The Story

 

At first he worked alongside Alain Brumont from Madiran, and directed a wine producers’ co-operative in the Gard. It was only after he posted a wanted advert in the late-1980s that he found a plot in Montpeyroux suitable for his needs.

The estate has changed little since the first vintage in 1992. It was around the village of Montpeyroux that Alain found the type of vines that he was looking for;

"Old vines, because to make great wines you need old vines. The sap takes longer to rise, and concentrates the aromas."

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The People

Alain

Alain Chabanon is the child of two teachers, and the closest he got to understanding using natural techniques was as a child when he was editor of a nature magazine made by his schoolmates.

Initially, Chabanon studied agronomy in Bordeaux in order to raise Aubrac cattle, but after a work placement on a vineyard, he changed career course to focus on winemaking.

“Man is not all-powerful,”. “Biodynamics opens our eyes and invites us to look at what is happening in the world around us.”

“Understand the delicate alchemy of the nature to produce outstanding wines.”

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The Place

France, Languedoc

Today, Chabanon has 17 hectares of vineyards across the villages of Montpeyroux, Saint-Saturnin, Jonquières, Lagamas and Saint-André-de-Sangonis, allowing vines to develop over a variety of domains in the arid, stony soils, just below the Larzac’s stone plateau.

These are situated in a perfect environment, with a cool dryness preventing the growth of diseases. It may come as little surprise that synthetic chemicals are left aside, but the same can also be said of organic treatments – they are avoided as they are unnecessary. Chabanon believes that the vines must find their nutrition from the soils themselves, even if only a small yield can be produced. Dung compost is used, and a homeopathic dose of silica is added to the water before it is filtered and sprayed onto crops.                  

Grapes are picked by hand, based on the lunar calendar, between 7am and midday, when the weather is coolest. Grape sorting takes place in the afternoons. The wild yeast used for fermentation is found naturally on the skins of the grapes.

Domaine Alain Chabanon was certified organic in 2002 and biodynamic in 2011.

 

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