Andrew Geoghegan’s South of France studio is nestled in the Languedoc region which produces around a third of the wine made in France. In the seventies, this region of France was renowned more for its cheap plonk than its luxurious reds but in recent years an emergence of niche producers have wowed wine experts with the quality of their product. In a region that produces more wine than the whole of Australia, it can be tricky to separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff with such a competitive market.
World famous Mas de Daumas Gassac is the estate historically responsible for showing the world that Languedoc can produce serious wines. Located to the north-west of Montpellier, the vines grow in an extraordinary micro-climate and are considered the finest terroir in the South of France. The wine here is consistently exceptional and featured recently in the Guardian’s recent’ Wines of the Week’. Wine expert David Williams recommends the ‘elegant’ Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge, IGP Pays d’Hérault, France 2014 –a red dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon which luxuriously mixes ‘cassis with aniseed and garrigue herb, and built to last for many years’.
In a region saturated with vineyards, producers have to compete to become Languedoc’s finest and brands are seeking out innovative ways to get noticed. Drawn to producers that pursue quality and excellence, Andrew became fascinated by the methods winemakers were using to stand out from the crowd. In an age where environmental concerns are high on the consumer agenda, some savvy makers are tapping into the popularity of the organic market and a select few are going even further by seeking the much coveted ‘Demeter-certifed’ status.
With only 2% of vineyards in the whole France achieving the accolade, this exceptional eco-label is one which the discerning consumer and wine buff uses to seek out something rather special. To achieve the status, the wine has to be produced following strict rules of biodynamic farming. It’s essentially a return to a bygone era when agricultural land was managed intuitively using a holistic approach, following the lunar cycle to determine when to plant and harvest.
The vineyard closest to Andrew Geoghegan’s French retreat and studio, Mas d’Espanet, has achieved the Demeter award and their wines are becoming highly sought after jewels in the Languedoc crown. Their Eolienne Rouge 2014 featured in the best wines of the year in the most recent edition of ‘La Revue du Vin de France’. A cherry red wine, made up predominantly of Grenache, it’s described as ‘claiming serenity from its fresh soil’ and is dominated by aromas of dark berries.
For Andrew, working and designing in an environment that yields such wonderful harvests, brings with it both inspiration and a work ethic that enthuses his own creations. From his studio balcony he has watched the seasonal changes of the vineyard landscape as autumn’s rich, warm hues turned into summer’s abundant verdure. The Clair de Lune collection, initially available in diamond, is currently being adorned in colour, paying homage to the vibrant shades of the Languedoc region and the surrounding beauty.
Find out more about biodynamic wine production here: http://www.biodyvin.com/