We will present ourselves and explain how our wine story started. My wife Anna Maria (in short Annemie) is a dentist and I am Dierik a medical doctor specialized in kidney disease and university professor. My whole life was dedicated to my job: patients, students, lectures, research. However when retirement was nearing I feared the black hole, with nobody needing me anymore and a lot of unfilled time. I have spent a lot of my life in hospitals and laboratories, not being aware of outdoor life, even not knowing if the day was sunny or rainy. What I have missed was contact with nature. After some years of searching for an intensive contact with outdoor life, I fixed on vineyard management, particularly on cultivating grapes. My wife Anne-Marie and I fell in love with a parcel of land located in Vives (dept Pyrénées orientales) South of France. The owner wanted to continue exploiting the property during a five year period. We both felt it a good project, because it permitted us learning to work the land and cultivate the grapes. I planned my retirement in October 2008. So during the last five years we invested our holiday time in learning nitrogen needs of the land, clipping the plants and preventing mildew, oidium and other diseases. We also came in contact with the cooperative where the grapes were vinified. It became clear that working exclusively with the cooperative would be financially disastrous. One of our friends winemaker insisted that we should make wine ourselves. As we had no knowledge we first refused this idea, but he brought us in contact with François, a young viticulteur who also wanted leaving the cooperative, making wine himself and starting up a wine business. As François did not have the equipment nor the money to buy it, we set up a joint venture in 2004. Annemie and I bought a building in the village Villemolaque in 2004 and equipment in 2005 and in exchange
François promised helping us making wine as from 2008. During the years 2006 and 2007, he made his own wine using our equipment. We assisted during the harvesting time in picking grapes and doing some work in the winery. We have started our own production in 2008. François assisted us that year organizing the vendanges and he instructed how to make wine. This is a completely new business for both Annemie and me. However as we both are trained in medicine, we feel comfortable with most techniques and problems of wine making. Infection control, fermentation, oxidation and reduction, temperature, glucose metabolism, pH, acidity, and other biochemical and microbiological basics are familiar to us. But practical skills had to be learned: delestage, batonnage, remontage, debourbage and most of all nettoyage (cleaning). Working with pump and cooling device, controlling fermentation and nitrogen supplements, pressing the grapes and cleaning the tanks have been our occupation during summer. We have learned analyzing laboratory results together with the oenologue and taking appropriate action when necessary.
In the summer of 2008 we harvested Muscat petit grain for the making of a white dry wine. The red grapes (Grenache Noire, Carignan and Syrah) gave a fruity easy to drink red wine. Both red and white wines have been bottled and received the VDP label "Côtes catalanes". According to the oenologue, the quality of both white and red wine is good. We organized tastings to friends. They all appreciate our work and ask for more bottles. So if you to would like to taste a good wine, we can sell you. Our stock is located part in France at the winery and part in Brussels, Belgium.
Wine making is an ongoing business. When the last grapes are in the tank, a new season starts with clipping, laboring and fertilizing the land. We spend splendid days in the winter enjoying the sunshine of the Roussillon and the splendor of nature with snow covering the Canigou Mountain . After François left us in 2009 we have invested a lot in improving our wine equipment in order to guarantee constant quality of our products. The new press we bought was used also for making our first Rosé wine with Grenache grapes.
In 2008 laboring the land was outsourced. In 2009 we bought a second hand tractor and for laboring the land, adding fertilizer and preventing disease.
The grapes of 2009 are of excellent quality. We made with 2009 vintage four different wines: a white dry muscat, a rosé with grenache noir and two red wines, a "vin de pays" with dominant carignan and a "Côtes du Roussillon" with grenache syrah.
In 2010 we concentrated our effort in White and rosé. Both are fruity and elegant wines, respecting the balance between acidity and alcohol.
We for the first time presented our red wine to "Guide Hachette" and were very happy with their appreciation.
Contact us via the web site or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
we make fruity, elegant wines with grapes of local varieties.