Update for 12 June 2015: We have the pleasure of announcing to you all that our first goal of purchasing the vinification equipment we need was reached a couple of days ago.
However, if you still wish to join our team of lovely participants, who have helped us up to this point, we have for you our second goal, which is to purchase the bottling material.
This will allow us to manage as conscientiously as possible the long road from vine to wine.
Un coin sur terre: From our grapes to your glass
Hello and welcome to “Our place on Earth”, otherwise known as “Un coin sur terre”. We invite you to share our excitement and enthusiasm in launching this project whose goal is not only to cultivate the land we love, but also the enjoyment of a "healthy" glass of wine (in more ways than one).
Our land ?
The vineyard where we work is situated in the Languedoc region in France, in what is known as the “Petite Camargue” on the outskirts of a village called Vauvert. This project is the brainchild of a young winemaker, Edouard Sentex, and his wife, Lane, as well as numerous others who regularly contribute their skills and knowledge. The common objective these people share is the desire to respect and value the Earth as well as the richness of the history and people who work it.
Cultivating the vines in a way that preserves the ecosystem surrounding them is our highest priority. However, we would also like to bring a social, cultural, and pedagogical element to this process (work). To do that, we are starting an organization that will develop various aspects of this work in the community.
Our Philosophy ?
Organic agricultural practices are the practical and most logical choice for our vineyard. Our goal is to progressively implement Biodynamic methods along with the organic techniques and environment already in place. We aim to raise and cultivate the vines all while avoiding any and all unnecessary intervention.
We harvest every grape by hand followed by “soft” winemaking techniques. This type of vinification uses small containers, which are adapted for easy transportation, in place of heavy machinery. This means that the wine will have a minimal amount of human/chemical intervention (sulphites, industrially-produced yeast, etc.) and will be processed using natural, such as “floating” the wine by using only gravity. We believe that cultivating and making wine in this way will not only produce a quality wine, but one that is also authentic and environmentally responsible.
Our Team ?
He is a young winemaker, and she is an English teacher.
She is American, and he is French.
He loves her as well as the field of winemaking, and she loves him and his wine.
After 12 years in winemaking and travels all over the world, we decided a year ago to make Vauvert our permanent residence. Behind this project, though, are many people (family, friends and colleagues) who have helped and supported us along the way… They are, without a doubt, our biggest motivator.
They trust and support us:
L'airdie : Lending bank who is contributing to our project http://airdie.org/
L'Addearg : Agricultural association who advises and aids farmers http://www.jeminstallepaysan.org/
Coupd'pousses : Agricultural business incubator http://coupdpousses.free.fr/
Domaine Cabanis : Vineyard neighbor and partner http://www.domainecabanis.com/
Why Vauvert ?
Vauvert is the place where I first cultivated, harvested and produced my own wine in 2010. Vauvert is also the place where Lane and I met one another. She was WWOOFing on a nearby vineyard (Domaine Cabanis) whose owner I had become very close friends with. This fellow winemaker invited me to dinner one winter evening, and the rest is history.
It was, therefore, obvious for us to return to this charming place that had marked our lives in such a strong way… a place with personality, history and hope. A land and soil which are so unique, sometimes wild, and offer an experience like no other. In short, an ideal place to make artisanal authentic wine.
Our business plan :
We decided that this project should take root on land cultivated organically since 1984, at the same place where we met, Domaine Cabanis. Our parcel is composed of three hectares including two hectares, which currently have vines (one with Syrah and one with Mourvedre), as well as one naked hectare. The hectare of Mourvedre will be the focus for the first year, and the second year will be spent planting and cultivating Grenache on naked land. The neighboring Syrah will be added into the third year’s work.
In terms of the work involved in cultivating the vines, we have created an exchange partnership with Jean-Paul Cabanis. It is an official exchange of mechanical work, which he will complete throughout the seasons, and manual work, which we provide for him when the time comes. This agreement allows us to start working in the vines without already having invested in the necessary mechanic equipment as well as have regular interaction with Mr. Cabanis as a seasoned winemaker and the person who has invaluable skills and knowledge regarding this particular soil.
Our objective is to produce approximately 5000 bottles of 100% Mourvedre for the first two years (as the first year of planting the Grenache will not produce grapes) and then double that amount in the third year with the addition of the Syrah and the newly-planted Grenache.