I knew their wine but I'd never met them so I went to see them and went to one of their very beautiful vineyards, La Goudie. Banyuls is very steep and they had a hoe and were getting rid of any grass that was there. Working really, really hard.
We brought a picnic that we were going to have in the vineyard but it started pouring down, so we rushed into a very old truck and had a picnic on the floor with beautiful sausages and simple food. Ghislaine [Magnier, co-owner] brought this bottle out. She poured it and it was really bright, deep-colored rosé. I'm not actually a huge fan of rosés and I thought 'Oh, rosé.' I tasted it and it was an amazing wine. It's the Canta Mañana and it's a field blend of red and white grapes. It's really aromatic and really beautiful.
The experience was about being able to share it with them having worked so hard in the vineyard, and being cramped in the truck with the rain outside. It typified all the things that I really love about wines that are made so naturally. It was the simplicity, the friendship.
Ghislaine and Alain [Castex] make the wine in Banyuls village in a tiny place that they rent, which is an old Citroen garage. They have a few barrels and make 5,000 bottles a year. It's tiny. We get about 120 bottles coming to the U.K. each year.
Now, I drink bucket loads of it. Deborah, my partner, and I are probably one of their biggest fans and, in fact, the logo on RAW is actually a photo of that wine in the glass. When things get really tough, we open a bottle of Casot des Mailloles. It brings a smile back to your face no matter what the circumstances."
As told to Rebecca Gibb
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