Let’s get going and invite you in!
You’ve found us!
I’m Australian, Benjamin is French and we live in a remote, rural area in the south of France. He is the vigneron, I am his wife and he makes wine that I love to drink.
Our daughter attends school in the local village (we call her the ‘Aussie frog’) and it almost feels like Little House on the Prairie except she wears jeans!
We’ve been living here for the most part since 1998, making and working in wine. It is wine that led us here and wine that keeps us here. Our life is inextricably linked to it and why I’ll probably be talking a lot about it here! …And I guess living where we are, food may get a mention too!!
To outsiders it’s a quiet and very isolated life, if you compare it to the razzle dazzle of a city but delve deeper and, like anywhere, you’ll find a lovely hum of people busy in all sorts of interesting actvities. People from all walks of life – the locals born and bred here, French people from other parts seeking change and a growing community of ‘etrangers’ are all enjoying the wonderful landscape and quality of life that this region offers.
Influences and arguments fly in all directions. In this mix, food and wine are two major elements of the day and what connects us. There is an almost ritual-like approach to making or serving food and wine that I hadn’t encountered before living with a Frenchie in this area. I can’t think of a better way of getting to know all these people either! A few good wines and good food always seems to help my fledgling French.
I may not be sharing any images of the Eiffel tower, baguettes in hand, candlelight dinners overlooking the Seine – or frilly French knickers for that matter (who said all Frenchman were romantics?)… but a no-frills account of what we get up to here in this part of France. I’m not going to spend 365 days eating only foie gras and camembert either, but I will make a good go of drinking Benjamin’s wine – and a lot of others, cooking and sampling foods and sharing these experiences with you.
Welcome to our home, warts and all, happy that you might visit!
p.s. I know I promised no snowdome scenes of idyllic life, but there are some beautiful sights around here that I’d love to share that are unmistakably ‘French’. Sometimes you do actually get those ‘ooh la la ‘ moments that take your breath away . This occurs almost daily for me here and it helps keep the homesickness at bay!
…and I do LOVE the Eiffel Tower.
18 thoughts on “So just who are the vigneron and his wife?”
Love the layout and perspective of this blog! Keep it up.
Oh and I have a book Simon wanted me to return to your house. See you at VinoCamp?
Thanks a lot Ryan – your comments are a huge boost (from the master himself, no less!) and much appreciated.
Yes, see you at Vinocamp…
Un appétit d’encouragement de la part d’une “frenchie” qui en redemande encore et encore. Tout se délecte des recettes aux descriptions de ce singulier Minervois. Merci Kat pour ces photos exceptionnelles et pour ces textes d’une remarquable écriture passionnée.
Long live the “vigneron’s wife”.
Merci mille fois Mat! Thank you for your kind words!
Beautiful photos and writing. Our surname is Vigneron so I too am a Vigneron’s wife but not in the same sense as you! A Yank married to “the French guy.” We lived in Beziers and then near Pezenas, know your region very well. Look forward to a return trip next spring to celebrate our 30 years together.
It’s great to hear from you Karen – thanks for getting in touch! I have never heard of Vigneron as a surname before and I think it’s brilliant. You are the original ‘Vigneron’s wife’!! Love it.
If you’re heading this way next year, please drop me a line!
G’day Kat. welcome back
…bloody spot on
Thanks U.R.!! xoxo
Carry on ! It looks great & reads well…
Merci beaucoup Michel!
And I’m very sorry I missed out on meeting you chez nous… a bientot j’espere!
Hi we hail from Sydney and we are staying in la Liviniere later this month. I was wondering if you could suggest some local vineyards we could visit.?
Our friends who house we are staying in have provided some restaurants and some wineries but I came across your fascinating blog and thought you would be ideally placed. I am guessing it’s vintage time and was wondering if many are too busy for a couple of Aussie travellers dropping in?
Hi Philip! Thank you for your very kind message. What can I say, I am so sorry you did not hear back from me – and you were even in La Liviniere!!?! I hope you had a good trip? ( and I am wondering if you might have been staying in a lovely village house that I remember well, that was owned by some Sydney-siders?). My apologies to you again for not having got in touch. I’ve been distracted in the last few years by worries with my family in Australia and so was not keeping up with this blog…
My very best to you and thanks for getting in touch way back then, Kat
je suis ravi d’avoir retrouver ton “blog” et des pages/images/tiny houses sur pinterest !
lien website vers mes écrits numérisés sur Amazon
hi – i used to by your wines on Naked when briefly working in the UK a few years ago. Just moved form the Loire to SW France and want to visit/buy direct – how do I do that?
Hi there, bonjour Mike! I am sorry I have not checked in with this blog this year and missed your message.
I hope you have settled in well to the South of France!
And now for some rather delayed info for you!!
Ben’s Naked range is not available in France, however the organic wines from his Naked selection are made from Chateau Maris grapes, the winery he makes organic/ biodynamic wines for here in La Liviniere in the Minervois region of Languedoc Roussillon.
You can taste/ purchase similar blends at Maris’s cellar door cafe (btw the food is really good imho!!) – Le Grand Cafe Occitan in Felines-Minervois.
Hope that has been some help for you.
Hi! We are angels with Naked and order your wines in advance because we know what predictably wonderful wines they are. We are over at our house in félines-minervois and would love to say hello! Do you ever offer dégustation?? ☺️☺️
Hi Kay 👋 and thanks for getting in touch! It’s wonderful to hear you are so close in Felines.
I am writing this to you from a bus trip, as I’m on my way to see my dad in Australia, so I’m sorry I won’t be able to meet up with you. Benjamin is out of range this week with Summer time out I’m sorry to say… But! I would like to let you know (you might know already?) that similar blends to his organic Naked range are available to be tasted at the Chateau Maris’s cellar door/ cafe – Le Grand Cafe Occitan in Felines. It is indeed from Maris grapes (so similar blends )from which he produces his organic Naked range.
I hope this helps – and that you have a great stay in Felines 🌞😘. Kat