Tim Ford: 20 years of highs, lows and successes at Domaine Gayda

As Domaine Gayda looks to celebrate 20 years of making wine in the Languedoc, co-founder, Tim Ford, looks back on what the business has been able to achieve in establishing a range of branded wines, centred around its flagship brand Chemin de Moscou, that champions the diversity of terroir and grape varieties of  the Languedoc whilst also celebrating what IGP wines can achieve. He also looks ahead to where he hopes Domaine Gayda can go to in the years to come.

Villa Mon Reve, Chemin de Moscou, Altre Cami, Figure Libre, La Minuette, En Passant, Collection, T’air D’Oc, Flying Solo are all brands that have helped make Domaine Gayda a “go to” producer for wine merchants and restaurants all over France and an increasing number of markets around the world with close ties to a growing network of regional importers in the UK.

Considering the number of things you have to get right and contend with in any 12 months of making wine it is quite the milestone to be able to look back on 20 years of back to back vintages and a business that is now making 1.2 million bottles a year and is selling its wine successfully in over 40 countries around the world. 

It’s two decades that have flown by for Tim Ford who appears as excited and as passionate about Domaine Gayda, and what lies ahead, as he has been during any of the previous 20 years.

He is, though, in a reflective mood as he embarks on what will be Domaine Gayda’s 20th vintage this year. Happy to take the time to look back and pick out the key milestones that have helped Domaine Gayda get to where it is today. As well as touch on the some of the more difficult moments too. 

The Inspiration

The dream that came true for all those involved in the last 20 years of Domaine Gayda 

So what was it that brought this Englishman, his wife Barbara and his family,  to a remote part of the Languedoc to start a wine business? 

With things going wrong in Zimbabwe, where Tim  was running a successful flower export company, he decided to get  together with Anthony Record MBE and formulated a plan to start a winery in the Languedoc. 

Both having Africa in their blood it was a perfect match, Record having a holiday home in the area, was also a base to get started.  

“We spent three months trying to buy a winery and could not find anywhere that was suitable. In the end we came across what has become Domaine Gayda 500m from Anthony’s holiday home. We had decided to go for a picnic and sat under a tree to get some shade,” recalls Ford.