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Domaine of the Bee started as one of Justin’s crazy ideas, when he and Amanda were on holiday in late 2003, and stumbled across the ancient winemaking village in a stunning valley, in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

This seemed like the perfect place to fulfil a long-held dream to make his own wine. The ancient vines here grow grapes of rare distinction with roots searching deep in the fragmented slate soils for any moisture they can find. Each gnarled old vine produces so few grapes that local growers are turning their backs on a life of toil amid the vines in search of an easier life. So the obvious thing for Justin and Amanda to do, was to enlist the help of their friend Philippe Sacerdot, and buy a tiny patch of vines. Even though they all live in London, and had full-time jobs.

Luckily, Justin is a Master of Wine, with more than twenty years’ experience of wine buying, education, and winemaking in four different countries. He and Amanda spend as much time as they can in Roussillon to ensure their tiny production of Bee is the best it can be. The first vintage was released in 2007, since then it has built up a loyal following, and has received glowing reviews from experts and customers alike.

The Wines

At Domaine of the Bee, we make between 2,500 to 5,000 bottles year.

Since we are in the hottest and driest part of France, the grapes ripen very well, and the wine is deeply coloured and full-bodied in style. Our grapes are hand-picked, carefully selected and fermented in small batches, before being aged in a mix of new and used French oak. The main wine is simply called ‘Domaine of the Bee’, and it’s been produced every year since 2007.

The blend varies a little from year to year, but it is a Grenache / Carignan blend, aged in oak barrels for just over a year. In 2009 we hand-bottled a single barrel of our best wine, and called it ‘Les Genoux’ (French for ‘The Knees’).

Les Genoux is a ‘field blend’ – a mixture of different grape varieties that all grow together in this pre WW1 vineyard. It is only made in exceptional years, representing the very best wine we can make. From time to time, we have also been known to make a crisp refreshing white wine, from local white grapes, Grenache Gris and Grenache Blanc, called ‘Field of the Bee’.

Visit Domaine of the Bee

www.domaineofthebee.com

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