Years ago, I used to go to a restaurant in Sarlat and my favourite dish was Poulet au Verjus. The chicken was lemony, garlicky, grapey…delicious! Unfortunately, I’ve never since it on any menu, anywhere, ever since. So, when I learned that Domaine du Siorac, not far from where I live, is producing Verjus, I was off like a shot to ask them all about it.

Situated in the Périgord Pourpre, between the bastide towns of Eymet and Issigeac, the Domaine du Siorac has been making wine for over 200 years. The vineyards span 30 hectares and today they produce organic red, dry white, rose and sweet wines as well as grape juice and Verjus.

100% natural

Verjus (vert jus=green juice) is grape juice made from green grapes picked manually from the vines before they have reached maturity. Verjus is made from a variety of grape types, a diversity that gives it it’s distinct flavour. The juice is filtered, kept at low temperatures and pasteurised as it goes into the bottle, jar or bag-in-box. It is a 100% natural product.

Verjus is a handy little condiment to have as it is so versatile. It can be used to deglaze in cooking (poultry, meat and fish). It is also used in marinades, sauces and vinaigrettes, being softer than vinegar but more fruity and less acidic than lemons. Furthermore, it can be added to a sorbet or fruit salad and is widely used in cocktails. Have a look at the recipe section of this blog for Verjus recipes (translated by myself into English from the Domaine du Siorac website).

Domaine du Siorac is the first large volume producer of Verjus in France and the first volume producer of organic Verjus in the world (organic since 2020). It is available with or without grapes, in jars, bottles or bag-in-box direct from the vineyard. It can keep up to four years.

A traditional condiment

When I met the current manager of Domaine du Siorac, Muriel, who is third generation of the Landat family, she told me how her grandmother always used the acidity of the unripened grapes in her cooking when she was deglazing the pan. In her time, using Verjus in this way was normal, especially in the countryside. However, over the years, with the importation of lemons (even though more expensive) it is a tradition that has gradually been forgotten.

It was a meeting between Muriel’s father, Jean-Paul Landat, and Bernard Lafon (Oh! Légumes Oubliés in the department of the Gironde) in the 1980s, that eventually led to the rebirth of Verjus du Périgord. Sharing a passion for traditional and local cooking methods, the two men worked tirelessly together to produce this little darling of a condiment. Today, Verjus is thriving and back on the menu, thank goodness!

  • Produced locally, Verjus is more environmentally friendly than imported lemons
  • Certified AB by Ecocert
  • A jar of Verjus (23 cl) with grapes is 7,40 euros
  • A bottle of Verjus (33 cl) is 8,30 euros
  • Carrying on with the theme of bringing traditional, local products back to life, last year Domaine du Siorac produced a wine that harks back to olden days. MÉRILHA is a light, red wine made 100% from the Mérille grape variety which has long been forgotten. It has no sulphates added. It is a summer wine (un vin d’été) served slightly chilled that reflects past times.

What’s on?

  • Domaine du Siorac is open for guided visits and wine tasting on Tuesdays at 10 am and Thursdays at 2.30 pm from mid-July to the end of August. No reservation required.
  • Don’t miss the Soirée Gourmande à la ferme at 19h on the 21 July 2023 with wine tasting, local foods and music.
  • Domaine du Siorac will also be present in the Jardin de Cadix at Eymet on Thursday 20, 27 July and 3 and 10 August 2023.

Contact details:

Domaine du Siorac is on La Route des Vins

www.domainedusiorac.fr

24500 Saint Aubin de Cadelech (just off the D107)

Tel: 05 53 74 52 90

Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health. Consume with moderation. L’abus d’alcool est dangereux pour la santé. A consommer avec modération.