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Domaine Gayda is set amongst the rolling hills that lie between Carcassonne and Limoux in the village of Brugairolles. The Domaine has been set up to mirror the great estates of South Africa (with a first-class restaurant and cellar door) where founders Tim Ford and Anthony Record met in 2003. It was at Boekenhoutskloof that they met Vincent Chansault, the young French winemaker, who has since become the head winemaker at Gayda and one of the most exciting young winemakers in the Languedoc.
The estate’s vineyards are located in several ‘crus’ of the Languedoc, including La Livinière in the Minervois region. It is here that the initial investment was made and as a result the estate now controls some of the oldest and highest vineyards in this extremely sought-after area. The Domaine is now certified organic and following certain biodynamic principles. Most of the vineyards and wines are in conversion to organic status.
Having a passion for the traditional ‘cepages’ grown in the area, Domaine Gayda uses varieties such as ‘Maccabeo’, ‘Marsanne’, and ‘Grenache Blanc’ for the whites, ‘Carignan’, ‘Grenache Noir’, ‘Syrah’, ‘Mourvèdre’ and ‘Cinsault’ for the reds. All these ‘cepages’ mature beautifully in this region to ensure that they have really ripe fruit at harvest.
The Languedoc has been known traditionally for its large area of vineyards producing volume table wines but things have changed rapidly over the last 5 to 10 years. The revolution is in full swing and Domaine Gayda is in the centre of these changes.