Wot - 2 blog posts in a day?! Well, I thought that whilst I was on such a roll, I would give you a pointer towards an excellent new(ish) blog, authored by one of my customers and Facebook friends, Alan March.
Alan retired this year, from his job as a school teacher in the north-east of England. Much like TLD and I, Alan and his wife have been holidaying in Languedoc for many years and have developed a great love for the region, it's culture and of course it's wines. So much so that they decided to make use of their new-found leisure and spend a whole year living the dream in rural Languedoc. Although they haven't (yet) decided to make the move permanent, I suspect that may be a strong possibility(!)
Not that it has suddenly become all play and no work for Alan. Over the years, he has formed a strong friendship with one of the region's most enigmatic winemakers, Jeff Coutelou. So much so that, since his arrival in Languedoc a couple of months ago, he has been hard at work as Jeff's all-round helper in the vines and the cellar, learning the ropes and generally immersing himself in the everyday workings of a Languedoc wine estate. Not to mention tasting plenty of fabulous wines along the way. It's a hard life, but I guess someone has to do it!
|Alan March, hard at work in the cellar |
(photo nicked from his blog!)
Alan and I have yet to actually meet, although after many years of correspondence via this blog, Facebook, other wine websites and email, it seems like we know each-other well. And I won't let the fact that he is a Liverpool supporter (my loyalty is with Nottingham Forest) get in the way. Nor the fact that, whilst away from the UK, he isn't buying any of my wines! ;-) I actually owe Alan a debt of gratitude for having introduced me to the wines of Mas Coutelou. He'd been banging on about them for so long that I felt I needed to taste them and see for myself. So whilst on holiday in June, TLD and I visited Jeff and were treated to a fascinating tour of his vineyards and a tasting of some of his wines (even though he had none to sell, at the time). Suffice to say that I was blown away by Jeff's wines and his whole viticultural and vinicultural ethos. And, with more than a little help from Alan as my "man on the spot", I have since managed to secure a shipment of Jeff's latest wines, which will arrive in stock next week. I can't wait!
I shall write in more detail about Mas Coutelou very soon. Meanwhile, I urge you to take a look at Alan's blog, A March In The Vines. As a journal of his adventures in and around Languedoc (and occasionally further afield), it is rich in content and really is well worth following - and you even get to read it in a choice of languages (English and French). Keep up the good work, Alan!