank where they ferment slowly at a low temperature for 30 days. The grapes are then pressed and the press juice is blended with the free run juice and then put into barrels for a year before bottling. Les Indigènes The cuvee “Les Indigènes” is produced from a single “clos” of less than a hectare that was planted around two hundred years ago and retains pre-phylloxera vines. As was the custom “back in the day” the vineyard was co-planted with a wide variety of grape types both white and red. Most of the grapes have been identified and include Carignan, Cinsault, Clairette, Grenache, Grenache Blanc. Grenache Gris, Macabeu, Malvasia, Muscat a Petits Grains, Ugni Blanc, Aramon, Terret, and Jacquet. The clos itself sits high above the town of Bedarieux and is accessible only by a narrow lane that winds its way up from the town to the vineyard at the top of the hill. It is hidden from the eye because it is both walled and shielded by fruit trees. To gain entrance to the small vineyard one has to pass through an entrance gate and then a bit further on pass through a doorway framed by a stone arch giving the whole experience a “secret garden” quality. All varieties are co-fermented in old oak foudres using indigenous yeasts and without temperature control. The wine is unfiltered and unfined. News December 2, 2021 Springtime Plowing @ Domaine Clovallon December 2, 2021 Christian Schiller, DC Wine Journalist, Blogs about Buck’s Winemaker Dinner. Lot’s of Great Pics! SCHILLER-WINE A DAILY, INTERNATIONAL WINE BLOG FRIDAY, MARCH 7, 2014 13 French Winemakers Presenting their Wines at a Dinner at Buck’s Fishing and Camping in Washington DC, USA Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Husband and Wife Team M. Jean Francois Meynard and Christelle Gauthier from Chateau La Bouree, Cotes de Castillon, BordeauxThis was a very exciting winemaker dinner: With 13 visiting winemakers from all around France. It took place a Buck’s Fishing and Camping in the Chevy Chase area in Washington DC. The winemakers were in town for the annual portfolio tasting of Wine Traditions, an importer of French wines. Ed and Barbara Addiss’ Wine TraditionsWine Traditions: Created in 1996 by Edward Addiss and Barbara Selig, the philosophy of Wine Traditions is to discover independent winemakers whose passion for their vineyard and mastery of their winemaking craft combine to create a product that is a beautiful expression of the land from which it comes. They believe their portfolio demonstrates that wonderful wines can be found beyond well-known appellations and need not be overpriced. For them, wine is meant to be enjoyed with dinner, every day and at prices that make it an appropriate component of the meal. Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller and Barbara Assiss, and Ed Assiss, Owners of Wine Traditions Buck’s Fishing and CampingTom Sietsema, Washington Post: This arty and eclectic restaurant serves classic food made with the best ingredients. There are few local kitchens that do its familiar dishes better than Buck’s. The 4 expertly prepared courses of American cuisine from Chef James Rexroad were indeed excellent. Picture: Buck's Fishing and Camping on 5031 Connecticut Avenue, Washington DCOwner James Alefantis, who told us that he also owns a restaurant in Berlin, Germany, is charming and welcoming as is his restaurant: We are a small, neighborhood independently owned Fish Camp of a restaurant, where a woody, fire lit atmosphere is a great place to enjoy the best local produce, meats and fish. Pictures: Annette Schiller, Ombiasy PR and WineTours, Christian G.E. Schiller and Owner James AlefantisSee: 3 Wine Tours by ombiasy Coming up in 2014: Germany-North, Germany-South and Bordeaux Winemaker Dinner with 13 Producers from FranceAt this totally unique event, after a Champagne and oyster welcome, the 13 French winemakers were on hand to present their wines. We had the opportunity to select one of three wines with each of the 4-courses to pair side-by-side with Buck's beautiful menu. Pictures: The DinnerWelcomeOysters on the 1/2 Shell, Warm Gougeres, and Selection of Saucisson Bourdaire-Gallois, Brut Champagne NV First CourseHouse Applewood Smoked Salmon with its Roe 3 Wines and 3 Winemakers Pictures: Brigitte Ardurats, Felix Debavelaere and Katia Mauroy-Gauliez, and their WinesChateau Magneau, Graves Blanc 2012Brigitte and Jean-Louis Ardurats: Winemakers/ Owners of Chateau Magneau, a beautiful Graves producer in the south of Bordeaux. The Graves region is often referred to as 'the cradle of Bordeaux wine' and has been described as a beauty asleep in her woods and forests. We were delighted to taste their Graves Rouge. Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Brigitte and Jean-Louis Ardurats, Winemakers/ Owners of Chateau MagneauDomaine de Bel Air Pouilly-Fume 2012 Owner/ Winemaker Katia Mauroy-Gauliez from Domaine de Bel Air hails from the Loire Valley where the Sauvignon Blanc grape thrives. Katia Mauroy-Gauliez and her brother Cedric Mauroy are the ninth generation to manage Domaine de Bel Air. Their 15 acres of vineyards straddle the towns of Pouilly-sur-Loire and Saint Andelain. Pouilly-Fume is one of the Loire Valley’s most famous wines – a quintessential expression of flinty, vivacious Sauvignon Blanc. Domaine Rois Mages "Les Cailloux" Rully Rouge 2011Anne-Sophie Debavelaere, a native Burgundian, began her Domaine in 1984. 5 years ago, her son, Felix Debavelaere, who was sitting next to me at the dinner, took over. He now farms 11 hectares of vines which are mostly in Rully, but include small parcels in Bouzeron and Beaune. The vineyards are all worked with respect for the land in a fashion known as "lutte raisonnée". The winery or "cave de vinification" is a vaulted cellar which was dug from the Rully hillside in 1850. It was originally built by a local negociant who wanted to have a cellar for sparkling wine similar to those in Champagne. Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Felix DebavelaereSecond CourseWild Local Mushrooms with Tagliatelle Pasta and Herbs 3 Wines and 3 Winemakers Pictures: Samuelle Delol, Elisabeth Billard, Michel Champseix with Ed AddissDomaine Billard Hautes Cotes de Beaune Blanc 2012Winemaker Elisabeth and Jerome Billard, Domaine Billard have 12.5 hectares of vineyards in different appellations throughout the Cotes de Beaune. Their largest holdings are in the Hautes Cotes de Beaune with other small plots located in Saint Romain, Saint Aubin 1er Cru, Auxey Duresses and Beaune. Chateau Vieux Chevrol Lalande de Pomerol 2009 The Champseix family has made wine at Château Vieux Chevrol for many generations and continues to do so in a traditional manner. Jean-Pierre Champseix runs the estate today (20 hectares), aided by his son Michel. He has a profound respect and veneration for his land, a relationship that truly guides his work. The vineyard lies on the Neac plateau overlooking the vineyards of Pomerol. The soil is clay mixed with gravel and iron-rich sandstone known locally as "crasse de fer". The vineyard is planted to 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Picture: Jean-Pierre Champseix, Château Vieux Chevrol, Lalonde de Pomerol, and Christian G. E. SchillerChateau Gueyrosse Saint Emilion 2003Winemaker Samuelle Delol, owns two estates Chateau Bel Air and Chateau Gueyrosse in St. Emilion. Chateau Gueyrosse dates from around 1750 and the Delol family obtained the property in 1850. Samuelle, who has recently taken over from her father, is the sixth generation to make wine at Gueyrosse. The vineyard is in the southwestern corner of Saint Emilion, on the outskirts of Libourne and has a soil of "graves rouge", a soil type similar to that found in the southern corner of Pomerol. Third CourseMagret Duck Steaks with a Frisee Salad of Duck Cracklins and Farm Poached Egg 3 Wines and 3 Winemakers Pictures: Ed Addiss, Dominique Ressès, Christelle Gauthier and Catherine Roque, and their WinesChateau La Bourree Cotes de Castillon 2011The husband and wife team M. Jean Francois Meynard and Christelle Gauthier, who were sitting next to me at the dinner, own 4 chateaux with a total vineyard area of 40 hectares. Chateau La Bouree extends over 10 hectares. The vineyard is planted with 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The yields are kept to 45h/hl by green harvesting and leaves are pulled as needed to insure proper ripening. Fermentation on the skins lasts for three weeks after which the wine is aged in used barrels for a year Picture: Annette Schiller, Ombiasy PR and WineTours and the husband and Wife Team M. Jean Francois Meynard and Christelle Gauthier, BordeauxChateau La Caminade