Simon’s long-time passion for wine is undoubtedly a welcome inheritance from his father, who was raised in France and was thus schooled and immersed in the culture of wine.
After working a number of harvests in his youth, Simon decided to formally learn the art of viticulture and wine making.
With studies underway the second part of the plan was also kicked off – the search for a vineyard. With his passion for big southern reds, it was no great surprise his search centred on the south of France.
A confirmed “terroirist” – firmly believing that wine quality is essentially down to the quality of the grape and that is in turn down to providing the correct soil, weather, geographical as well as a host of other environmental factors for the vine, he was more and more drawn to the Languedoc where it became clear that there were some truly outstanding sites with unparalleled potential. These pockets of “terroir” provided a far better opportunity to create extraordinary wines than perhaps some of the better known more commercial wine producing regions.
So after viewing more than 100 properties for sale, eventually on one fine November morning in 2006 he eventually found Mrs Right. “I knew within 10 minutes that I wanted to buy this property, the vineyards were exceptional, rocky schist at altitude, beautifully planted with a perfect balance of the local varieties. Great potential!
Monica, Simon’s Catalan wife, herself a longtime lover of Mediterranean style wines, immediately fell in love with the area and its culture and having confirmed that the house, schools etc were up to scratch, agreed that the perfect property had at last been found.
The property is roughly divided by 15 hectares falling into the AOC Faugeres appellation and the remaining 9 hectares as AOC Péezenas Coteaux de Languedoc. The Faugeres vineyards are of pure black and gray schist whereas the Languedoc vineyards yellow schiste have a slightly higher clay content offering a contrast of more fruity wines against the spicier elegant wines from the Faugeres vineyards.
The Viognier and the Rousanne being of a single variety have been declared as Vins de Pays d’Oc, but the vineyards are AOC Coteaux de Languedoc with a slightly northern aspect which prolongs the ripening season and thus the freshness and fruit of these delicate wines.