In 2001 Olivier & Emmanuelle decided to purchase their vineyard in Estagel (Roussillon) in the heart of the Agly Valley in the South of France, a place that is at the same time baron and teaming with life. The micro domain on the unique microclimate have released their 1st vintage in 2002 and have been a best kept secret since. Driving in from Perpignan you move further away from the ocean but feels its unfluences as your surrended but lush landscape, harsh terrain & searing sun. You smell the sea air, its the valley beyond the beach and its a special place. The vineyard itself spreads over 6 hectares. The isolated location of the vines between the forest and jagged stony hills encourages Olivier and other winemakers in the area to work with the landscape rather than against it. Each of his plots is fenced to protect from wild game.
The area itself has been increasing in bio diversity since Oliviers take over, he is someone who really takes the notion of being caretakers of the planet to heart. Referring back to that concept of ¨working with the environment rather than against it¨ Olivier is a champion of terroir and of synergizing the land and the wine. They do not use chemical fertilizers, weed killers, pesticides or any other synthetic entrants. The back breaking work of weeding this terrain is done by hand will regular passes through each plot and the soils are ploughed only once annually. Olivier´s ultimate go is to support vines in their search for natural balance, the balance between the fruit, the soil where the vines live and the ecosystem surrounding the both.
Warming is always a challenge in their wind swept, sun bathed semi-coastal climate. They prefer to harvest in the cool of the morning when the grapes are having their rest. Harvesting is done at the limit when they reach peak phonelic and gustatory maturity. Again there is a fine balance, the wines have a marked tannic backbone while maintaining the elegance and subtlety of some less aromatic varieties.
Soils in the Languedoc Roussillon vary highly accroding to AOC & IGP schemes but at Vinci the valley floors, perched hillsides and more forested areas have very different soil composition and outside influences. Walking through the vineyard you see heavily pebbled terraces, combinations of sand stone; clay; shale and limestone. Coastal areas lean more calcareous while plots inland sit on higher compositions of gravel. Wind conditions and historically poir terrain causes the vines to root deeply in search of nutrients.
The vines have tiny yields which combined with Olivier careful hand and a unique microclimate make extremely soulful wines that are representative of place. Olivier makes single variety reds (lledoner pelut, grenache noir, carignan, mourvedre) and blends of white varieties (macabeu, grenache blanc, muscat). Cuvees are named after the vineyards where they are produced. No sulfites are added at any point in the making.
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