Mayrac and Malpère
A later start to the day and some off-roading in the bus! Taking a track up behind Couiza, we meet Laurent Vives from Domaine Mayrac. Here we admire the view of the Pyrenees in the distance and his vinyards down in the valley. Laurent explains with passion his love of terroir and how he defines each parcel of vines to make a different wine. A professional setting for the wine tasting means that the wine circle is at ease and ready to spend over an hour sampling his range of wines – which they find every bit as interesting as Laurent! He and his team from the cellars have also prepared a wonderfum 3 course lunch – presented and served with style – olny the best for this group and we had to literally drag them away! Wine purchases safely stored in the bus, we headed for a short stop at the Domaine experiemntal de Cazes, which is funded by in part the Chambre of Agriculture and local co-operatives. Here they grow hundreds of different types of grapes using different methods. They also have over 70 ‘micro’ vinifcations each year – all of which helps wine growers adapt thier methods and stay one step ahead of the game – especially with climate change already having an effect in the region. Then over to the Malpère wine region – Chateau Belvèzes where the glamorous Isabelle Malfosse showed us aroud her Domaine with its impressive trees – some over 400 years old. A surprise tasting matching edible flowers and wine was certainly a real eye-opening and a tastebud tickler! There were oyster leaves, begonia flowers, bananna mint and stinky cheese leaves (a replacement for camambert!) Isabelle’s husband, Guillaume, who loves abit of mischief invited people into the vats – quite afew obliged and found the experience quite fun! A short drive back to Limoux, where dinner and relaxing ended the day.