You have to know Perpignan to understand why it was the right place for INDIGENES. The city is the gateway between Catalogne in Spain and France (Catalogne Sud and Nord as they say) and Occitania which combines the top of the Roussillion and bottom of Languedoc area producers. If France had a San Francisco it's Perpignan in many ways. Hip. Chill. Cool. It's got a thriving restaurant and wine bar scene, and is like SF, a stones throw from wine regions north, south and west. You can't go east as the sea is there.
That's part of the reason why the INDIGENES conference was so great. It started with the vibe. From the easy, entry even with cool security guards who without much fanfare checked you bag on the way in, to the lady selling cork keychains, to the merchandise stand that each had a vibe of its own. Reggae music played in the courtyard. Local artisan cheese sellers and sausage makers had their stands, but inside the wine was the star.
Billed as a "natural wine" event, it was as much about organic and bio-dynamique as anything I've been too. In many ways it was better than Millésime Bio because of the vibe. Bio is about wineries who make organic wines and want to be know for it. INDIGENES was about winemakers who make wine that just happens to be organic. Many of the wines were special. Some were off the hook. Others took my breath away.
INDIGENES was as much as a coming out party for some wineries like Bodega Clandestini and Nenu both so new they don't even have findable websites, as it was a showplace for friends like Matassa, Riberach and Amistat Vin. The former were newcomers. The latter, wineries and winemakers I've befriended over time and during visits to the Roussillion.
INDIGENES rocked. The wine rolled. And everyone left very happy!
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