Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Living in France: Meet Ryan O’Connell

Moving to France and starting a new life is a wonderful way to broaden your horizons and revitalize your life.  True enough it requires courage and a lot of research to move to a different country but if you put your heart in it, you can make your move a success.

Winemaker at O’Vineyards: Ryan O’Connell
Today I want to introduce you to Ryan O’Connell, a young winemaker at O’Vineyards and  member of the Outsiders a group of winemakers who have all fallen head over heels for Languedoc Roussillon wines.  Ryan also runs a Languedoc Wine blog and is the author of the e-book “Wines of Carcassonne”.   

How long have you been living in France Ryan?
 I lived in France on and off as a child, but I have been here more regularly since 2005

 What inspired you to come to France?  Why France rather than an English speaking country?
 My mom is French and my parents purchased a vineyard  in the south of France.

Does the dream match reality?  Did you find in France what you were expecting?
I thought I knew what French life would be like since I had lived in Paris as a child, but I found rural life to be a totally different experience, in a good way.  It's been wonderful here.  Although, country life means everybody knows everybody.  Without the anonymity of the city, I sometimes feel like I have no privacy.  But it's worth it for the beautiful landscapes and great wine.

Ryan O'Connell
What is it that you like the most about living in France?
 WINE!  and unpasteurized cheese.

What has been so far your worst experience living in France?
 All the paperwork, bureaucracy here is exactly as bad as people describe.

What advice would you give to any foreigners who want to come and start a new life in France?
Learn about what part of France you're going to.  Each region has its own history and culture.  Don't expect all of France to be the same or all French people to be the same as it’s one of the most diverse and culturally rich parts of the developed world.  And people still latch onto their regional heritage (especially in rural areas), so know your stuff if you want to integrate! 

Wines of Carcassonne.  A book by Ryan O'Connell

For more information or to visit O’Vineyards you can call email them at


  1. Thanks so much for the interview. It was a lot of fun! :)

  2. I remember Ryan's youtube videos. Those were very interesting!

  3. This is an awesome interview! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us.