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Chateau Saint Martin de la Garrigue

In the courtyard of the estate

Today our guest is a new member of the “Yellow Road” from Languedoc ...
Just below is a quote from the estate site ... The property has 160 hectares of land: vineyards, olive groves, pine forests and harrigues. The word "harriga" until recently was unfamiliar to me ... But, probably, its role is so great that it is also present in the name of the winery. A harriga, it turns out - just thickets of shrubs and fragrant herbs ...

“In the south of France between Béziers and Montpellier, in the heartland of the Languedoc where the Mediterranean beckons, Château Saint Martin de la Garrigue works its charms. The estate, centred around its Renaissance château, spreads out as a mosaic of ordered vineyards and olive groves, pine forest and the typical Mediterranean bushland (“garrigue”).

As the visitor arrives at Saint Martin de la Garrigue, the overwhelming first impression is of harmony between the estate's exuberant natural surroundings and the works of man. With the passage of time, successive owners have left their mark and the result today is a perfect balance between history and modernity.

Evolving continuously, the Languedoc vineyard region has recovered an identity. We at Saint Martin de la Garrigue have made our contribution to this reconstruction, fully aware of the outstanding potential of the Languedoc's terroir.”

The manager of the estate Jean-Luc Parret


The manager of the estate Jean-Luc Parret answers our questions.


1- Tell us, please, how and why did you become the manager of the chateau? Should the manager be well versed in wine?

After graduating from the Sorbonne (trade with the countries of Eastern Europe) and studying the course “Planned Economy”, my fate led me to Russia, where I was engaged in various business areas and “lingered” for a long twenty years. I was a representative of the brands associated with a beautiful and eco-friendly lifestyle - L’Occitaine, Faconable, Aigle ...
Over time, passionately carried away with wine and winemaking process. I became the representative of the company VineaTransaction, specializing in the sale of wine-making property in France. One of the clients suggested that I become an estate manager. So my dream came true, and I began to do what I loved.

2 - Please share your favorite white wine story.

When you take part in all processes and do it with love, then there can be no unloved ones as with children.
But, a special wine, with a unique history I can highlight. This is picpoul (picpoul de pinet). Wine is made from 100% white picpoul - one of the oldest varieties of France, whose history goes back over a thousand years. The vineyards are located on the hills near the seaside bay. What, together with the sandy soils of deep occurrence, gives the wines a soft mineral flavor, slightly salty taste with hints of iodine.

Picpoul is a very fragile variety and working with it is not easy. Many growers prefer to harvest in early - mid-September to avoid possible damage from rain or wind. Chateau Saint-Martin de la Garrigue prefers to wait until the berries reach maximum maturity. We harvest in October, often losing in quantity, but preserving the recognizable wine profile - the mineral wine is saturated with velvety notes of peach, acacia flowers and honey. A rich bouquet of wine appreciated by famous wine critics. In particular, Tim Atkin (Tim Atkin’s Jury, London), who recognized Chateau Saint-Martin de la Garrigue picpoul as one of the 10 best white wines of Languedoc.
who recognized the of Chateau Saint-Martin de la Garrigue as one of the 10 best white wines of Languedoc.
Famous picpoul Chateau Saint-Martin de la Garrigue...

and map with picpoul zone


3 - In correspondence with us, your pr-director Ekaterina Parret said that your picpoul makes up a unique pair with the best oysters on the Tarbouriech coast. "This "duet" is very popular in our places, it is also ordered into the Elysee Palace!" ... Can we try the "this duet" at your winery? And how much will such a set cost?
This is true. The St Barth farm, which belongs to the Tarbouriech family, practices exclusive production technologies. The main feature is that mollusks in the process of growing leave "sunbathe" in the sun for several days. Before that, they “train” for a long time: them are daily lifted into the air and lowered into the water, imitating the tides of the sea, in order to strengthen the muscles of the mollusks, which in the future must resist the sun.
Due to ultraviolet exposure, oyster shells acquire a characteristic pink hue. They are much cleaner and tastier. The external beauty of the shell is enhanced by unusual taste properties - a crisp reception with an exquisite fruit and berry aftertaste, where there are notes of walnut and mango.
Still life with oysters and wine in the estate

