When we visit the Minervois, we love to meet the real characters and the passionate people behind the scenes. Today was no exception as we started our visit to Domaine Pierre Fil, three generations of wine makers and Pierre (father) regaled us with his stories from the vineyards and we met his son who explained some of the modern techniques they have adopted too.
We love the ‘old school’ approach and think thay have got the balance just right. Their rosés were an immediate hit as were the amazingly priced reds. Purchases safely stowed in the bus, we headed off to the hilltop village of Minerve, situated in a limestone gorge, with a gory cathar history but luckily some great restaurants!
Excellent lunch on the terrace followed, no doubt, by a siesta in the bus while we meandered through the high Minervois hills, with views towards the Pyrenees. Here we met Irène Prioton, on a dusty track (my bus can get almost anywhere!), where she showed us her small parcels of vines dotted around the hills. Back to her tiny cellar, where the word ‘artisinal’ , so often overused these days, really applies. In a barn attached to a village house, she produces some really unusal wines – whites and reds, with wonderful depth and tonality. Some of her wines sell in michelin * restaurants – so we are not the only ones who think her wines are great.
We left late afternoon and reflected on the hard work that Irène does to bring her wines to the table and the passion and dedication many winemakers have for their profession – these small winemakers certainly don’t do it for the ‘riches’ but to protect and carry on a tradition which is anchored into the fabric of French culture.