In 1986, at just 28 years of age, Philippe Nusswitz won the most difficult tasting competition in France and was named Best Sommelier in France. Nusswitz spent years in the wine trade before summoning the courage to search out and develop an estate on his own. The search lasted three years, culminating in the purchase of an ancient Hansel and Gretel farmhouse in a fairly cool, rocky spot in the Languedoc, just outside the Picpoul appellation. Nusswitz farms a small vineyard and makes two other wines called "Orenia" (one red, one white) that are drawn from grapes grown by neighboring grape growers. Due to the rocky clime and cool Languedoc microclimate, aromatic whites like Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne, if cultivated for low yields, can produce astonishingly aromatic wines.
Orenia 2006 is a dry and aromatic blend of Viognier (50%), Marsanne, and Rousanne. Highly versatile at the table, this vibrant, well-balanced white is excellent with all sorts of fare, including salads, grilled fish, poultry and game. Only 200 cases of Orenia Blanc were imported to the U.S.