D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves – Ep 50: Buy the Grape: Pays d’Oc IGP

Viennese Drinking Habits
The Wine Thieves make their way to the south of France to the country’s most productive IGP, the Pays d’Oc. This long coastal strip spanning 240 kilometres across the Mediterranean Sea from just east of Nîmes to the Spanish border is a multi-faceted region with endless sunshine, benevolent winds and variations in elevation that make it possible to successfully grow no fewer than 58 permitted grape varieties. The IGP Pays d’Oc (Indication Géographique Protégée, or, Protected Geographic Indication) is an area that serious collectors routinely overlook given its reputation for ready-to-drink wines of a nebulous geographic region. Yet the designation has been steadily transforming, helped by a modern approach, foreign interest and investment and varietal labelling. More than just pleasure-for-price, the area is also a non-conformist playground, thanks to the freedom afforded by the Pays d’Oc IGP designation.

John and Sara interview three producers who forged unique identities within the Pays d’Oc. First up is Tim Ford, Owner and Managing Director at Domaine Gayda, a family-owned winery whose organic vineyards are in the heart of the Languedoc, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, about 25 km southwest of Carcassonne.  Tim and co-owner Anthony Record joined forces with winemaker Vincent Chansault in 2004 to focus on sustainably-produced wines with modern appeal.

Our next guests are dynamic couple Laurent and Catherine Delaunay, who founded Les Jamelles and co-founded Abbots & Delaunay (in Marseillette, near Carcassonne) making a range of wildly successful wines with a particular focus on varietal bottlings. Originally from Burgundy, where they still have a foothold and produce pinot noir and chardonnay, the couple fell in love with the Languedoc and its myriad creative possibilities. They are producers, négociants and some of the busiest people the Thieves have met in the world of wine.

Our third guest is Magali Dardé, the third generation in charge of Domaine Les Yeuses, and her agent Olivier. The winery in Mèze on the Etang de Thau – a brackish inland body of water – was built in the 13th century by the Knights Templars atop an ancient Roman villa. The estate has been in the Dardé family for over 30 years with the family sharing in the day-to-day responsibilities. Single variety wines are a focus, sourced from the estate’s 80 hectares of vines with a view of the sea.

Join us for this vibrant episode with some of the stars of Southern France.

This episode was produced in partnership with Pays d’Oc IGP. 

Buy the Grape-5