The story: Between Corbieres and Minervois, 25 miles from the Mediterranean, the Ferrandiere estate sits on the site of former wetlands. In ancient times this area was a salt water lagoon and nothing could be grown in the soil. It was drained centuries ago and has been farmed by the Gau family for the past 80 years. But even today, for a few weeks each year the vineyards are deliberately flooded to control the level of salt in the soil and they become home to frogs and sea birds. This has protected them from the vine plague of Phylloxera. Now that's unique!
The wine: A fresh, clean Chardonnay made without oak. It's a fruity, ripe style is half-way between the character of a Chablis and an Aussie Chardonnay. The food: Ferrandiere wines are designed to be drunk with as wide a range of foods as possible, so they avoid powerful flavors. Drink with chicken and seafood dishes of all kinds.