|When he was seriously wounded at the battle of Verdun during the First World War, Private Gracia could not return to tending his vines. He became the “Tabataire” or tobacconist in a local village, a concession given by the French Government to many returning soldiers. Many years later, his grandson Bruno returned to the vineyards and in honour of his grandfather he named his estate “Domaine du Tabatau” – child of the Tabataire. Welcome to real wine made by real people.|
"From the man who grows the grapes, to us, to you."
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South of France
In wine terms this incorporates the regions of Roussillon, Languedoc and Provence, all bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. The climate of the region is governed by the Mediterranean.
Strictly speaking the region is the departement (or county) of Pyrennes-Orientales. Bordered by Spain to the South, the Mediterranean to the east and mountains to the west and north, its best known city is Perpignan. A hot, dry region in summer producing a mere 150 million litres of wine each year. The inhabitants often think of themselves more as Catalans than French.
The name covers the departements of the Herault, the Aude and part of the Gard as far east as the Rhone delta. In wine terms it includes such famous regions as Corbières, Fitou, Minervois, St. Chinian, Faugère, and Costières de Nîmes. The main cities are Carcassonne, Narbonne, Beziers, Montpellier, and Nîmes.
The name literally from "language of Oc" the language spoken by the original natives of the area. Wine has been produced in the region at least since the sixth century BC, traded with the Greeks. The Romans produced and traded a lot of wine in the region.
The Languedoc produces more wine than Roussillon and more than the whole of Australia.
Well known as a holiday destination and a playground for the rich, Provence is bordered by the Rhone delta in the west, Italy in the east, the Mediterranean to the south, and the Alps to the north.
There are small pockets of top quality wine production such as at Bandol and les Baux or St. Remy which offer great value in their class, but the lesser wines tend to be overpriced compared with the Languedoc. Many vineyards have recently turned to organic and biodyamic methods.
To be continued...
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