Commandery Cahors 2009Dominique Ressès: The Chateau La Caminade vineyards (34 hectares) lie in Parnac, in the heart of the Cahors region. The vineyard covers a variety of soil types including gravelly sand and clay/limestone. The Ressès family has been making wine here for four generations.One of my early posting were about Dominique Ressès and his beautiful wines: The Wines of Chateau La Caminade in the Cahors, France - Malbec from its Birthplace Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Dominique Ressès, CahorMas D'Alezon Presbytere Faugeres 2012Catherine Roque, Languedoc, is owner and winemaker of Mas d'Alezon and Domaine du Clovallon. Catherine says that seeing the results of bio-dynamic farming practices has greatly inspired her. Both of her estates are in Languedoc. Fourth CourseA Selection of 3 Regional Cheeses 3 Wines and 3 Winemakers Pictures: Julien Teulier, Laurent Charrier, Jean-Marc Grussaute and Ed Assiss, and their WinesCamin Larredya La Part Davan Jurancon Sec 2012Jean-Marc Grussaute: The Grussautes have a small but remarkable vineyard (9 hectares) situated in the Chapelle de Rousse area of Jurançon. The word "Camin" used instead of Domaine is the local dialect for chemin or road.The majority of the vineyard, planted by Jean-Marc’s father 40 years ago, is terraced and lies on steep and curved slopes that form an amphitheater. The vineyard is planted to 60% Petit Manseng and 37% Gros Manseng and 3% Petit Courbu. Jean-Marc Grussaute began estate bottling in 1988. He has farmed organically since 2007 with the first certified vintage being 2010. Jean-Marc names his wines after the vineyard parcels from which they come.The Jurançon Sec which is called La Part Davan, blends two thirds Gros Manseng with Petit Manseng and a small quantity of Petit Courbu.. The wine undergoes a "maceration pellicullaire" before fermentation in stainless steel tanks and foudres. The wine then is kept "sur lie" for at least six months. Picture: Jean-Marc Grussaute and Christian G.E. SchillerDomaine du Pas Saint Martin Jurassique Saumur Blanc 2011 Domaine du Pas Saint Martin is set among troglodyte caves formed out of ancient fossilized marine life that covered the Saumur region 10 million years ago. During the Middle Ages these caves served the Protestants as secret places of worship.Laurent Charrier and his mother run the domaine which is a certified organic farm. Laurent’s father was not interested in producing wine and thus in 1994 when Laurent took over the responsibility of the domaine, he picked up where his grandfather had left off. He immediately set out to acquire certification for organic farming which he received in 1997. The family vineyards are a bit spread out with small holdings in Anjou and Coteaux du Layon in addition to their primary vineyard in Saumur. The average age of the vines is 25 years with a good part being older than 35 years. Vinification is carried out in temperature controlled stainless steel vats.Domaine du Cros Lo Sang del Pais Marcillac 2012Winemaker Julien Teulier: Deliciously fruity red wine from Marcillac, first used to quench the thirst of pilgrims on their way to the shrine of Santiago di Compostella, and then miners from nearby coalfields. Made from the local fer servadou grape from a vineyard that was saved from extinction by a handful of dedicated growers in Southwest France. Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Julien Teulier DessertTanis Bark and Fresh Ginger Wafers December 2, 2021 New Producers to the Wine Traditions Portfolio Wine Traditions is excited to announce several new producers to our portfolio. We are now offering selections from the Languedoc from Catherine Roche's two properties Mas d'Alezon in Faugeres and Domaine Clovallon in the Vallée de l'Orb, from Le Bouc a Trois Pattes in the Haute Vallée de l'Orb and from Thierry Forestier of Domaine Mont de Marie in Souvignargues in the eastern Coteaux de Languedoc. In Beaujolais we welcome Domaine du Cret de Bine making wine in Sarcey the southern part of of the appellation and Domaine Foretal in the commune of Vauxrenard in the heart of Upper Beaujolais. And in neighboring Maconnais Domaine les Grands Crays in Viré-Clessé and Romuald Petit making Bourgogne Chardonnay in Saint-Vérand. Find out more about these producers and their wines on their own pages on this site!