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Perpignan and environs - vineyard, wine & restaurant recommendations

france

#1

We will be heading to the Perpignan area during the summer and wondered if anyone has any recommendations - be they wine, vineyards, restaurants or things to do/places to see

We already have visits to La Soula and Dom. de la Rectorie arranged ( handy when you met the people at a tasting!)

Thanks in advance


#2

Collioure is a lovely place to visit - if a little crowded in Summer (particularly weekends) and expensive to eat. Domaine Petri-Geraud has a shop in the centre of Collioure at which you can taste their wines - excellent Banyuls, and white and red Colloure.


#3

Domaine Jones isn’t too far from Perpignan, and Katie is always super welcoming. And her wines are amazing too!


#4

are you stalking my twitter… I just realised Tuchan is close and followed her

thanks !


#5

And Jonathan Hesford at Domaine Treloar does an excellent range


#6

Wonderful wine shop in Collioure

Some years ago we had an excellent tasting of wines there ending with some very fine Rivesaltes Ambre

Off the wall here but if you want a unique dining experience I can recommend Le Jardin des Simples in a small town called Saint-Andre south of Perpignan west of Argeles sur Mer. It’s on Rue des Mimosas and is in the garden of a house in a residential street. Lovely food.
http://www.lejardindessimples.fr/

Near it is the Saint-Andre wine coop selling very cheap wine from the hot flat plain south of Perpignan. Most is forgettable but their oak aged cuvee is very drinkable if you want something to quaff on your holiday.


#7

just checked them out - thanks !


#8

Recommended wines from D. Du Traginer

And D. Du Madeloc

https://www.domainespierregaillard.com/index.php

Both in Banyuls which we preferred to Collioure. Not as picture postcard pretty. More a working town albeit with a nice beach. Much more parking opportunities in high season!

Both do the full range of Collioure red and white, various iterations of Banyuls. These are really nice wines.


#9

thanks - added to the list :slight_smile:


#10

We have a house nr Perpignan so we’re very familiar with the wines of the region. Three outstanding wineries with great restaurants (not unduly expensive restaurants) are Domaine Cazes (at Rivesaltes - you must try their Muscat), its sister establishment (same ownership) Le Clos de Paulilles (near Port-Vendres — and, right by a lovely small beach to visit before or after lunch), where the tables are virtually in the vineyards, and Chateau Valmy (near Argelès Sur Mer and Collioure). Valmy reminds us of a South African winery restaurant and has lovely views. All have outside seating and you can of course also do wine tasting there. Would recommend booking at each, and suggest Le Clos des Paulilles and Valmy are better for lunch, Domaine Cazes better for dinner. Colliourse is a definite must-visit (the St Tropez of the Roussillon). Canet-en-Roussillon has little to commend it in food or wine terms but a fabulous long and deep beach (if you need to eat there, the best places are La Cave and Casa Plana). If you like inexpensive fresh oysters, this is a fun visit: https://www.purefrance.com/magazine/310/oyster-tasting-in-leucate. Restaurant recommendations in Perpignan: Spaghetteria Aldo, Cafe Vienne, La Rencontre, Garriane, Le Divil.


#11

thanks @Essjaybee - this is a great set of suggestions, we are sure to visit some of them


#12

Just to get away from the constrictions of Collioure, it can get absolutely packed solid in the holiday season, try Port Vendres just along the coast, still a working port so some interest on that side and very good fish restaurants such as Le Port de Venus and others around the small harbour and nearby.
We very nearly purchased a place there years ago but it fell through and we ended up in Italy, but I had a soft spot for Port Vendres and nearby Banyuls sur Mere that also has decent restaurants.


#13

thanks for the info


#14

Thanks all for the info…have been back a few days now

Domane de la Rectorie - Banyuls
The Domain was started in 1975 but production didn’t start until '84 - they have 34 hectares in 50 parcels !
Great visit starting at the family home, heading to the winery and then the cellars.
Lots of building restrictions in Banyuls (physical and legal) so the Domain is a little spread out. The winery is down the road from the offices and is “compact and Bijoux” they were busy preparing for the harvest. The cellars are a good walk away just behind the promenade on the sea front having been built during WW2.

Tasted:
L’argile 2017 Collioure Blanc - Grenache Gris & Blanc (BBR currently have 40% off the 2016)
Cote Mer 2017 - Collioure Rose - Grenache Noir, Syrah, Carignan
La Goudie 2018- Collioure Rose - G.Noir (very dark rose - long maceration)
Cote Mer 2017 - Collioure Rouge - Syrah, Grenache Noir, Carignan
L’Oriental 2017 - Collioure Rouge - Grenache Noir, Carignan
Montagne 2017 - Collioure Rouge - Grenache Noir, Carignan, Counoise (Rhone variety), Mourvedre
Cote Mer 2017 - Banyuls Rouge - Grenache Noir, Carignan
Therese Reig 2017 - Banyuls Rouge - Grenache Noir, Carignan
Leon Parce 2016 - Banyuls Rouge - Grenache Noir, Carignan

The Collioures were all very well made and showing really well but the Banyuls were another level. The Cote mer is a new addition and was (for me) spot on rich ripe jammy (in a nice way) cherry with chocolate and spice notes…the other cubes just kept getting more and more complex and will go for 20+ years


#15

Domaine Madeloc - Banyuls
Started in the 1920’s by Robert Pages who sadly dies in a car crash. His daughter carried on in the vineyards but only sold grapes. Pierre Gaillard (of Rhone fame) purchased the domaine in 2002 and from 2009 it has been run by his daughter Elise (Pierre was hoping out when we visited as Elsie had just had a baby)

When they purchased the domaine some was abandoned and they spent a lot of time replanting the vines and repairing the channels and walls that are an integral part of this landscape - there are approx 6,000km if stone walls in the Collioure / Banyuls appellation

