‘Son Terroir, C’est la Mer’ (Its Terroir is the Sea) perhaps one of Picpoul’s best known marketing slogans. Nestling amongst the warm and red-biased appellations of the Languedoc, just a few miles from the Mediterranean coastline, Picpoul de Pinet is an unexpected find, offering a crisp and zesty white wine made from the rare Picpoul grape. Known locally as the ‘Lip Stinger’ for its acidity, the concept of ‘sting’ gave this wine its name of l’Abeille ‘the bee’. The grapes for l’Abeille come from vineyards that overlook the oyster beds that also provide its best culinary partner. So close to the sea that at times it looks like the water is above you, the Picpoul grape draws in a saline, salty note that carries through into the finished wine. The winemaking is cold and controlled, working hard in a very modern facility, to retain the delicate aromatics. Our decision to work with a portion of heavy lees was unusual but this, we feel, has contributed texture and an orange peel note to the wine that sets it apart.