Which music to favor with a glass of wine? Death metal or merengue, to each his own. In the vineyards, however, jazz is essential. He is at all the concerts. In Languedoc, the Rhône valley as in Bordeaux, the summer period multiplies the scenes in the middle of vines and estates.
“We are full. As in every edition for ten years. “ Despite the lack of foreign visitors (Covid requires), Gérard Bertrand is not surprised by the success announced. For the 17e edition of his Jazz à l’Hospitalet, the Languedoc winegrower has multiplied the headliners: Ibrahim Maalouf, Kendji Girac, Zucchero, Thomas Dutronc, Yuri Buenaventura. From July 20 to 24, they will play in the courtyard of the Château de l’Hospitalet, between Narbonne and the Mediterranean Sea.
Every evening, 1,400 spectators. The place has become a benchmark of jazz for having hosted, in previous years, some sacred monsters, Norah Jones, Johnny Clegg, Michel Jonasz, Diana Krall, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Maceo Parker, among others. The vineyard landscapes and the good wine in the glasses are convincing assets. Moreover, Zucchero maintained his appointment, while he canceled the rest of his French tour. The point is that he himself owns a wine estate in Tuscany.
Gold medalist in the 2020 Wine Tourism Awards in the “art and culture” category, the Château l’Hospitalet started off slowly, with only 30 spectators in 2004. “The festival’s fame exploded when I decided to improve the programming, but also the organization of the dinners before the concert, notes Gérard Bertrand. I now serve the best wines from my vineyards, in accordance with the cuisine of a great chef. “
An expression that comes from the deepest
We are indeed far from the picnic atmosphere at L’Hospitalet. “Even if the guests are numerous, the dinner must be of high quality, specifies the winegrower. Each tastes six wines, which must be served at the right temperature. We work on the appropriateness of the terroirs, with a technical sheet for each glass so that the guests can talk about it. ” At 9:30 p.m., dinner gives way to the concert, in front of the castle wall in order to create the ideal acoustics.
Jazz is obvious to Gérard Bertrand. It’s the music he prefers. And it goes well with great wines: “For me, the terroir is to viticulture what jazz is to music, an expression that comes from the deepest. There are many trends in jazz, gypsy, funk, New Orleans… just as the terroir varies depending on whether it is composed of rolled pebbles, limestone or tufa. Depending on its origins, its culture, we like different jazz, different wines. “
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