Welcome at Domaine des Féraud !
© Herve Fabre
Nothing predestined me to become a wine grower. An accomplished trumpeter, I started studying economics before managing companies dedicated to books, and later, to coffee.
My project to become a wine grower is above all personal. I suppose it was my Italian grandfather who anchored the dream of having a Mediterranean life around nature and wine in the depths of my soul. In 2009, on the occasion of my 50th birthday, Anne- rose and I decided to take the next step. It was time to start a third career. In Provence, the region we fell in love with a long time ago.
Contrary to what one might spontaneously think, there are many links between wine and my previous passions.
Wine is often considered to be „liquid music“. These two arts have the ability to embody emotions, to delight the human heart and to radiate harmony. The attention paid to nuances does not less distinguish between the best wine growers than between the best musicians.
Just like wine, coffee is first of all synonymous with sharing and encounters. It can be enjoyed in the same way. In a restaurant, it is as important as wine because it is the coffee that makes the last impression. You may have drunk the best wines during a meal but if the coffee is bad everything is ruined.
Today I consider that making wine is the most beautiful profession in the world, because every wine grower brings together three men in one: the peasant who works the land under the gaze of the sun and the creator; the industrialist who masters the process, and the merchant who travels the world to sell his wine.
The essential reason for wine is to please
© Herve Fabre
The search for fresh, honest and elegant wines
I am convinced that we must remain simple and practical in our professional approach. As a winegrower we are better when we produce wines we love to drink with our friends.
What interests me above all are wines that are vibrant and alive, fresh, fruity and well balanced. Clean and pure wines that benefit from working organically in the vineyard and from care in the cellar. White and rosé wines to drink immediately and red wines that age well, but without having to wait twenty years to drink them.
We follow the conviction that thanks to organic viticulture, interventions of any kind can and should be dramatically reduced in the cellar.
Whilst we pick all our white and red wines by hand, we usually use modern harvesting machines for our rosés. Equipped with powerful spotlights they can start harvesting in the early morning hours. Here in Provence, grapes harvested at night produce far more aroma and taste fresher and fruitier than grapes harvested during the hot day. We simply want to avoid everything that can lead to oxidation and uncontrolled fermentation in our rosés. For the rosés we also pay particular attention to a very gentle, slow pressing process, which provides maximum protection against oxidation.
For our white and red wines we generally press and ferment them in whole bunches. All red wines are fermented spontaneously. During the entire work in the cellar we pay meticulous attention to the minimum use of additives. And we love un-oaked wines. Only our two top reds from old vines, the Grande Cuvée and the Indigène are aged in barriques. Even then we use a mix of new and already used barriques, so that the fruit aromas still dominate the wines and not the wood.
Our cellar is equipped with concrete, stainless steel, ovoid and wooden barrels, all of which are thermoregulated. This very flexible equipment allows us to vinify small volumes and even specific parcels in order to conserve the character of each terroir and cepage.
We call our approach Dynamic-Organic
We are convinced that the terroir is our greatest asset and that we must take care of it as well as possible. Convinced that the soul and aesthetics of wine come from the vineyard. Convinced that the best organic wines have a particular taste profile as they truly reflect the beautiful terroir we are so proud of. Convinced that intervention in the winery can be dramatically reduced if you adhere to organic agriculture. And finally, convinced that certification is an essential proof for us and for the lovers of our wines.
The transition to organic farming represents a long-term commitment. Yields have to be rethought. In order to achieve the desired qualitative improvement, you must have and live by strong personal beliefs.
Shunning chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides is already having a positive effect. To treat our vines we use, without exception, products that are obtained from active substances of natural origin not harmful to health. Taking advantage of our microclimate we use sulphur and copper well below the organic standard.
Soil life is essential. We believe in intense ploughing, and a reduction in tractor rota- tions. And as we believe in biodiversity, we encourage insects, ants and earthworms to burrow in the soil to keep it loose and not compacted. It‘s about nature helping nature.
A healthy soil and cover crops are the best protection against climatic challenges. In the case of heavy rains or in periods of drought.
Going further than mandated by organic specifications, we follow lunar cycles to determine planting, pruning and harvesting days. And we believe in progress, experi- mentation and a scientific approach to manage key points: hygiene, little interventions in the winery, technologies to avoid irrigation or weather forecasting.
Natural wines - taking risks to win
Wines that are produced without adding or removing anything during their making are certainly not the only possibility for the future of winemaking. But, believing in experimenting and in progress, we have launched a small range of natural wines. Somewhat “art house” because it is more difficult to make a very good wine without sulphur and additives that expresses the terroir and the fruit whilst living up to the ambitious goal
Our Domaine of 50 hectares is located in Vidauban, in the heart of the Côte de Provence wine region, 10 minutes from the historic Via Aurelia, today‘s A8 motorway, and just 40 km from Saint-Tropez. For more than 2000 years, it has been the birthplace of rosé wines. A terroir that offers ideal conditions for elegant wines of character thanks to the rather cold nights, the 3000 hours of sunshine per year and the mistral which provides dry air for the good health of our vines.
We pay respect to tradition. When planting new vineyards, we concentrate on the typical red grapes of our region (Syrah, Grenache Noir, Cinsault) for rosé and red wines. For fruity, fresh and typical white wines we prefer Rolle (Vermentino).
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