The wine and olive oil estate of Mas de Carrat is located in the south
of France some twenty kilometres north of Montpellier,
the heart of the Languedoc Saint-Drézéry appellation.
The vineyard extends across 16 contiguous hectares at an altitude of 150 metres. Planted on the slopes of the hill, the vines plunge their roots into deep, stony soil. The varieties – Syrah, Grenache Noir and Grenache Blanc, Carignan and Roussanne – are 30 years old on average, with some vines more than 50 years old. Four hectares of the estate are given over to olive-growing.
The geology of the vineyard differs from one slope to another, giving rise to a variety of terroirs. With a vein of limestone running through it, the north-facing slope is covered with scree, while to the south and west the soil is hidden by spectacular debris flows of pebbles. Here, these typical concretions of the AOP Languedoc Saint-Drézéry area cover clayey marl. It is this diversity that forges the originality and complexity of the wines of Mas de Carrat.
On its small promontory, the vineyard is ideally situated to benefit from the sea breezes which in the afternoons regularly temper the burning heat of the Mediterranean sun and at night cool the temperature of the soil. In the springtime, the northerly tramontane does its bit to ensure healthy vines.
We work in harmony with nature. We do no harm. We use no polluting methods. And at the same time we protect and encourage the life of the soil, the flora and fauna by adapting our tending methods to the character of each plot and restricting intervention to the strict minimum, whether in the vineyard or in the wine cellar. Working manually – pruning, leaf reduction, shoot thinning, trimming, harvesting – we have rediscovered abandoned growing methods and by so doing provide the very best conditions to allow our vines to express their full potential.
We set out to obtain organic certification simply as a matter of course, in accordance with the respect we have for the land we farm. But we want to go even further than the specifications for organic winegrowing demand, whether in terms of the vineyard work or the winemaking. For example, we use the treatments that are authorised for organic farming as sparingly as possible.
The wines of Mas de Carrat are made in the vineyard – the full wealth of their aromas is drawn from here. In the winery and the cellar, our role as winemakers is to reveal their profound nature without betraying it. Each plot on the estate is vinified separately, without any other input, or only in minute doses. The wines are aged in French oak barrels, 85% of which have already served for several vintages. The wine is bottled without filtering.