Laurent Vaillé, the pioneer from the Languedoc, has died. According to French media, the winemaker passed away on 30 April at the age of 57.
Laurent Vaillé was considered a visionary who helped winegrowing in the Langeudoc to regain fame. The trained physiotherapist studied viticulture and oenology in Montpellier and learned from icons of the wine world such as Jean-François Coche-Dury (Meursault), Gérard Chave (Hermitage) and Eloi Durrbach (Domaine Trévallon, Provence). In 1989, he settled in the Hérault region of Languedoc and bought land near the village of Aniane.
He deliberately chose grape varieties that were not permitted in the appellation's AOC catalogue and created a wine with world status with his Grange des Péres. As a cuvée of Syrah and Mourvèdre, with the non-permitted variety Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine was always labelled as Vin de Pays de l'Hérault and quickly gained fame due to its quality from the first vintage in 1992. The white cuvée is also made from a combination of Rhone varieties, namely Roussanne and Marsanne, with Chardonnay. He consistently relied on low yields and produced wines with elegance and freshness and moderate alcohol. Most recently, Vaillé farmed 13 hectares. aw