Saturday, 3 October 2015

Independents - an upwards trend

Aspiran took the European Weekend of Heritage (patrimoine) seriously this year and included in the events and exhibitions was a display covering wine. Specifically highlighted were the Aspiran producers who now number 10, along with the cave cooperative (Clochers & Terroirs).

The longest established are Domaine de Fabrègues (1835) and Chateau Malautié (1900). Domaine des Montèzes arrived in 1995 having been displaced by the building of the A75 autoroute above Lodeve. The grapes around their Aspiran property apparently go to the cooperative with wine being made on site from grapes brought down from their Pégairolles de l’Escalette vineyards.

It was after 2000 that new arrivals took root, possibly fuelled by the decline of the cooperative before relatively recently joining the Clochers & Terroirs clan of cooperatives. Domaines Mon Mourel, Ribiera, Clos Mathelisse, Villa Symposia, des dimanches and most recently Gregory White and Mas Troqué complete the list.

Interestingly several producers in nearby villages have vineyards in the commune, ones I know about being Mas Costefere (Adissan), Julien Peyras (Paulhan) and Domaine les Quatre Amours (Bélarga).

Are there trends here? Of the new arrivals at least two (David Caer of Clos Mathelisse and Christelle Duffours of Mas Tronqué) have strong local roots. The six most recent arrivals practice organic standards with minimal intervention in the cave. Five of them appear regularly at Vins Nature events.

Perhaps the main observation is that villages with relatively dynamic and successful cooperatives have content viticulteurs and precious little land for sale, so have few independents. Witness nearby Fontès and Cabrières that both have exciting terroirs but few independents. The nearest equivalent commune with a similarly diverse land (limestone Villafranchien and galets roulés, clay with silt and limestone, basalt et al) is Caux, where independents also thrive while the abandoned cave cooperative building decays into an eyesore.

Wine from almost all the producers can be purchased from the Aspiran Tabac which is by the village crossroads.

1 comment:

  1. Aspiran certainly seems to be a village on the move, I'd happily drink most of those producers. I hadn't thought about the strength of the cooperatives but I take your point. Cabrieres is emerging slowly (Mas Coris / Clos Romain) but Fontes does seem solidly co-op.
    You should be proud of your village.