Languedoc, france

Lidewij van Wilgen

I first met Lidewij earlier this year at an organic wine fair in France called Millésime Bio.

I was hunting for high quality producers in the Languedoc, and as soon as I tasted Lidewij’s wines, I knew I’d found what I’d been looking for.

Her path into wine wasn’t what you’d call conventional - aged 30 she was already a high-flying strategic director at an Amsterdam advertising firm.

Having reached near the pinnacle of that profession, she suddenly realised she’d be doing the same thing for the next 30-35 years.

So in 2002 she swapped one of Europe’s most densely populated regions for one of its least - the Languedoc in southern France.

Talk about a career change!

Here she came across a beautiful and remote old estate near Béziers in the Saint-Chinian appellation.

Saint-Chinian is best known for heavy, rustic reds - but Lidewij’s wines couldn’t be any more different.

They’re all about elegance and freshness - a deliberate style that Lidewij achieves through vibrant and healthy vineyards, and gentle winemaking.

This is the first time that Lidewij has sold her wines in Ireland - and I’m delighted to be the first person that spotted them.

She also sells her wine around the world - Holland (obviously), Belgium, Germany, Japan and the USA.

But her biggest market is France - and this is her proudest achievement.

The French are often slow to embrace outsiders, especially when it comes to wine. Lidewij’s wines speak for themselves, and she’s now regarded as one of the Languedoc’s shining stars.

Lidewij's wines