VARIETIES: 45% Chenançon, 35% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre
VINEYARDS: Clay/Limestone/sandy loam terraces in the northern foothills of the Alaric Mountains (Corbières)
VINEYARD SITES: Chenançon from ‘Les Ponts’ – Clay/Sandy Loam. Grenache from ‘Coudoulet’ (35 yrs old) – plateau of pebbles on sandy soil. Syrah from ‘La Bade’ (30 yrs old) – Sandy loam and clay.
WINEMAKING: All varieties fermented separately. Aging in vat. No oak.
ABOUT THE WINERY
Didier comes from a winemaking family in the small town of Douzens near Carcassonne in the AOP of Corbieres. Jenn comes from Berkeley, CA. She studied French Literature and naturally travelled to France and naturally fell in love with a Frenchman. After travelling together (is there any better way to really get to know someone?), they moved back to Douzens and started a life in the Languedoc. They bought 4 choice hectares from Didier’s father, were given 2.5 more as a wedding present, and have since planted another hectare and a half. They made their first wines in 2008 and sold them in 2010. Farming has been organic from the start. The hill where the winery and their house sits is a declared bird refuge (thus Colline de Hirondelle – Hill of the Swallow).
Although they are within the AOP of Corbieres, they do not use the Corbieres appellation for their wines. This is primarily because they are working with a rare grape called Chenançon (a genetic cross between Grenache and Jurançon Noir) that is not allowed in the appellation. They also produce a wine from a very tiny and very old vineyard that is a field blend of 13 varieties – only 11 of which have been identified. One can imagine the headache that causes within the wine bureaucracies of France. So they work with the very broad Languedoc AOP.
Their wines are fresh and full of energy. The sun and heat of southern France is represented, but so is the ancient terroir and the Mediterranean Sea.
We chose to farm our vineyards organically because it allows us to produce quality grapes while working in harmony with our convictions about protecting the natural environment.
It’s also the only kind of farming we’ve ever done. Our approach to growing grapes and making wine is hands-on and small-scale which favors manual work in the vineyards, the use of natural products, and common sense. Since we started converting the vineyards to organic farming we have seen birds and insects return and the soils slowly come back to life. We can also harvest delicious wild arugula and other lettuces in the vineyards, which in itself is reason enough for me to go organic.