Roussillion wine region at its best

Meet winemaker CaRrie Sumner: From New York to the South of France

Carrie Sumner and her husband Marcel Bühler run Domaine des Enfants in Maury, in the Roussillion wine region in South of France. The closest biggest city is Perpignan. For a long time, wine making in the Roussillion was dominated by cave cooperatives. This means that individual wine growers would deliver their grapes to the cooperatives which would then make the wine under a cooperative label.


Carrie testing the reds for the upcoming blending.

In recent years, however, the Roussillion saw a change to this practise. An increasing number of wine makers run their own domaines and sell their wines under their own labels. This gives them more flexibility in the whole process of wine growing and making.

One of these domains is Domaine des Enfants. Carrie and Marcel own vineyards in different parts of the region with different soils and grapes as old as 70 years. This diversity is refelcted in their complex and well-structured wines.

I was lucky to work along Carrie and Marcel for a period of two weeks just before and during harvest 2015. Carrie in particular has been my mentor and my guide, explaining to me the single steps in the wine making process. It was a real pleasure to work along Carrie and be able to learn so much from her. Continue reading

From juice to wine: Hands-on wine making!

Follow my work at Domaine des Enfants to learn about the early stages OF the wine making process

After working in Alsace and Rheinhessen, the third stop on my wine around the globe tour is Domaine des Enfants, in Maury close to Perpignan. The wine growing region is called Roussillion and is part of France’s biggest wine growing region Languedoc-Rousillion.

The domaine is run by Swiss Marcel Bühler and his American wife Carrie Sumner. I have the opportunity to stay two weeks at the domaine and get involved in various tasks. As it turns out, these two weeks cover pretty much all steps from picking the grapes to nearly bottling the wine. Follow me and learn what happens at these various stages and how juice turns to wine.

Domaine des Enfant is located in the appelation Maury in the Rousillion

Welcome to the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée Maury .

1. Work in the vineyard: picking grapes

I arrive pretty much on time for the harvest of the white grapes. There is an anxiety and excitement to be felt about when exactly to start harvesting the white grapes. Marcel and Carrie are discussing it frequently, checking the weather, checking the ripeness of the fruit, checking the moon. Why the moon? Because they follow biodynamic principles and pick fruit on fruit days of the moon calender. Continue reading

Chateau de Flaugergues in Montpellier: wine, history and passion

Let me tell you first: I am totally overwhelmed by the abundance of wine in South of France and now understand, because I have seen it for myself, why France is the biggest wine producing nation on the globe. I am currently in South of France, in the wine growing region of Languedoc, and wherever I look there are grapes. You cannot not see grapes, you know what I mean?

Red wine selection at Chateau Faugergues

Red wine selection at Chateau Faugergues

Three reasons for visiting the Chateau

When I arrive at the airport of Montpellier and miss the bus shuttle into the city I grab some leaflets from the tourist information and, immediately, immerse myself into the world of wine. I actually suffer from an immediate shortness of breath by the sight of all the wine estates in the leaflets. I only have a couple of days in South of France before heading to work on the vineyard! I will never get to see even a tiny percentage of all the caves! What shall I do? I can’t stay longer! Or can I? It takes me a while to come back to normal breath, to remind myself that I am on holidays and that I shouldn’t stress about the abundance of possibilities but rather take responsible action and try to make a decicion. So I do. I choose to visit Chateau de Flaugergues for three reasons. a) I have never been to a Chateau, b) it is in the city of Montpellier, c) they mention free wine tastings on their website. I admit not the most wine connaisseur type of reasons but good enough for me. And looking back at my time at the Chateau, I must say: It was well worth it. Read on to find out why! Continue reading