J.F. ‘Jeff’ Bernabeu is the manager and wine-maker of this 26 hectare domaine, which was bought by a group of wine fanatics in 2003. They set out to renew the vineyard, and translate the terroir into the best wines possible. The chateau is situated near the village of the same name, nestled in a valley of the haut Minervois, in the foothills of the Montagne Noire, on a meander of the river Cesse. The vineyard is in two main parcels. The first ‘Les Crozes’ is near the chateau itself, in the valley at 100 meters above sea level. It sits in the old river bed, facing southwest, with complex soils of round pebbles, sandstone and clay, alluvial deposits. The second, the Plateau de Cazelles, is at 180 meters and faces full south, dry and raked by the wine, with stony soils of limestone shards (3% organic matter) on classic clay-limestone subsoils.
They practice sustainable viticulture, with ploughing (no chemical weedkiller), and only organic fertilizer. Three quarters of the vines are trained in cordon royal, the rest are bush or ‘gobelet’. The team also uses de-budding, green harvest and foliage management.