Portraits Vignerons - Je suis tombée dans la cuve à la naissance - Les Grappes

"I fell into the tub at birth"

Château Pas du Cerf, a den of men? Not at all! It is a story of women since 1848 that Geneviève Gualtieri tells us.

Where does your passion for wine come from?

I fell in the tub at birth! The wine fills the space. It's the annual "Adventure". We work a whole year to give birth to a new vintage, more or less beautiful depending on the year. We take care of the vine as soon as it has given its grapes. It is pruned, watched over, given all the care it deserves and like a mother-to-be, it is given all the trace elements that will be necessary for the good maturity of the grapes.

Which wine is most like you?

The red Marlise. It has character. Syrah and Grenache from the schistous soil characterize this powerful wine. A heady but velvety wine on the palate: a real compromise between complexity, richness and elegance, it is sober but of great class.

What is your favourite time of year?

The spring when the vine explodes. The buds swell and are the promise of a good harvest. The tender shoots emerge from the lethargy of winter. Nature awakens, thanks to the biodiversity we have on the estate. The alchemy as well as the interactions between organisms and our living environment can take place.

A domain run by four women (and only one man), how does that sound?

The man brings his Cartesian side, the oak with which the 4 women can blossom.Each in our sector, we bring according to our personalities sensitivities which will enrich this family heritage, but indisputably, the female side will perspire in all that we decline. Subtlety and Elegance in our rosé wines, careful bottle dressing, decoration of reception areas and inspired gardens, etc...

An encounter that left a lasting impression on you?

My father, through his love of the land, his passion for the vineyard of Château Pas du Cerf. A visionary for his time. Everything he predicted came true. A tireless worker. If his daughter and granddaughters exist professionally today, it is thanks to him. He has made this love of the profession flow through our veins.

What is it that you can't stand in the world of wine?

Let all our policies make us look like drug dealers. It's the best job in the world. Everybody agrees to say it and yet we must fight relentlessly to exercise it.

Not the deer... Where does this rather unusual name for a castle come from?

It is the name of the land where the vines are planted. Here is the story: "from memory of men, the origin of the Pas du Cerf is told to us by the elders on the evenings of vigil. In the year 1533, our good king of France, François I stayed in the south of France to celebrate the marriage of his son Henri II with Catherine de Medici. Having gone down with his court, the king spent several months on the coast. The Count of Provence, Châtelain d'Hyères, invited François I to hunt deer on his lands. The relief being hilly and not lending itself to hunting at a run, the king pursued the deer at a walk. A very large deer was killed and in homage to the king, the inhabitants of Hyères named the place: " Pas du Cerf " ".

We imagine that you are a rather complementary family, who does what at the castle?

My husband looks after the vineyard, my eldest daughter, Aurore, takes care of marketing in France and export, my youngest, Diane, is in charge of winemaking and my last daughter, Marion, represents us on the Bouches du Rhone. For my part, I am in charge of the communication and marketing part.

Find Geneviève's wines on Les Grappes

Loïc Tanguy (Les Grappes)

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