Whose Wine is it Anyway?
Corbières is the largest of the appellations in the Languedoc-Roussillon with a large number of cooperatives and hundreds of independent growers. The region enjoys a history that goes back to the Greek settlements in the second century BC. A family owned vineyard for several generations Château Les Ollieux Romanis is in Montseret (renowned for honey flavoured with thyme, rosemary and lavender), situated in the heart of the Boutenac region, an area dedicated to the culture of the vine since Roman times. The vines are located on a sheltered hillside facing south east. The Cuvée Classique Rouge is a blend of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah from vines planted on hard red clay soil. The wine is fermented and then aged in tank for 12-18 months.
We spoke to winemaker Pierre Bories about his life among the vines.
What made you want to be a winemaker?
I’m a natural born bon vivant…and also maybe because I had a vineyard in the family.
How many years have you been making wine?
For 20 years.
Have you worked for any other producers previously?
I never have, although I have drank many wines from other producers!
Which other producers do you admire and why?
Marcel Lapierre, who sadly is no longer with us, taught me how to make wine without sulphur; the Reynaud family from Château Rayas and their exceptional Grenache, and finally I’ll finish with Jules Chauvet whose written work has often guided my technical plans.
If you hadn’t become a winemaker, what would be your dream job?
I'd sell wine!
What do you like best about your job?
The relationship that I have with nature; I also like the opportunities for travel and being in touch with other winemakers and clients.
What is your favourite type of wine to drink?
My favourite grape variety is Carignan in Boutenac, and I am also quite keen on Grenache at Château Rayas.
What’s the most difficult and rewarding part of your job?
Accepting the injustices that are up against nature, we work a lot and we are very much at mercy of the weather.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Opening a nice bottle!
What is your winemaking philosophy/approach to making wine?
Minimal intervention possible.
Is there one person who has influenced your style of winemaking more than anyone else?
Marcel Lapierre and Jules Chauvet whom I mentioned previously.
What do you do in your free time?
I like to cycle and of course I go to tastings.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned during your winemaking career?
Mother Nature decides everything…
Aside from wine, do you enjoy other drinks?
Are there such things as ‘other’ drinks?!
If you were a grape variety what would you be and why?
Carignan! It can be rustic but if worked well it can be very elegant.
If you were stranded on a desert island what three wines would you choose to be stranded with?
I’d take a Château Rayas, a Corbières-Boutenac and a Malvasia from Salina or a red from Etna…
If you had to choose your last meal what would it be?
I’d have a nice côte de bœuf accompanied by a bottle of the Corbières Boutenac.
If you could have a dinner party with any 4 people (dead or alive) who would you pick and why?
I’d invite Lino Ventura, Jean Lefebvre, Bernard Blier and Francis Blanche so I could relive that legendary scene in the film ‘Les Tontons Flingueurs’ to see if there really was apple in the drink*.
Favourite place ever visited?
Le Massif de L’Alaric.
What is your favourite film?
Les Tontons Flingueurs…!
*In the film the men sit around a table drinking an extremely strong eau de vie made from apples; there is some discussion regarding the apple to alcohol ratio in the drink…
All images supplied by Chateau Les Ollieux Romanis.
Interested in finding out more about any of wines made by Pierre? Buy online here or contact us directly…
Retail: [email protected] / 01483 554750