Domaine Gayda manages to encompass all that is ‘right’ about food and wine in France; wines from numerous vineyard parcels throughout the Languedoc Roussillon, a gourmet restaurant with unparalleled panoramic views, plus an outdoor kitchen/dining option for more relaxed dining, as well as stunning on site gites. Really, what more could you ask for ?
Back in 2006, I was attending a wine show in London, and somewhat by accident came across a stall without much wine, but with a stool and a video camera; they were looking for a ‘wine idol’, someone with whom the public could engage over all things oenological.
As more of a dare, than anything else, I had a go and recorded a piece to camera. Little did I know that behind this venture was Tim Ford, MD of Gayda. In the great British tradition – the Public voted, and much to my surprise, I won, which resulted in an invitation to visit with Tim, his wife, Barbara, and the rest of the team, at Domaine Gayda.
The following year, I came back to Gayda, to work. All the theory in the world counts for little until you’ve got your hands on the grapes and are working with them. Vincent, Gayda’s charming young winemaker and the rest of the team, made me feel included, one of the gang, and an integral part of that year’s harvest and production.
Tim asked me, after the harvest – Wendy, what do you want to do now ?
My answer was – I want to run wine tours in the Languedoc.
5 years on, that’s exactly what I do. Gayda still play an enormous role, allowing me access to the winery, full flight tastings, and superb lunches, and as importantly they still treat me like one of the team.