Family Tradition in Roussillon


by Melba Allen
Bernard Cazes is a passionate man. Every time I see him and his wife, I am always in awe of the simple way he explains to me what he and his family does. Bernard and his family own vineyards in the heart of Roussillon which is located between the Pyrenees Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea in France. The Domain was created by Bernard’s father, Michel Cazes in 1895 as just a small grape-growing operation selling to local winemaking merchants. Until the father was convinced by his son oldest son, Aimé, to buy a nearby vineyard and to produce wines themselves. So Domaine Cazes was born!
To further the family’s endeavors, the younger brother, Bernard, became an enologist and improvements and innovation continues through Bernard’s son Emmanuel now the wine-maker of the family. With Emmanuel, the family became more involved in bio-dynamic and organic wine production. Today, the Domain consists of at least 200 hectares planted in vines that produce 15 different styles of wines.
Being that they are located in Roussillon, this area is known mostly for their sweet wines Rivesaltes which is made using white or black grenache grapes. These wines are great as either an apéritif, or with foie gras, and some cheeses. Domaine Cazes is also one of the pioneers in the area for organic wines in the area. Two of their red wines that I like and have tasted are called ‘Alter’ and ‘Ego’. When you taste them yourself, only then will you know why! But my favorite red wine is ‘Le Credo’. This wine is full-bodied and rich with lots of dark fruit. The tannins are soft, yet giving good structure so that you feel like there is something to bit into that doesn’t bite back!
Finally, Domaine Cazes is not only recognized as the largest organic and bio-dynamic estate, last year at this time, they were awarded the first Annual National Wine-Tourism Awards which honors those who actively participates in promoting Wine Tourism in France. Because you see, they also have a lovely family restaurant called “La Table d’Aimé”, named after the father of Michel and Bernard.
Photos courtesy of Domaine Cazes
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