Ken Payton (above and below)
On Sunday evening at the Diagonal Cinema in Montpellier there was the first showing of Ken Payton’s The Terroiristes du Languedoc. Ken is a film-maker, wine writer and has his own blog: The Reign of Terroir.
This is Ken’s second wine film. The first, Mother Vine, highlighted the wines of Portugal. The Terroristes du Languedoc explores wine-making in the Languedoc through the eyes of 12 producers from across this vast region. It lasts two hours and 20 minutes.
Les douze vignerons qui figurent dans ce film documentaire sont :
John & Nicole Bojanowski (Le Clos du Gravillas, à St-Jean-de-Minervois)
John & Liz Bowen (Domaine Sainte Croix, à Fraïssé-Corbières)
Emmanuel Pageot & Karen Turner (Domaine Turner Pageot, à Gabian)
Virgile Joly (Domaine Virgile Joly, à Saint-Saturnin)
Cyril Bourgne (Domaine La Madura, à Saint-Chinian)
Brigitte Chevalier (Domaine de Cébène, à Caussiniojouls)
André Leenhardt (Château de Cazeneuve, à Lauret)
François Delhon (Domaine Bassac, à Puissalicon)
Eric & Vianney Fabre (Château d’Anglès, à St-Pierre-la-Mer)
Frédéric & Marie Chauffray (La Réserve d’O, à Arboras)
Jean-Pierre Vanel (Lacroix-Vanel, à Caux)
Each producer in turn has their 10 minutes of fame in front of Ken’s lens talking about their philosophy of wine, why they chose the Languedoc, why they have chosen organic viticulture or in a few cases why they haven’t. This part of the film was shot in the spring of 2012. In the film’s last section, filmed during the vintage, each of the 12 vignerons give a short summary of how the 2012 harvest has been for them. Fortunately for both the producers and Ken’s film 2012 in the Languedoc was a less difficult vintage than it was in many other parts of France.
Ken Payton wants his film to help to highlight the potential of the Languedoc. “Unlike some other regions of France, the Languedoc doesn’t really have any heroes – few names are well known,” explains Ken.
Despite the remarkable changes that have occurred in the Languedoc since my first visit in 1989, people and organisations have often been reluctant to treat the best wines as equal to those from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône. For instance, during this year’s Millésime Bio I stayed for two nights at the Hôtel Mercure Antigone. Much of the hotel this week has been booked out by the organisers, essentially Languedoc producers, of this organic Salon. Yet on the wine list advertising the hotel’s restaurant there is no mention of wines from Languedoc-Roussillon! Instead only wines from France’s long-established classic region’s feature.
Grand fromage in the first night audience: Jacques Gravegeal, president of IGP d’Oc
Ken’s film presents the Languedoc as an exciting and innovative region but one where it can be very difficult to be profitable, partly because of the reluctance of wine consumers to recognize that there are certain costs in making high quality wine, especially if you opt to work organically.
At nearly two and a half hours the film is long – there is no sex and violence and as the same questions are posed to the each of the vignerons it is a bit repetitive. On the other hand it demonstrates that wine producers in Languedoc are more than worthy of recognition.
Good to see a Lirac/Tavel estate offers Terroiristes
an opportunity to give themselves up!