Wintering late Jan 23 - March 23 in France

Hi folks

We are off to Southern France next month staying with friends in and would appreciate any Vineyard recommendations.

More importantly we are thinking about wintering (late Jan to early March) south of Perpignan or along the coast and wondered what your thoughts on a location might be to check out, which we could do next month.

Any thoughts and ideas appreciated.

Many thanks

@adbdorset

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Could you give a bit more with regards to whereabouts in Southern France you’ll be? It’s a big old place :smiley:

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Oops

Staying in Céret this September with a view to winter down there in early 2023

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Not really that extensively explored by me - and, I suspect like @Tannatastic, it’s the SW which is more my scene.

But obviously you have Maury and Roussillon to the north and Collioure and Banyuls to the east.

If I was in your situation I would crib from JR’s Atlas, the map on p123, and decide how far your range is. Then note down all the producers she has mentioned in your range, Google them, check their websites and opening times, pick the ones which appeal and drop them an email, make a short list and crack on ! You may well find wineries quite accommodating during the winter season as there’ll be fewer tourists and apart from pruning, not much going on in the vineyards.

I would point out just one must - visit near Trouillas and that is Domaine Tréloar which is owned and run by a prominent ex-pat couple Jonathan and Rachel Hesford https://www.domainetreloar.com who frequently appear mentioned on JR’s site. I think they’re open most afternoons.

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Speaking of which… on the other UK-based wine forum (where Jonathan is a frequent contributor) there was a thread this week about roughly the same kind of area you’re looking at with some useful information, including a couple of posts by Jonathan himself:

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My mum used to over winter in Amelie-les-Bains to the south west of Perpignan and loved it. I think there were a good few Brits stayed there and even a shop where she could get (swap?) English books.

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Stayed in La Palme 3 years ago - nice little town with an ancient core and good walks up into the garrigue, where there are numerous sentiers.

Good restaurant run by a young couple, L’echo des saisons. Very good (& innovative) cooking. I was overuled, by front of house, on my choice of red with my main. i had selected one of the reds by the glass but was given a glass of good Corbieres, which, whilst it was only sold by the bottle , was “the correct choice”.
I asked about rancio and was told Dom Louis which i think is on map as D. de la Fount. Very idiosyncratic -once we bonded over a love of 70’s Welsh rugby we felt like old friends. Steady stream of locals buying en vrac. We bought Rivesaltes and a half case of his rancio (only one left!).
We tried some of his “hors age” rancio from a tiny barrel - been topping up since his Father’s time. Stunning, but not for sale!
Brasserie 5 bis is decent for simpler fare.
Also had a good tasting at the co op Vignerons de la palme, bought a Corbieres ( name escapes St Martin of somewhere? ) and a Fitou - Ch Leucate-Cezellay. Both solid & enjoyable if unremarkable. Vintage wss 2015 and finished the Fitou earlier this year.

Enjoyed the town, may have stayed longer but for wanderlust and the Tramontane wind - brutal

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Great story and thanks sounds like it could be cold in winter….

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It’s one of the bigger, perhaps more commercial, domaines, but we enjoyed visiting Mas Amiel near Maury a few years ago. Wide range of wines and well set up for tasting. Their grenache gris was my favourite. Also very near the Chateau de Queribus.

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Thanks for the info everyone and we will certainly check out where your mum stayed @MikeFranklin and the Springsteen inspired reds @PHarvey .