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The vineyard is located at the foot of the hills of the "Coteaux de Villeneuve-les-Corbières" in the part of the "Haut Fitou", in the heart of the Massif des Corbières. The 18 hectares of vineyards in the Ardoises and Erles are part of this same vineyard. The "garrigue", and its wild herbs, pines and holm oaks, which surround the vineyard, bring notes of Provence herbs...Lire plus Learn more
The vineyard is located at the foot of the hills of the "Coteaux de Villeneuve-les-Corbières" in the part of the "Haut Fitou", in the heart of the Massif des Corbières. The 18 hectares of vineyards in the Ardoises and Erles are part of this same vineyard. The "garrigue", and its wild herbs, pines and holm oaks, which surround the vineyard, bring notes of herbes de Provence to the wine such as rosemary and thyme. The soil is poor and well drained thanks to an irregular soil composed of schists and a mixture of black and brown sandstone laminated in layers, which makes it more fragile. Carignan and Grenache are goblet cut, while Syrah requires trellising and cordoning. The Grenache vines have between 40 and 50 years old, those of Carignan between 30 and 40 years old and those of Syrah between 10 and 15 years old. The density is low, about 3000 vines/ha. It is a typical Mediterranean climate with dry summers and temperate winters. Rainfall is low and luminosity high. The vines are constantly shaken by the "Tramontane", a cold and dry wind coming from the North West or by the "Marin", a warm and humid wind coming from the Mediterranean Sea. The influence of the sea moderates the hot summers somewhat and gives these wines a freshness of their own.
Fitou was a challenge for my brother Jacques and me. We acquired Château des Erles in 2001, but we had been working on the area for about ten years. Originally we wanted to make this appellation in the heart of the Corbières massif, the oldest in Languedoc, the wine most in tune with its time. A great rigour in the vineyard and in the cellar, earlier extractions on perfectly sorted and ripe grapes very quickly distinguished Château des Erles and Cuvée des Ardoises. The fruit and spices are there, highlighted, but this aromatic is carried by a tannic power without any dryness. Velvet! Velvet!
In wine, everything happens in the vineyard. A winegrower is a man who relies on nature to carry out his project. He is a listening man who adapts to the conditions but who knows exactly where he is going. Only the way of going there differs from one year to the next. My ally is nature and sometimes it doesn't make it easy for me. Other winegrowers tell me this story as I meet them. Many are friends.
I remember that as a teenager I was not very passionate about studying. I spent my holidays planting vines, pruning or harvesting. Outdoor life motivated me. It is during these years that my organic consciousness will take root. The goal today is to have a company that is deeply responsible and sensitive to its environment. I make wines that have "a reason to exist", that are essential, unique, because they express a terroir, a unique grape variety, an inimitable taste, derived from its roots and not from a commercial reflection.