This remote Catalan village in the foothills of the Pyrenees has been known for its wines since the middle ages, but it’s only in very recent times, thanks to Thomas, along with the likes of fellow biodynamics practitioners Gérard Gauby (Domaine Gauby) and Tom Lubbe (Domaine Matassa), that the village has come to worldwide attention.
It’s all down to the terroir here. There’s a lot of chalk among a mosaic of soil types – from multi-coloured slate and schist to iron-rich marl to alluvial gravel – which Thomas likens to the Cote d’Or. His 17ha of old vines (average 70 years), incorporate Carignan, Grenache Noir, Syrah, Macabeu and Grenache Gris and Blanc. Yields are tiny (10-20 hl/ha), while vinification is performed as naturally as possible, with indigenous yeast and minimal SO2 (average: 30 mg/l total). Ageing is in used demi-muids and Stockinger foudres.
Thomas’s work in the vineyard is also fundamentally important. He works with specific parcels of vines, studying the variations of styles that each parcel creates as a Burgundian winemaker would do. From very early on in his career he has followed biodymamic principles (he’s now certified by Biodyvin). To anyone who thinks that Roussillon is all about high alcohol and over-ripe fruit flavours, the freshness, precision and finesse of Thomas’s wines - both reds and whites - will come as a revelation.