In 2008 I bought 4 hectares of vines, with no water, no electricity and I started the adventure with very few means but with the ambition to create a wine that expresses the strength and the Mediterranean character of this magical place.
My companion's name is Bruno Barwise. He is originally from South Africa. He's a big guy who grew up on a farm in the south-west, whose job until then had been to edit documentary films for Arte. Now - we farm the land and make the wines together.
The vineyard is located in the Mediteranean, north of the port town of Sète in France.
These are former scrubland clearings: about fifteen small north-facing terraces in the same locality.
Landscape : Limestone plateau, stone terraces, hillsides and scrubland.
Climate : Hot and dry Mediterranean with tramontane as dominant wind, sometimes softened by the sea breezes.
Grape varieties : Chasselas, Marsanne, Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, Marselan, Tempranillo, Aubun, Muscat de Hambourg, Alphonse Lavallée et Servant.
Soils : Mostly calcareous, made up in part of white earth very rich in magnesium and very shallow, more clayey soils with small gravelly deposits. The mother rock is never far away. The basement which forms the plots, of very old formation, is the vestige of the sea which has retreated and this rock was born from the disintegration of the marine skeletons.
Vegetation : The influence of the scrubland is strong: euphorbia, holm oak, kermes oak, cottony cistus, juniper, juniper, cade, thyme, rosemary, lavender aspic, redoul, boxwood, tree heather, broom, pine, arbutus, honeysuckle, honeysuckle, traveling madder, sarsaparilla.
Biotope : When we talk about natural wine, are we talking about nature? Natural wine is first and foremost a product of nature. The plots of land are isolated, with no neighbours in the vineyard or in chemical cultivation. The valley is also home to a farm with goats, which has been growing organically for 20 years. The vines find their breath in the surrounding nature which is very rich and wild in essences and scents of the garrigue. This is why I fell in love with these vines and I fully claim my "vin de garrigue" (garrigue wine).
Cultivation : To promote plant cover and biodiversity. Progressive tillage in the horse and then with the caterpillar tractor St Chamond TVL 463: Shoeing, removal of the soil from the feet of the whole vineyard. Manual interventions in the spring: de-stemming, disbudding. And to feed the vines: manure from the neighbouring organic sheepfold in a very short circuit !
Treatments : Simple and rarefied, facilitated by observations, low yields and the isolation of the vineyard which has no vine neighbours. Everything is necessarily manual and artisanal due to the configuration and size of the plots.
Vinification : as naturally as possible by respecting our work and our grapes. The doses of SO2 added are either nil or minimal. We have the pleasure of vinifying in the open air in an open cellar. There is a lot of talk about SO2 in wines, but we must not forget that the keeping of Mediterranean red wines is above all a question of harvesting at maturity. It is the balance between tannins, alcohol and acidity that will create the structure of the wine and will ensure its quality, its ability to be aged in the bottle. After 12 years we can affirm that the terroir of this sublime garrigue gives the wines a wild and free force.
GAEC Les Jours Meilleurs - Certified Organic Bureau Veritas
François Truffaut once said: "A movie shoot is exactly like a stagecoach ride in the Wild West. First, you hope to have a good trip and then, very quickly, you come to wonder if you'll reach your destination.