… A year in the Languedoc wine country

Synopsis (from the author’s website):

In Virgile’s Vineyard, Patrick Moon explores the world of Languedoc wine. Among the cast of characters that Patrick meets during his year of discovery is Virgile, a young local wine-maker who offers to initiate him into the mysteries of each seasons work in the fields and in the cellar. Virgile is passionately committed to perfection, even though his limited means afford him just a handful of hectares and the smallest cellar imaginable.

At the other extreme is Manu, Patricks dipsomaniac neighbour, a diehard traditionalist producing a private wine-lake of unspeakable rouge. With Manu as his self-appointed guide, Patrick embarks on a quest for the revolutions leading lights a succession of lively encounters with growers as diverse as the wines themselves interwoven with entertaining digressions into the history of the regions wine-making.

Meanwhile the author struggles to deal with his long-neglected French home an unfamiliar and unpredictable world where the brambles have grown as tall as the olive trees, the water supply has just dried up and there is a ferocious animal under the roof tiles…


The book is set out in months of the year, giving insight into what typically occurs in each season. I found the book delightfully refreshing and full of humour.

I warmed to the many characters who were described in the book and also learned a lot about wine making and the exacting requirements for appellation controle rather vin de table…

The author’s adventures reminded me of my visit to Carcassonne and left me with the feeling of wanting to live in that area of France…

PS: I have received a gift of the sequel (Arrazat’s Aubergines) from Mr C.  I am looking forward to reading it on our upcoming long weekend away.  Our Christmas present to each other ;-)

4 Comments CherryPie on Mar 3rd 2014

4 Responses to “Virgile’s Vineyard by Patrick Moon”

  1. Astrid says:

    I hope that, while reading the book you opened a bottle of the great whine of the Languedoc Roussillon. We stayed two times in the Languedoc and we enjoyed the whine.
    Whine making is an art, I have no clue about ‘good’ wines, I go by ‘I like it’ or ‘don’t buy this the next time’…….

    • CherryPie says:

      A good wine is one you like :-) Naked Wines certainly know how to choose wines that are enjoyable to the palate. Of all the wines we have had from them there have only been a couple that we would not have again. There was nothing wrong with them, it is just they weren’t quite to our palate.

  2. Have you been to a little coastal town called Menton in France?
    It’s really beautiful – you might change your mind after a visit.
    Well, I have not been to Carcassonne yet. It’s hard for me to comment which is better ;)