A Grand Chateau & Iconic Wine Figure

Howard W. Hewitt – With our roster set, flight, train, and hotel plans complete, it’s time to turn our attention to trip details. I was able to confirm this morning the participation of one of the iconic names in Southern France winemaking as part of out trip. We also made arrangements to complete our first full day.

Jacques Frelin and his wife will join us for dinner.

Jacques Frelin, a negociant and owner/general manager of Terroir Vivants, will join us for our welcoming dinner. Frelin is a former president of France’s organic wine organization. The Frelin family has long been recognized as pioneers in the organic wine movement..

Jacques, who is a charming and delightful gentleman, will give us a brief welcome to the Languedoc and speak briefly about organic wines during our welcoming dinner. Here is a link to a story I wrote about my trip to the Languedoc. (Perhaps a bit wine geeky for some but you’ll get the idea). About two-thirds down the story is a short video with Jacques talking about the importance of the ogranic movement.

The next day, Sunday, will begin our adventure. We’ll start with a walking tour of Montpellier and learn about its history.

Just before noon we’ll board our chartered bus for Saint Saturnin, about a 40-minute journey. We’ll have a light lunch in the small village and meet Virgile Joly, one of the real rising stars of the Languedoc. Virgile will lead us to his small winery and our first realĀ  introduction into Languedoc winemaking.

The Sunday experience couldn’t be more different. Because after we leave the Languedoc countryside we’ll return to Montpellier for a visit to Chateau Flaugergues on the outskirts of the city. We will tour the 18th century chateau which is a grand example of the great architecture of the old French aristocracy. We’ll taste the wines and then give you a bit of time to walk the incredible gardens. You can check out photos on the website linked above!

Wine Adventure to Start with Virgile Joly

Today, Friday, April 12, is the final day to join our June 7-17 Alumni and Friends of the College trip to Southern France and Paris.

Call or write today and we can hold you a spot then work out the paper work and payment. Howard Hewitt at 765-361-6087 or hewitth@wabash.edu

Virgile Joly at aMontpellierĀ  trade wine show in 2012

Our first full day in Montpellier, in Southern France, will include a walking tour of our historic host city and then our first visit out into the Languedoc countryside.

One of Southern France’s most recognizable and honored young winemakers will be our host. Virgile Joly worked in Chile and France before establishing his Domaine in 2000. His white Joly Blanc has been widely praised and award-winning in his home country. It’s also available in the United States.

We’ll have a light lunch in Joly’s small village of Saint Saturnin de Lucian and then visit Virgile’s winery and learn about Languedoc wines. We’ll taste his honored whites and full line of wines.

Joly is a gregarious and welcoming host. I had the opportunity to meet him twice during a previous visit to the Languedoc and interview him about his winemaking.

Domaine Joly first gained wide recognition through British author Patrick Moon’s book Virgile’s Vineyard. The 2003 publication is out of print but copies can be found on sites like Amazon. Moon inherited property in Saint Saturnin and spent a year writing about the locals and following Joly through a year at the winery and vineyard.

Eight Spots Open for France Trip

Howard W. Hewitt – With just under two weeks until the April 12 registration deadline, we have up to eight spots open for Wabash alums or friends of the College to join us for the France trip.

As of today, April 3, we have 10 people registered for the trip along with the three trip leaders. That’s a nice size group. We are at a comfortable number to know we will be making the excursion. We’d love to have a few more join us for our exploration of Southern France and Paris.

All of the information, costs, what’s included, and such can be found on our Alumni Travel page in the alumni site.

We’ll continue to update trip details here. In the coming weeks those updates will come fast and furious as we lock in our various stops and plans for the trip.