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François Lurton is the fifth generation of this family of winemakers. The Lurtons have developed a number of original and revolutionary techniques for the vineyard and the cellar. In ...Lire plus Learn more
François Lurton is the fifth generation of this family of winemakers. The Lurtons have developed a number of original and revolutionary techniques for the vineyard and the cellar. In 2001, François and his brother, Jacques, took over the Château des Erles, located in the heart of the Corbières and the Fitou appellation, the oldest in the Languedoc. The influence of the sea moderates somewhat the hot summers and gives these wines a freshness of their own.
The vineyard is located at the foot of the hills of " Coteaux de Villeneuve-les-Corbières " in the " Haut Fitou " area, in the heart of the Corbières Massif. The 18 hectares of the Ardoises and Erles vineyards are part of this same vineyard. The "garrigue", with its wild herbs, pines and holm oaks, that surrounds the vineyard brings notes of Provence herbs to the wine such as rosemary and thyme.
The terroir is poor and well drained thanks to an irregular soil composed of shale and a mixture of black and brown sandstone layered in layers, which makes it more fragile.
The Carignan and Grenache are goblet pruned while the Syrah needs to be trained and cordon pruned. The Grenache vines are
between 40 and 50 years old, the Carignan vines between 30 and 40 years old and the Syrah vines 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. The rainfall is low and the light is 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 somewhat the hot summers and confers to these wines a freshness which is their own.
Fitou was for my brother Jacques and me, like a challenge. We acquired Château des Erles in 2001, but we had already been working in the area for about ten years. Originally, we wanted to make the most contemporary wine in this appellation in the heart of the Corbières mountains, the oldest in the Languedoc. A great rigor in the vineyard and in the cellar, earlier extractions on perfectly sorted and ripe grapes have very quickly distinguished the Château des Erles and the Cuvée des Ardoises. The fruit and the spices are there, highlighted, but this aromatic is carried by a tannic power without any dryness. 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.