Vegan, Vegetarian, Certified Organic
Christophe Muret of Domaine de Castelnau, like Yves Ricome of La Croix Gratiot, used to farm melons before he began growing grapes in 1997. Located close to Pézenas, halfway between the Massif Central and the Mediterranean Sea, the 160-hectare estate benefits from fresh sea breezes, which help to preserve acidity and freshness in the grapes.
As a farmer, whether of melons or grapes, Christophe has always employed sustainable methods to maintain a healthy soil structure and a balanced ecosystem. The vineyards lie on a combination of limestone, clay and loam soils, whose water retention ability helps to prevent hydric stress in the vineyards during hot vintages.
South African born winemaker Francois Prinsloo ensures the quality of the farming shines through in the finished wines. The grapes are mechanically harvested at night to retain freshness and minimise phenolics in the wines. All wines are vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks.
The ‘Garenne’ of the label are wild rabbits that Christophe remembers from his youth. They are more rare these days, but remind him of his beginnings as a vigneron. The Garenne Sauvignon Blanc has a refreshing character of lemon and nectarine fruit. The Picpoul de Pinet displays an expressive floral nose with a core of vibrant stone fruit. A blend of 80% Cinsault and 20% Syrah, the Rosé is characterised by lively acidity and delicate notes of wild strawberry and citrus. The Syrah is destemmed and gently crushed before fermentation and a three-week maceration in stainless steel. The result is a bright black fruit-driven red with hints of liquorice and pepper balanced by a lifted acidity and ripe, supple tannins.