Let’s Talk About Wine!
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The Languedoc Roussillon (now referred to as Occitanie), is France’s largest wine producing region. While you may be more familiar with the wine of Burgundy, Champagne, and Bordeaux, these are definitely wines that you will want to add to your repertoire. The reputation of these wines which admittedly was not great before is increasing throughout France and slowly but surely, throughout the world.
The region includes AOP & IGP wines whose means you may not know so well. AOP stands for Appellation d’Origine Protegée (a protected appellation and which used to be and still is in some places, called AOC). Think of it as a label of preservation. For this label to make sense, the origin of the grapes, how they are grown and the grape varieties used to make the wine have to respected and respectful of the land from which it originates.
As for IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) which was formerly the Vin du Pays, it is less limiting than the AOP in that you have a lot more grape varieties that you are allowed to include in your wine assemblage. A winemaker in the Languedoc, therefore, could use grapes that are more traditional to this region and climate as well as grape varieties more commonly used in other wine producing regions.
Now that that part is out of the way, what about the tastings?
During our French cooking classes, we often get asked for our recommendations on wineries to visit or where to get good wine in and around Uzès. Needless to say that we are spoiled for choice around here. And our clients are also spoiled as they get to partake in quite a sampling right in class. Take our French culinary holiday students, who not only visit one of the wineries suggested by our wine specialist but who also enjoy the wines of various producers at every meal and apéro. Depending on the time of year, they behold the various stages of wine production.
We are blessed with numerous organic wineries, those that consider themselves “raisonné” (so using fewer pesticides that the conventional winemaker), and the traditional wineries and collectivities. The sunshine and overall warm weather give us wines that tend to lean more towards 13.5-14% alcohol though there are some winemakers who have successfully made wines with as low an alcohol content as 10.5%.
Of the top things to do in and around Uzès, visiting the wineries should be added as a bonus. The wines, many of which are not exported (for the moment), outside of France, might be one of the things you are sure to miss once you leave France. So, while you are here, here is our non-exhaustive list of some of the wine shops and wineries that you should visit during your stay in Uzès.
Wineries & Wine Tasting
François Reboul is as passionate about the soil in which his vines grow as he is about the finished product. The story goes that he converted his family’s vineyard from conventional wine production to an all organic winery in 1998. He was a pioneer of organic winemaking in the Pays d’Uzès. The domain covers about 50 Ha and not only does Malaïgues make wine, but they also make flour and olive oil. In the boutique of the winery, you can taste their wines before you buy as well as shop for other regional products.
Malaïgues also has an organic green grocery in Uzès where you can buy fresh produce & of course wine!
Read our post from our wine specialist about Malaïgue, here.
Domaine de Malaïgue – 1 rue du Puits, Blauzac 30700 (follow the Route de Nimes); Open: Monday to Saturday 9:30 am – 12:30 pm / 3 pm – 6 pm (7 pm from April till October). Tel: 04 66 22 25 43
Malaïgue & Co – 5 Ave de la Libération (Esplanade), Uzès 30700. Tuesday to Friday 9 am – 1 pm / 3 pm – 7 pm; Saturday 8 am to 1 pm / 3 pm to 6 pm. Tel 07 81 05 15 71
Owners Catherine & Jean-Michel will tell you that the quality of their wine is thanks to their winemaker, Baptiste Cartier who is the blend-master of this organic winery of over 40 Ha, located just across the street from our cooking school. Baptiste would say that all he does is accompany the vines but he is being much too modest. Visit their wine store and taste for yourself – you will not be disappointed. Mathea Koch, their hostess will be more than happy to speak to you about their various wines and if you’re lucky, you might even be able to ask Baptiste about the winemaking process.
Read our post about the Domaine Deleuze-Rochetin, here
Domaine Deleuze-Rochetin – 20 Chemin du Moulin, Arpaillargues 30700. Open Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm. In July & August, they are open on Sundays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. Tel +33 (0)4 66 59 65 27.
Discover the award-winning wines of winemaker Jacques Vidal produced from his 38 Ha of land. Jacques is another one of our passionate producers whose love of the land can be tasted in his quality wines. The winery offering tastings and will ship wines with Europe and overseas.
Treat yourself to a lovely wine tasting!
Domaine de l’Aqueduc – Chemin du Mas de France, 30700 Saint-Maximin. Open 7 days a week from 9 am to 7 pm in the Summer. Tel: +33 (0)4 66 37 41 84
The Collines du Bourdic represents about 100 winemakers working cooperatively to produce their wines. Their vines go from St Chaptes to Collias, passing through Uzès and Sainte Anastasie. They represent over 1600 Ha of vineyards. The grapes you find in their wines are Chardonnay, Roussanne, Muscat, Syrah, Marselan, & Carignan. The cooperative which started out quite small started in 1928. Their staff will be happy to take you through the tastings of their wines at two locations.
