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Hot, dry and hoping for rain

Summer has arrived in the Languedoc! Over the next few weeks we expect many visitors to travel here for their injection of sunshine and the good life. Although rain won't be what most visitors want, we are glad to see some rain hit the region this week and it's forecast to continue over the weekend. There have been severe water shortages this year, especially in the south of Europe, and some regions are suffering intensely with these near-drought conditions. It is a worry and it seems to be becoming very much the new norm.

We consider ourselves very fortunate to have a natural lake on the estate at Chateau Cazal Viel. Henri, Laurent's father, widened a natural pond on lower ground that naturally filled with water during the winter months and it has sustained our vines for many decades. The pond is also a haven for local wildlife and biodiversity. The existence of this water source also inspired us to build our own lake at Chateau Auzines in 2009, in order to harvest rainwater during the winter months. This decision - and the perseverance in getting it completed, (which took over 5 years) - has proven to be instrumental to our success with Albarino and Chardonnay from this estate.

Having said all that, if you are on holidays in the south of France or Spain and you experience a wet day here or there, be thankful on behalf of local vignerons. Any small bit of rainfall during the growing and ripening season could be the difference needed to produce a healthy crop in 2023. On the upside, the hot summer months call for refreshing rosé and it's a style we love. Rosé wine has featured in many articles recently as a style to be taken more seriously. Elizabeth Gabay MW - who is based in the Languedoc - is a proponent of serious rosé of all styles and has recently written a book on the subject. Our style of rosé is pale, dry and elegant with ripe, summer fruit flavours. We believe rosé to be a wonderful partner to many dishes, but it works especially well in summer, pairing well with fish, salads and charcuterie in particular.

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