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François David Martino

Domaine Sainte Luchaire

The estate is less than 5 kilometers from Minerve, which bears the imprint of prehistoric hunter-gatherers and was the scene of the 1210 crusade against the Cathars. The historic capital of the Minervois region, Minerve is now one of the prestigious gateways to the Parc Naturel Régional du Haut-Languedoc, and one of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France".

Anecdotes about the domain

The most exciting moments are the tasting sessions to define the blends of our future wines. We do this regularly with Laurent, our cellar master. It is a moment of both creation and rigorous analysis of the different wines in order to make the best possible vintage. It is a moment of magic where one plus one can sometimes make 3. Our Cellar Master, Laurent is a pure wine enthusiast who fell into it when he was a child! He has had a complete career in all areas of wine in all the different French wine regions. Unlike his colleagues, he arrived in this bacchic world by pure passion. More than a vocation, wine is for him a passion that began in his early childhood on March 10, 1978. It was on this precise date that his grandfather decided to pass on his knowledge through tastings of great classified wines from Alsace and Bordeaux. His grandfather used to take great pleasure in putting a little of these great wines in his glass, which he would then fill with water. He had the impression that he was drinking wine like the adults! But what he never said was that before, he had already made him taste some great wines in his cellar; away from the curious and especially from his grandmother! He taught her the art of wine tasting by spitting out the wine and how to consume it in moderation. He guided him towards his future profession and this is how he graduated from the prestigious school of oenology in Montpellier in 1990 (vintage of the century). At the time, he had only a limited knowledge of wine and had to go through a learning phase. Not only did he have to acquire a global knowledge of the world of wine, but he also had to retain a lot of details about soils, winemaking techniques, grape varieties and regions. In the beginning, he read a lot of professional publications, worked and traveled all over France (Alsace, Champagne, Côtes du Rhône Méridionale, Loire Valley, Burgundy, Beaujolais) doing all the jobs related to wine. Versatile, he has worked as a wine craftsman to meet prestigious vineyards, as an oenologist to create wines rich in sensations, as a Brand-ambassador to share with Asia the singular spirit of French wines, as a buyer to develop the plurality of wines from artisan winemakers. He visited different vineyards in France and abroad, met with terroirs and winemakers who give birth to concentrated sensations and emotions in their wines. "For me, wine is like an art of living, it is above all the taste of good food, sharing and conviviality around a beautiful table... I prefer to erase the hermetic and stuffy speeches of old-fashioned sommeliers. I speak and celebrate French wines with passion, preferring lyrical flights of fancy, real-life anecdotes and humor. My daily exchanges are like a shot of happiness, a mix of coolness from my Irish father's side and French glamour from my mother's side. In 2020, I went back to where it all began in Languedoc-Roussillon at Domaine Sainte Luchaire. The first vintage was not so simple but I consider that wine is a piece of music composed above all by nature and I must know how to interpret it. My wish is to capture the spirit of the wines of Domaine Sainte Luchaire to humbly write, vintage after vintage, wines of emotions and authenticity in the respect of the soil. From 2021, the results were not long in coming and already the medals!"
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The domain's short story

For me, winemaker is an alchemist of the earth and the vine who seeks excellence by creating the best possible wine. It's a life-long process. The first time I drank wine I was 13 years old. My parents owned a restaurant. One day I drank 3 glasses of wine and went for a bike ride right after. I still remember the drunkenness and the feeling of well-being I felt at that time. Although I didn't drink again until I came of age, I believe that it was at that moment that I really loved wine. My inspiration comes from the superb wines of different countries that I have had the chance to taste during my life through my numerous trips to all continents. These memories give me a clear idea of the type of wine I want to make.

The winemaker's pride

The estate is located less than 5 kilometers from Minerve, which bears the imprint of the hunter-gatherers of prehistoric times and which was the scene of the crusade against the Cathars in 1210. Historical capital of the Minervois, it is now one of the prestigious gateways to the Haut-Languedoc Regional Natural Park and is listed as one of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France". Located in the heart of the Minervois, the Sainte Luchaire estate is over 130 years old. Félix Yssanchon was the first owner of the Domaine de Sainte Luchaire in 1884. It now belongs to François-David MARTINO and his wife Agnès to perpetuate a tradition of creating unique and racy wines.
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