Domaine de Gabelas
Owner: Pierrette Cravéro
Winemaker: Laurent Bartholin
Winery Location: south west of Saint-Chinian
Vineyard: 18 hectares, south west of Saint-Chinian in Languedoc
As close to a natural wine as we get in Reyes Selections, this producer makes consistently delicious, non-curvebally, minimalist wines. The family, led by Pierrette Cravero, has been farming organically for the past 15 years. Her family’s desire to preserve the balance of the land and make characterful wines naturally fell into the framework of organic farming.
Gabelas is the name of an area where historic artefacts have been found, bearing witness to wine-making activity in ancient times. When Pierrette took over from her father in 1993, she resolved to coax the vineyards back to life with careful farming and the utmost respect for the natural environment.
The domaine has been officially certified organic (Agriculture Biologique label) since 2008.
Quick Facts on Languedoc
HISTORY: Established 1982. The vineyards in Languedoc developed as a result of the opening of the Canal du Midi at the end of the 17th century. New railways enabled export to Paris and allowed the region to grow.
TODAY: The name of the game in Languedoc is blending to create fruit driven, bold reds and zesty unoaked white wines. The Languedoc is responsible for one third of France’s organic production!
TERROIR: The Mediterranean climate of Languedoc is located on a low-lying alluvial plain, though recently its more ambitious growers are reclaiming vineyards on hillside slopes to create high quality wines. It receives high levels of sunshine and around 24 inches of rain per year. There is a great range of varieties grown including Picpoul, Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and many others.
How We Met
When I joined as buyer for the wine-label company in 2011, Domaine de Gabelas was already part of the stable, and I enjoyed sharing their rustic-yet-ripe wines with our customers for many years. Always deliciously raw and vibrant, when it came time to select a Languedoc producer for Reyes Selections, I prayed they hadn’t been snatched up by someone in the East Coast. Luckily most of Pierrette’s stuff is sold locally in France, so she was happy to hear from me again.