Harmonious pairing at French winery’s event
By Eric Moya
Awide range of music falls under the label of jazz: turn-of-the-century Dixie- land, postwar bebop, 1970s fusion, even that Dave Koz
Christmas CD you’ve heard at
your office holiday party. At their
best, what these styles have in
common is a spirit of improvisation and complexity — a penchant for unpredictability.
According to jazz aficionado Gerard Bertrand, improvisation and complexity are
also characteristics of the wine he’s been
producing since childhood (and under his
own label since 1992).
In his memoir “Wine, Moon and Stars,”
he writes: “Jazz is to music what terroir is to
wine. … Jazz exists in different forms, just
as wine comes from an infinite variety of
grapes and regions. Each vintage, even is-
sued from the same patch of earth, will be
different from the next.”
Since 2004, Bertrand has combined his
passions for music and wine in one event:
Jazz a L’Hospitalet, an annual festival staged
at his Chateau L’Hospitalet in Narbonne, in
southern France’s Languedoc region.
At the invitation of Bertrand and Sud de
France tourism, I attended last summer’s
edition, which held its own share of surprises for me, dispelling some of my preconceptions of how a jazz festival in southern
France might play out.
The event draws locals and visitors alike
to Chateau L’Hospitalet ( www.chateau
-hospitalet.com/en), which also served as
my accommodations for the weekend. The
4-square-mile estate, comprising buildings
dating as far back as the 16th century, offers
three room types.
My Classic room (about $195 per night
during summer) was a bit cramped but
comfortable, and amenities included a
complimentary bottle of Bertrand’s Code
Rouge (despite its name, actually a white
wine, though in a striking ruby-colored
bottle). Moving up the scale, also available
are 323-square-foot Superior rooms (about
$239) and Collection rooms (about $311)
measuring up to around 540 square feet. All
rooms include complimentary WiFi.
Also on the estate grounds are L’Art de
Vivre restaurant, a pool, a tasting cellar
and art exhibit space. In July and August
the chateau offers free guided tours of the
Companion flies FREE
when you book a select guided
vacation to IRELAND OR BRITAIN!
Book 1/2/18-1/31/18. Depart 4/1/18-5/31/18 & 9/15/18-10/31/18 (Ireland);
and 4/1/18-10/31/18 (Britain). Restrictions apply.*
to availability, other conditions and restrictions may apply. Prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and vary by departure date. Must call to book, not available online.
Ireland & Britain’s #1 Tour Operator
800.243.8687 | www.cietours.com
See JAZZ on Page 36
George Benson at
last summer’s Jazz a
Gerard Bertrand has
staged the annual festival since 2004.
A Superior room at the Chateau L’Hospitalet in Narbonne,
France. Several of the estate’s buildings date to the 1700s.