The Estate

A small estate, 7 hectares,

Each plot is a hymn to beauty,

Wines are the most faithful teller of the terroir’s wealth,

Witnesses of space and time, bearers of the year’s memories,

Rain, sun and wind, cold, heat,

Adventurers, eager for well-anchored roots, come there to regain strength

With the right gesture, the century-old gesture,

Giving their lives, their energy, their madness,

For the sake of surprise, shiver, wonder,

To offer, share, give a bottle

Where heady sensuality blends with opulence and asperity,

Refinement and vivacity,

And for the sake of game,

The game of life

My transformation from city dweller to winemaker was prompted by love at first sight; I fell in love with my first vines, on the highest point of the Causse de Montpeyroux, and the 17th century sheep barn.

Still standing against the wind, bathed in sunshine, La Jasse (Castel was the former owner’s name) looks across the Hérault valley, watching over the Grenache vines and scrubland at its feet. My 7 hectare vineyard is made up of a century-old Cinsault near the village of Arboras, an ancient Carignan tucked away amongst the Olivettes, a purebred Syrah on the edge of an oak forest, and a goblet-trained Grenache in the heart of the Seranne landscape.

In theory there was no particular reason why I should become a winemaker, yet everything lead me to this. Former journalist, teacher and writer, my growing desire to make wine and own a domaine came to fruition in 1998. Since then, every day has been magical, sensual, a wonderful discovery, and a learning process which I love to share. For me, the word “culture” has founded its roots again… for me it's humanity, it's a never-ending story.

Born in , used to mixed cultures, I had to learn how to manage a new challenge, to adapt and use the best of ‘blends’.

Thanks to my varied qualifications – a university degree in literature, studies in viticulture and commerce–, I was able to have varied professional experience as a wine journalist, an international commerce teacher, a marketing teacher, with one common thread: wine.

My first vinification took place at Domaine de l’Arjolle in Pouzolles in 1988. Then I worked in the winery of Clos de Gamot in Cahors. Finally I took part in the harvesting and wine-elaboration at La Grange des Pères in 1997.

The heavy manual work requires occasional hiring for de-budding, green harvests, trellising, etc.

The vineyards are tilled and, while we do not subscribe to any chart, we use the products that are least harmful to the vine, it is indispensable for little dwellers and ourselves : sulphur and copper.

Harvesting is done by hand in small crates, with 16 to 30Hl/ha yields.

After full destemming, the wine is kept in vat for 3 to 4 weeks, with regular punching and constant temperature control.

Bottling is done at the winery. Only the wines bottled shortly after vinification may be sometimes filtered.