The SOMM Journal

April / May 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 81 of 108

{ }  81 AS THE BUZZWORD behind countless marketing ploys, the word "passion" is bandied about a lot in the wine business. When you meet Gérard Bertrand, how- ever, you realize his passion for the earth and farming is as authentic and profound as the wine he creates. This hugely successful winemaker in the Languedoc has an amazing portfolio of unadulterated, site-specific wines that show high character and complexity while reflecting his commitment to the environ - ment and biodiversity. In January, Bertrand appeared at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills to teach a master class titled "How Biodynam - ics Magnify the Expression of Terroir." It was followed by a lunch at Jean-Georges paired with more wines than even the most ambitious enophile could possibly consume—but we did our best. Southern France hasn't traditionally been considered "world-class," at least not as compared to the country's best-loved regions. But Bertrand's father, also a wine - maker, believed the area's terroir had an untapped ability to produce premier wines and would confide as much to his son, who grew up in the vineyards. Ber trand left home to pursue a career as a professional rugby player in Europe, but he retired after losing his father in a car crash in 1987. He then returned to winemaking with his father's ideals in mind: to express the hidden terroir and produce wines of distinction that could redefine the region. Having worked his first vintage at age 10, he now has 42 years of experience and is convinced that the route to truly great wine is forged through respect for the natural world. Bertrand has introduced Biodynamic farming to all of his vineyards and converts each new one he purchases. He has also published a book detailing his "medita - tional, multidimensional, and spiritual" approach to winemaking titled Wine, Moon and Stars: A South of France Experience. The Clos d'Ora vineyard in the Miner - vois, planted to Syrah and Mourvèdre as well as ancient Carignan and Grenache vines, is Bertrand's passion project. A tasting of the 2012–2015 vertical was the sublime grand finale of the event. Can Bertand redefine the category of offerings from Southern France in Languedoc-Roussillon? Judging by how his wines showed at the Waldorf last month, he certainly seems to be on his way. REDEFINES THE WINES OF SOUTHERN FRANCE THROUGH BIODYNAMIC FARMING by Albert Letizia { natural account } Gérard Bertrand Winemaker Gérard Bertrand during his master class on "How Biodynamics Magnify the Expression of Terroir." PHOTO: EUGENE LEE

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The SOMM Journal - April / May 2018