Caveau de Bourdic – At 8km from Uzès in the direction of Anduze. Open Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 12:30 pm / 2:30 pm to 7 pm. Sundays from mid-April to end of August. Tel: +33 (0)4 66 81 20 82
Caveau de St Maximin – Chemin des Ferigoulières, 30700 Saint-Maximin.
Open Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 12:30 pm / 2:30 pm – 7 pm. Sundays from mid-April to the end of August from 9 am to 12:30 pm / 2:30 pm – 6 pm.
As the name of the domain suggests, fils is the French word for son, this is a father and son operation. Their wine story began back in 1925 with grandfather Louis Chabrier and the current generation Louis & Robert Chabrier have made of this vineyard which started off as a cooperative and is now a private domaine, into the prestigious winery it is today.
Domaine Chabrier Fils – Chemin du Gres, 30190 Bourdic. Open From Monday to Saturday from 9 am – 12 pm / 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm. Tel: +33 (0)4 66 81 24 24
When the owner of the vineyard decided to sell, his employees decided it was time to invest in their dream. These young winemakers are passionate about the wine they are producing and you can tell! Visit them in Blauzac for a tasting. They are moving towards full organic production.
Domaine Les Lys – Route d’Uzès, 30700 Blauzac. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 12:30 pm / 2 pm to 6:30 pm. Tel: +33 (0)4 66 59 33 08
Organic Côte de Rhône. Located between Avignon and the Pont du Gard. Paul-Henri Fabre is a dedicated winemaker. The chateau has been producing organic wine from the beginning with the desire to do as little harm to the earth.
Chateau des Coccinelles – Rue des Écoles, Domazan 3039. Open: Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 12 pm. If you are interested in visiting the caves, please call. They have a lovely picnic area. Tel: +33 (0)4 66 57 03 07
not only a wine shop but also a café and épicerie fine. You will find everything from regional wines to escargot. And what a spot they have on the Place aux Herbes. Owners Tom and Corinne Grasse share with you their love for the region in the selection of the fine products representing the best of what you can find.
Les Terroirs – 5 Place aux Herbes, Uzes 30700. Open 9:30 am to 10:30 pm
A lovely boutique located on what we locally call the “peripherique” (the outer ring). They have a wonderful selection of wines on offer that are local and not so local. Annette, Adrian, and Jean-Renaud are three very passionate wine enthusiasts. In fact, Adrian (who is English), is quite the wine specialist and nearly obtained the highest diploma you can get from the WSET.
Le Marchand de Vins – 24 Boulevard Gambetta, 30700 Uzes
Wine Tasting Festivals
This is a wine fair that has brought together the wonderful organic winemakers of our region who wish to share their passion for winemaking with the public in a jovial and festive ambiance. The festival is held in the artful village of Saint Quentin la Poterie on the Place du Marché. Buy a glass and taste some wines and enjoy the show!
In the 2019 edition of the Tonnerre de Bio, they held for the first time a Mimosa (Deviled egg) contest on the final day of this 3-day organic wine festival held over the Pentecôte weekend (Whit weekend). Our French culinary holiday participants even entered the competition this year and though we did not wine, they did walk away with many smiles and a bottle of wine each! Not too shabby! Can’t wait to see what future events will bring.
In the beginning of August, on the Esplanade in Uzès, this festival which started in 2001 will bring together over 50 winemakers from the Gard department. You will find IGP, AOC, AOP Duché d’Uzès, AOC Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Village, AOC Costières, AOC Tavel, AOC Lirac, AOC Châteauneuf du Pape, Cartagène. A contest is held before the fair during the month of June where the wines of the fair will be judged by oenologists, producers, and consumers like you and me, who will present the winners with a gold, silver, and bronze medals
What a magical setting for some wine tasting!
5€ gets you 1 souvenir wine glass + 3 tasting tickets + a notebook to note your favorite wines.
The event will be held on Wednesdays, July 17, August, 7, 14, & 21.
The tasting accompanied by edibles from our local producers kicks off at 7 PM and ends at 10:30 PM
You can also expect some live music to really create a special ambiance.
Light show projection on the Pont du Gard will begin at about 10:30 PM and is best viewed from the Rive Droite (Remoulin side), and run every 20 minutes. This will precede a light and sound show brought to you by “A la belle étoile” performing “Les Mondes magiques” (Magical Worlds).
The entrance fee to the Pont du Gard from 7 pm is at 5€. Free for under 18s.
There will also be a number of food trucks in addition to the restaurant Les Terrasses.
During the months of July and August, the Pays d’Uzès Pont du Gard organizes lively night markets where you will have the opportunity to partake in village life, tasting local produce and of course wines. This is another great place to taste the wines from our local producers some of whom I may not have listed above but who are also well worth a taste. Learn more about what events take place and things you can do at the night markets in Pays d’Uzès Pont du Gard.