Wine no 4 TDF Case – STAGE 15 Rodez – Carcassonne, The Minervois – L’Orange Domaine de Courbissac 2021

Wine no 4 TDF Case – STAGE 15 Rodez – Carcassonne, The Minervois – L’Orange Domaine de Courbissac 2021

STAGE 15 – Rodez – Carcassonne, The Minervois – L’Orange Domaine de Courbissac 2021

If you were ever in any doubt about who are toughest athletes in the world then just imagine racing over 200km through 40 + degree heat at well in excess of 40 km/hour.  That is what the Tour did yesterday on their way to a very well-earned rest day in Carcassone.  The stage winner was Jasper Philipsen, one of the youngest riders in the race and an exceptional sprinter, he won the thrilling bunch gallop ahead of Wout Van Aert - of course.

These guys will be losing litres and litres of fluid per day racing in such oppressive heat.  Sometimes, apparently in moments of sheer exhaustion and desire for relief, they gulp down bottles of ice-cold beer at the end of the stage but in general of course, riders cannot touch a drop of alcohol during the Tour and very rarely during the whole season.

A real shame for them as they are spending their rest day in one of the most incredible wine regions in the world, the beautiful Languedoc.  In the past, this region was responsible for filling the vast wine lakes of Europe with undrinkable plonk from Cooperative wineries.  Nowadays, the industrial production has gone, and independent growers are making superb wine from Indigenous varieties like Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Carignan.  Despite the heat, there are also some delicious whites and increasingly orange wines coming out of the region.

The wines crafted by Brunhilde at the domaine de Courbissac are all delicious.  But it is perhaps her orange and white which are most notable.  Why? Well in an area so well known for high temperatures and full bodied reds, her wines have a clean, elegant freshness.  She is a committed natural grower and also employs some biodynamic techniques.  The location of the vines is also important as they lie in the shadow of the black mountain in the northern Languedoc.  They are 300 metres above sea level (nearly 1000 feet).  This makes quite a difference to the night time temperatures.  The grapes are Marsanne, Muscat, Grenache Gris and other unknown varieties.  There is a 10 day maceration which makes for a lighter fresher expression of Orange wine.  L’Orange Courbissac is often the wine we recommend to people who  have never tried Orange wine before.

L’Orange Courbissac