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We first heard about Domaine Gayda from some French Sommeliers when we were visiting Jaboulet in the Rhone. They told us about this well-funded Anglo-French project making remarkable wines in the hills up above Carcassonne.
A few months later we headed out to the Languedoc to meet the Gayda team to find out what all the fuss was about!
The estate was founded 4 years ago by Anthony Record and Tim Ford, inspired by what they had seen at estates in South Africa. They brought in the young Vincent Chansault from Boekenhoutskloof in South Africa, who prepared for his wine career in the Loire Valley, and in addition to the French harvest has spent the last couple of years doubling up in South Africa. His youthful, yet meticulous approach to winemaking is ensuring the estates wines are the most talked about in the Languedoc.
The estate’s vineyards are located in several ‘crus’ of the Languedoc, including the rugged ancient vines of La Liviniere region in Minervois, which the HarperWells team last visited in summer 2010. This area was noted by the Romans as having an exceptional terroir for vines. It is here that the initial investment was made and as a result the estate now controls some of the highest, oldest and most respected vines in this extremely sought-after area. The Domaine is now certified organic, follows certain biodynamic principles and the majority of the vineyards and wines are in conversion to full organic status.
Gayda are not afraid to push the boundaries. Their experiemental Cabernet Franc called Figure Libre is amongst one of the finest wines in all of Southern France and their flagship wine Chemin de Moscou is a true Grand Cru of the Languedoc.
Domaine Gayda's ascendancy to wine legend is guaranteed for two reasons; firstly the vineyards they work with are among the very best in the Languedoc; and secondly the minimal interventionist approach to winemaking allows these vineyards to express themselves unfettered by chemical additives, over use of oak or over extraction.