"I protect nature and then I make the wine."
- Olivier Dauga, winemaker & consultant
image courtesy of Jasmine Hsu
As soon as I set eyes on Olivier Dauga, I knew that he was no ordinary winemaker! Chicly attired from head to toe in bold patterns and vibrant colors, all signs correctly indicated that Olivier and his wines would be far from boring.
Born in Libourne, a town in the heart of Bordeaux's vineyards, Olivier comes from a family of winegrowers with a passion for farming and the land. This commitment to the environment is a core principle for Olivier and he firmly stated, "I protect nature and then I make the wine." Self-taught, he honed his winemaking skills working at famous Bordeaux properties but it was a trip to Australia, and the creativity and innovation of those New World winemakers, that inspired him to set up his own wine consultancy, Le Faiseur de Vin, in 2000. In addition to his native France, Olivier has also made wine in Spain, Ukraine, and Morocco. A former professional rugby player, Olivier brings that spirit of teamwork, humility, and quest for excellence to his work as a winemaker and consultant.
I recently had the pleasure of tasting several wines that Olivier produced and consulted on for Vinadeis. Based in the south of France in the Languedoc Roussillon region, Vinadeis is France's largest still wine cooperative group. Olivier's ability to work with winegrowers to elevate their quality without sacrificing authenticity and uniqueness is impressive. Here are three wonderful wines that showcase Olivier's magic touch.
Château de Jonquières Cuvée Cersius Rosé 2015 ($14.99)
A very pretty shade of pink, this elegant and fresh rosé beautifully blends Grenache (60%) and Cinsault (40%). Vibrant flavors of red berries with a lively touch of citrus make it a perfect thirst quencher on a hot summer day!
Domaine de Cazelles Verdier "Les Pierres qui Chantent" 2015 ($21.99)
100% Chardonnay, this gorgeous wine subtly wows the palate with elegant layers of flavor. Full and round with flavors of tropical fruits, luscious creme brûlée, and a hint of citrus zest, I can taste why this wine won a gold medal at the Mondial de Bruxelles competition in 2015. The Verdier family has been making wine since 1713.
Château Notre Dame du Quatourze "A fleur d'eau" 2014 ($24.99)
A bold red blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Carignan grown on fully organic vineyards; this juicy fruit-forward wine is balanced by touches of savory spice.
If you're planning a trip to France, you can taste a large selection of Vinadeis wines at their Wine Pavilion.