Not that long ago I knew very little about wine. Fate brought me to the subject and opened up a new life for me, one I never imagined living and one that introduced me to people that I could never have met in my old life. And it brought me back to the Languedoc-Roussillon, this magical and very special place where I now live surrounded by vines and earning my living from and with them.
The journey began in 2001 when I enrolled on a wine appreciation course at Coventry University and without planning it I found myself five years later the proud possessor of the WSET Diploma. Not bad for a girl who left Barker Butts Secondary Modern School aged just 15 and went to work on the hanky counter at Owen Owen department store!
What was I going to do with this diploma? I had not planned it but again fate stepped in; I was invited to be a wine teacher at Birmingham College of Food and began a very enjoyable few years teaching others about this amazing subject. I started my own wine school too and over the years have trained hundreds of people for fun and for qualifications. I loved it but I hankered for a life in France and fate stepped in again and I was invited to Languedoc where I met two wonderful wine families, the Fords of Domaine Gayda and the Bojanowskis of Clos du Gravillas. I will always be indebted to them for the help they gave me to begin my vineyard tour business Vin en Vacances.
When I began the tours I was eager to learn as much as possible about the area. I searched for a book that would piece the jigsaw together for me; surely there would be one that listed all the appellations and IGPs. I wanted to know what sort of wine is made in each village and around each town and city and in each of the departments. I wanted to know the styles of the wine allowed in each appellation and which grapes they can and can’t use. I searched long and hard for such a book but none could be found so I decided to write it myself.
Now on the first day of 2018 I can look back at the last 4 years with pride as almost all of the 3000 copies of the book have been sold (a few copies remain which can be bought from Amazon.co.uk) I currently do not have any plans to reprint it but I would like to share it with you so I will be serialising the book over the coming year and the first chapter will be available later this month. I hope you will enjoy it.