The Pic Saint-Loup appellation of the Languedoc has some natural treasures: old vines. Sadly, more and more of these precious, living pieces of vinous history succumb to an early fate; ripped out to make way for younger, more productive vineyards. However, some fortunate examples of these ancient treasures have found themselves in the care of the Beau family; handed down from Christoph Beau to Victor Beau. And in these hands, they aren’t going anywhere — these beauties are staying in the ground, where they belong, farmed biodynamically for as long as they may live.
People: Victor Beau
Place: Pic Saint-Loup, Languedoc, France
Varieties: Cinsault, Carignan, Aramon, Grenache, Terret Bourret & Vermentino
Did You Know? To delve further into biodynamics, Victor also bought two Highland cows, and works with a friend’s sheep in the vineyards as nature’s lawnmowers. We ask how he decided to choose cows, to which he said,
“The area here is known for pastoralism, and a friend of my dad’s is a cattle breeder. I was always hanging out there when I grew up, so the idea of having cows just spoke to me. Plus, in biodynamics, the cow is the central animal, so to introduce them to the vineyards — to eat the grass and to have our own manure — simply made sense to me. It’s a bit of work, sure, but it’s a great experience and I love looking after them.”
Victor learnt how to make wines with natural methods from his father; the first crucial step being natural fermentation. His father had also always made red wines using whole bunches, which Victor has also adopted, but with a twist. He explains,