Wine Harvest Festival in Banyuls, France- October 2015
A few luxurious days on the Mediterranean in Cerbere, France
I am spending a few days at my International Property Share home in Cerbere, France, only 4 km from Spain. Here I enjoy lovely slow days where we can watch the play of sunshine and shadow on the Mediterranean, drive to Portbou Spain for a quick look around and also catch the Fete des Vendanges (Harvest Festival) at nearby Banyuls sur Mer.
Sampling Banyuls wine
Bien sur, one can’t visit Banyuls without sampling its favorite aperitif. This we did at Cave St. Jacques, with our charming sommelier. “Shall we begin with the rare white Banyuls, followed by a local favorite (Mademoiselle O) and then a nicely-aged red vieille vigne Banyuls?” We nodded a quick affirmative.
I found the wine label for Mademoiselle O (Domaine Pietri Geraud) delightful. It is a 100% Grenache noire wine made from mature vines, between 10-40 years old. Accompanied by some goat cheese with a bit of black cherry jam or some Black Forest chocolat, this would be “the cherry on the top” of a fine French meal.
Domaine Pietri Geraud is run by a 5th generation winemaker, Laetitia Pietra-Clara, who took it over from her mother, Maguy. More details about her story around found below- My life…My wines. It was also fascinating to learn about an association of women winemakers called “Vinifilles”. Their mission statement made me smile!
In federated in 2009- Vinifilles are female creatures engaged in viticulture in Languedoc Roussillon and are followers of pleasure and wealth from their trade, beautiful, rebellious, active, gourmet, fun, sociable and dynamic!
Domaine Peitri Geraud- My life… My wines
We farm 13 hectares on the steep slopes of the commune of Collioure. This is the point where the Pyrenees tumble into the Mediterranean; the schist terraces which form the appellations of Collioure and Banyuls cling to the hillsides. This is rugged terroir, with a very strong identity; everything is farmed and harvested by hand. The vines give of their best, but yields remain low; on our estate, the annual average is around 22 hl/ha.
Our wines, which come from this traditional and ancestral cru, are vinified and aged in the heart of the village, a stone’s throw from the Château Royal and its famous bell tower.
We are regularly mentioned in many guides, including Hachette (every year since 1992), Fleurus and Dussert-Gerber, and in national, regional and specialist press. Our wines have won many awards, including four Bacchus (three of which were for our Banyuls Blanc) and several Gold Medals at the Concours Général Agricole.
DOMAINE PIETRI – GERAUD
22 rue Pasteur
Consider a February escape with SAT Travel to Spain/Portugal…