The Story

Les Enfants Sauvages came about rather by accident after Carolin and Nikolaus' search for a place in the sun resulted in them falling in love with this property with 8 hectares of vines near Fitou, a coastal town in the south of the Languedoc-Roussillon. This was a far cry from their life in Germany where Nikolaus worked in his family's leather business. Carolin moved away from her work as an architect and took a course in Oenology, and so, Enfants Sauvages was born.

Why "Enfants Sauvages"? Simply put, as a tribute to Jim Morrison and The Doors. The duo behind the wines drew inspiration from The Doors’ song “Wild Child”—about finding salvation in the wild state of nature—and they took the French translation for their name.

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The People

Carolin, Nikolaus, Juri & Falk

With such care and attention to detail, you might expect Carolin and Nikolaus to have spent a lifetime in vineyards. But, in fact, they wandered into the world of wine nearly by accident, taking with them their two sons Juri and Falk.

As a winemaking family with a strong nature-led philosophy they make a formidable team, producing wines that are exquisite expressions of the Garrigue landscape from which they come.

"Human existence depends on a respect for nature.”

Watch Nikolaus & Carolin Bantlin’s interview with 67 Pall Mall.

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The Place

France, Roussillon

The vineyard is 30km north of Perpignan, 5km from the Mediterranean as the crow flies, and 150m above sea level.

The vines are grouped in two plots of land in the midst of naturally wild garrigue vegetation. This protects the vineyard from undesirable influences such as nearby sprayed chemicals and local diseases. Instead, the vineyards are surrounded by almond, fig, and olive trees as well as aromatic herbs so typical of the garrigue - such as thyme and rosemary.

In another nod to their location, you might notice a recurring illustration cropping up on their labels...the Porta dels Països Catalans which doubles up as a fitting "hand meets glass".

The total area is 12 hectares, of which 8 are cultivated at present on limestone.

The grapes are grown without the use of synthetic chemicals, with remedies instead limited to plants like camomile and nettle. Each vine gets individual attention, with leaves, shoots and even sometimes grapes removed, all by hand, to maintain their health. In fact, the only modern equipment used in the process is at the winemaking stage itself, but only as a means of encouraging natural processes to occur.

They bottled their first vintage in 2002, and the rest is history!