In Focus: Sommeliers Take on Roussillon

A group of London-based sommeliers recently travelled to sunny Roussillon. We asked a couple of them to summarise what they took away from their trip and what surprised them the most. Here is what they said in answer to our questions:

Filipe Bhering Reis, Chef Sommelier at Annabels’

What will you take away from the trip?

It was lovely to be able to see such an incredible region and all the challenges winemakers are currently facing, especially when it comes to climate change. A visit to the world’s first agrivoltaic farm, which combines agriculture and solar energy through the use of photovoltaic panels placed above young grapevines, was particularly insightful.

What surprised/impressed you the most?

The ability of Roussillon’s Vins Doux Naturels (sweet fortified wines) to pair with food. We had a fantastic four-course dinner solely paired with VDNs. A real mind-opener.


Elton Muço, Sommelier, 67 Pall Mall

What will you take away from the trip?

I was very interested in all the technical facts, such as that Roussillon uses 24 different grape varietals, the production of still dry wine and VDN totals 19.239 has and yields 542.537 Hl of wine. There are 2.530 hours of sunshine per year which equals to 316 days. I also learned about the vinification and ageing potential of wines like skin-contact for whites, bleeding for rosés, carbonic maceration (especially for the Carignan varietal) and that Roussillon reds mature for 2 years on average.

What surprised/impressed you the most?

The four-course dinner solely paired with Vins Doux Naturels which we were fortunate enough to attend. It was outstanding. I was also surprised by the large number of terroirs which enable winemakers to offer such a diverse range of wines, each with its own particular character.


Sommeliers who are interested in discovering more about Roussillon’s Vins Doux Naturels, should join Wines of Roussillon at 67 Pall Mall on 26 September for an exclusive masterclass. Click here to find out more.