They grow:
White - Grenache Blanc & gris, Vermintino and Rousanne
Red - Grenache Noir, Mourvedre, Syrah and Carignan

Very little treatments used as not needed but not going to go the organic route as they ‘have enough work looking after the vines and vineyards as it is’! All vinification is by parcel / variety with blending at the end and only Mololactic fermentation for the reds. 10% new barrels are used and many used for more than 10 years. Reds are aged in barrels for 18 months and the whites are fermented & aged in barrels (have the ability to cool barrels with coil chillers)

Tasted:
Tremadoc (schiste in Catalan) 2018 - Collioure Blanc
Penya (Rock in Catalan) 2018 - Collioure blanc
Faranell - 2018 - Collioure Rose
Serral (Hill in Catalan) 2016 - Collioure Rouge
Magenca 2017 - Collioure Rouge
Crestall (Ridge of a hill in Catalan) 2017 - Collioure Rose
Asphodeles (small flower) 2018 - Banyuls Blanc
Ciera (Cherry in Catalan) 2016 - Banyuls Rouge (Rimage)
Robert Pages NV - Banyuls Rouge (Traditional) - aged outside in the sun (300 days per year of sun!! I joked we have the other 65 in the UK) in 30 lt Demi-johns - the ‘flor’ visible is the tannin coming out of the wine through this accelerated process
Solera NV - Banyuls Rouge Hors d’age - Originall started in the 1920s by Robert Pages but ended upon his death. The remaining wine was put into one 30hl wooden vat and the remnants of that started the current solera system. 30% draw from lower barrels then topped from barrels above etc etc_

These wines seem a little fresher and more forward than the domain de la Rectorie (horses for courses as to preference) The Solera was for me the highlight - nutty, toffee, coffee, spiced fruit cake and sooooooo long!


#16

Le Soula - way up in the mountains (circa 450mts) around hairpin bends that scared the b’je out of me !

Started in 2001 by Mark Walford - initial 20 ha that Gerard Gauby helped source (Walford’s were Gauby’s uk distributor before being sold to BBR). The parcels spread over a wide area to get the best plots and help reduce issues of events such as hail (always localised). Now 22ha looked after by 6 staff. Wendy Paille (the winemaker) drove us around several of the parcels near to the winery to show their approach to vines and vineyard management. They are Biodynamic but do treat for mildew (allowed to use 12kg of copper per ha over 3 year period)

Vineyards:
Plant at 2.5 x .09 (3800 per ha) and 3 x 1 (3000 per ha). Some old parcels (1900 to 1910) are at 1 to 1.5 m width so can’t mechanise.
Sauvignon Blanc - 30 year old vines, pruned late due to frost risk. The old “lake” (L’estang) attracts wild boars and they are an issue in general so all parcels are protected by electric fences (try getting a 9 year old over an electric fence!!)
Vermentino - some vines suffering from flavesekce donee and there is only one organic option to treat and it is not (cost) effective so that parcel will go)
Sauvignon Blanc (at 450m altitude) - plantes in 2016 on grandie, its naturally a cooler site due to the aspect and altitude (some of their vineyards are at 650m)
Grenache Noir - planted in 2017 and the rows of vines will be separated by shrubs (bio diversity) and will be goblet trained. Sadly lost 10-15% of this parcel in the heatwave - young vines couldn’t cope

They are doing lots of work on biodiversity and putting habitats in to increase birds (various nesting boxes) insects and reptiles. They also have bee hives spread through the parcels - although we witnessed one hive being attacked by Asian Hornets !

Trigone is a blend of vintages and the Le Soula will be released and (like now) re released when ready to be drunk (it will of course take some further age) currently the reds on release are 2013 and 2009 and 2014 for the whites

Tasted:
Trigone # 18 nv (2018 + 2017) - VdF - Macabeu, vermentino, Sav Blanc +
Le Soula - 2014 - Cotes Catalanes - Sav Plan, Grenache Gris +
La Maceration du Soula - VdF - Vermentino, macabeu + - whole bunch skin maceration for 13 to 15 days with no pump-overs . Have made a barrel of each vintage. prefer short maceration and long ageing, very pronounced on the nose, herb notes, floral and citrus edge. transfers to mouth…good length. This will not be everyones cup of tea!!
Le Soula - 2013 - Cotes Catalanes - Carignan, syrah, Grenache
Le Soula - 2009 - Cotes Catalanes - Carignan, syrah, Grenache

Great to see the 2013 and 2009 together - shows the evolution pattern. both have cherry, black fruit and leaf notes but eat 2009 has more vegetal edge to it


#17

In general the area is lovely - very relaxed and good weather always helps !

We stayed near Perpignan, on the coast, and found much of the typical French seaside resort attitude.

Restaurants - we mainly ate out at lunch time (means no one has to drive in the evening and is much better value for money) - the two to note were
Le Fanal (Banyuls) - lovely 1* restaurant right on the Harbourside. lovely amuse bouchée (tuna tartare, gazpacho, fennel pannacote), I had salad cod to start and hake for main. Wife had veal for main. great food at 28€ for 2 courses and 35€ for 3 courses (18 for Childs) wine list wasn’t massive but good value
El Silex (Tautavel) recommended (and booked for us) by Le Soula - simple well cooked dishes at circa 15€ - we had a Pork Stew with grains & lentils and Tuna with giant couscous. Local wines by the glass all in a lovely (outdoor) setting. this was not fine dining!

Visited Collioure and took advice to get there early - we were sat having a coffee overlooking the harbour by 9am - lovely place and actually wasn’t as busy as we had imagined. spent a happy few hours ‘mooching’ about before a nice (and reasonable) Tapas lunch at one of the restaurants over looking the old fortifications.