A visit the well known organic winery, Domaine de Malaïgue in Uzès with our sommelier as a guide is all part of our Week in Uzès culinary experience. What better way to appreciate the wines of Occitanie (Languedoc Rousillon) that by visiting one or two wine makers patient about there trade and their product. Sommelier Frédéric Duverger takes our group for a special cheese wine tasting – Join us!
It was another great day in Uzès. Monday we set off to do our traditional tour with our Week in Uzès students at the beautiful Malaïgue winery, in the Duché d’Uzès, where François Reboul, the winemaker, is right in the middle of the harvest season. We got there at 3 pm, and got to see François putting some of the black grapes he just harvested into the de-stalking machine and then pumping the grapes into the pressing machine to extract very gently the grape juice to make the future precious wine.
François is a man passionate about not only his wine but about the very earth in which his grape vines grow. And wine is not the only thing harvested at Malaïgue. François also produces flour, chick peas & grape juice.
Not only wine grapes are grown here, you can also come along and pick your own table grapes.
We were then given wicker baskets and pairs of pruning shears, to venture off to a specific parcel, where Francois grows table grapes, very old and local varieties, red and white grapes, sweet and delicious to taste (I’m pretty sure I ate more than what I picked directly off the vine!). Tasting from organic parcels is a definite OK but I would not try the same with treated vines. You can easily get carried away with the picking – everything looks so good.
We gave a quick lesson to our students on how to do the pruning and they loved it! It was a treat to taste the differences between the various varieties and there was something very childlike about the whole experience of picking and tasting as we went along. Once the baskets were half full (enough grapes to eat for a month!!!), we went back to the winery to the wine cellar where we treated our students to a great Cheese and wine pairing lesson.
We usually go with the local goat cheeses or sheep’s milk cheeses when pairing with the wines of Malaïgue, but this time (as we had goat cheese for lunch already) chef Eric decided to go off the beaten path and throw in cow’s milk cheeses with Malaïgue great white Blanche Fleur and Charme. We also tried the very exclusive Pequelet cuvée (not a red, not a rosé… just in between … a fun original wine).
Eric even chose to have our attentive students taste a very popular and quite strong French cheese from Burgundy, L’Epoisse. A bit about Epoisse: It is a soft cow’s milk cheese, with a washed rind, its weight is generally 250 grams but it can be found in larger formats. This cheese, containing 50% fat, is refined by being rubbed with Marc de Bourgogne brandy. It was a cheese often eaten by the king Louis XIV and named by Brillat Savarin (for whom we have another famous French cheese), the «king of cheeses».
This is not a cheese for the faint of heart. But guess what! Everybody loved it! Especially the ladies … a great experience overall.
Hope this story tickled your taste buds and tempts you to come and join us next time for either a Cheese & Wine Class or for our Week in Uzès. See you in Uzès.