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Domaine Inebriati

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

Hectares: 8

Farming: Biodynamic

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.”

Carignan and Cinsault for the Naïa cuvée

The Wines

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, 

“I also use whole bunch fermentations, but in a different way, not always 100%, and I’m more vigilant when it comes to the maceration time. I do more of an ‘infusion style,’ which is softer — more digeste (drinkable). When you work with stems you can quickly have bitter or astringent notes, and I avoid that because when the wines are young it can be austere, and hence that style demands a lot of time for ageing. Instead, I look for freshness in the wines.” 

“It makes me really happy to be able to work with these older varieties, and to be able to offer something different to wine drinkers — not just...

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