Domain Philippe Collin – Vins de Pays d’Oc

The local wine back in New Jersey (where we come from…) can be a valiant effort, but it will never match the quality and success of the local Jersey tomatoes. France, of course, is a different story. French wine has a level of quality and variety throughout the country that makes exploring local vineyards a fun experience.

When we complimented the white wine that our friends served at their home near Toulouse, they asked if we would like to visit the vineyard where they buy it. “Bien sûr!”

Olive trees at Domain Collin

Olive Trees & Vineyards at Domain Collin

The next afternoon we set out to Tourreille, a village south of Carcassonne, near Limoux in the Languedoc – Roussillon region known for Pays d’Oc wine. This is the old region of France above the Mediterranean between the Pyrenees and Provence where Occitan, a language similar to Catalan, was spoken.

Philip Collin

Philip Collin

Philippe Collin is originally from the Champagne region of France and not surprisingly, he makes a wonderful Crémant. This is a sparkling wine that is not grown in Champagne, a region well north of pays d’Oc, so it cannot be called Champagne.

Crément Rosé

Crément Rosé of Philippe Collin

We savored Philippe’s Crémant Rosé (a pale pink sparkling wine—not sweet) and also loved his other wines including a simple, slightly sweet, white vin de pays d’Oc called Clos de L’Olivier, a creamy Limoux Chardonnay, and a sweet white wine (Chenin Douce D’Automne) that is perfect for an apéro or dessert.

We all tasted the wine and then toured the hilltop facility, which is encircled by ribbons of olive trees (oliviers) and acres of verdant, rolling hillsides of grapes. The vineyards extend in every direction creating a spectacularly perfect location for buying wine directly from the family who makes it.

Before leaving Domaine Collin, we sampled a red wine from an enormous vat in the production facility. It was the 2009 red—just two weeks old. We didn’t realize that it would taste like wine so quickly.

Madame Collin

Madame Collin with a Magnum of their Crément Brut

It was young but sampling it brought us into the process between the vineyard and the bottle. When it was time to go, we loaded the six-bottle cases of Crémant and white wines into the back of the car and our friend’s cocker spaniels sat on top of the wine as we headed back towards Toulouse through miles of vineyards.

The wine required an extra trip in the tiny elevator (ascenseur) to our fifth floor (4ème étage) apartment in Lyon and has already been shared and enjoyed. Salut!

Selection of Domain Collin wines

A Selection of Domain Collin Wines

To contact Domaine Collin and sample some of their fine and affordable wines:

Philippe Collin
Domaine Collin
11300 Tourreilles (near Limoux)

Tél. 04 68 31 35 69

Tél. from the US = 011 334 68 31 35 69

Fax. 04 68 31 59 64

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