All photos by Paige Donner ©
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Gérard Bertrand is one of those rare Frenchmen in wine - a former rugby star who took over the family business of wine when he retired from his illustrious sports career. Since his father George's death, Gérard has overseen the vast family business entirely, even launching the brand with considerable success into the US market in 2011.
A champion of bio-dynamic wines, Bertrand is also one of the biggest grower-producers in France's Languedoc region, a region that has historically been considered the wine barrel of France for its sheer volume of production.
At his recent book launch at Faust in Paris, celebrating the release of his new book, Le Vin à la belle étoile, celebrated personalities from both the fields of sports and wine, as well as the Parisian demi-monde, came out to congratulate him - and to sip some of his new releases from his more celebrated estates of Cigalus (bio-dyanamic), Domaine de l'Aigle, and the wine from the Bertrand family estate, Domaine de Villemajou.
If Domaine de Villemajou was a person it would be a generously proportioned Mediterranean woman with lots of charm to illustrate its rounded, silky, fine tannins.
The eight hectares that make up the plots of Villemajou are referred to as La Forge. These plots were Georges Bertrand's, Gérard's father's, favorite of his estates. It is part of the inland terroir of the Boutenac region in Corbières. These Villemajou plots, La Forge, reside on a Miocene hilltop. The blend of the wine is of two emblematic regional varieties, Syrah and Carignan.