Pink oysters straight from the bay of To


According to reviews of experts and numerous clients of the farm, the “duet” of Tarbouriech oysters with a picpoul Saint-Martin is recognized as the best.
We offer a tour of the castle and cellars with wine tasting: 7 euro / person
According to the application, we can make a wine tasting with Tarbouriech oysters in the castle: from 35 Euro / person

4 - Do you prefer (this is important to you) the color of the wine? Can picpool be called yellow wine? Is it produced in other regions of France?
I pay attention to the color of wine, but I can not say that I pay much attention to this. I am interested in the bouquet, taste and longness. Like deep rich colors. But it all depends on the varieties, the region. They are usually produced in the Jura region
Picpoul can not be called "yellow." Color picpoul: straw with green reflections

5 - List, if possible, a set (gift box) of three or four of your own wines (red and white) that you think may be worthy of the presentation of your estate.
We can offer a set of wines "bronzinelle" - this is our "premium" line (haut de gamme): white, pink and red
Often companies take our wines for gifts to VIP clients. For example, Gres de Montpellier red wine with 15 months aging in barrels, in a heavy Burgundy bottle with a “Languedoc cross”.

Bronzinelle: white, pink and red

Red wine "Gres de Montpellier"




6 - Please share your achievements in winemaking ...

Numerous medals and certificates, reviews in wine guides tell us about our successes.
I can especially highlight:
91/100 from Robert Parker (world-renowned expert, produces the same wine guide) for our red Bronzinelle 2016 (bronzinelle rouge)
92 + / 100 from Robert Parker for the red Gres de Montpellier 2015 (Gres de Montpellier)
High marks for Bronzinelle white and red, Gres de Montpellier in the book of famous sommelier Rosemary V. Gorge
"Harvest" prizes Chateau Saint-Martin de la Garrigue

and here too are the achievements of Chateau Saint-Martin de la Garrigue


7 - Your vineyards are located in fantastically beautiful places ... And what is your favorite place on the Mediterranean coast? Do you manage to relax there?
I like Languedoc. Incredible landscapes near the lake
Salagu, the endless beaches of Marseyan, the volcanic bays of Cap d Agda ...
But, being a Provencal, I still prefer native edges. There I rest there in La Poulle Mondel -a small town near Cannes. Incredibly beautiful bay between two ancient castles.
Lake Salagou, Languedoc

Beach at Mandelieu-la-Napoule, Provence


8 - The town of Meze - on the shores of Lake Ethan de Tau - literally 10 km from you ... The thermal resort of Balaruc-les-Bains is also nearby. Can a tourist staying at your estate use public transport to visit these cities?
Indeed, these cities are close to the estate. But, public transport does not reach us. Customers come by car or we order a car for them with a driver.

9 - What is your choice for "Yellow Road"?

We offer our white ecological wines (certified by the ecological organization Terra vitis):
Tradition (Tradition blanc, AOC Coteaux de Languedoc) is a light, sparkling wine. We offer to take with you on a picnic or a friendly party. Also, thanks to the citrus finale, it refreshes well in the heat, “quenches thirst”.
Bronzinelle (Bronzinelle blanc, AOC Coteaux de Languedoc) is a wine that has won numerous awards (gold medals of the competition in Macon and from the guide Bettan and Desuv, 16/20 and two stars from the guide Ashett). Recommended for fish, cheese
Picpoul (picpoul, AOC Picpoul de Pinet). Gourmet celebration with oysters at the bay!
Bronzinelle (st Martin de la Garrigue bronzinelle blanc)

Gourmet feast with oysters at the bay


10 - Once again I refer to the words of Ekaterina Parret: “The exposition of contemporary art paintings is held at the chateau, they regularly make films. Including such stars as Pierre Richard” ... Well, Pierre Richard is a famous winemaker ... And he likes your wine?
Yes, indeed, in the castle were shooting several TV series, as well as the film Les vieux fourneaux (a possible translation, Old bastards) with Pierre Richard.
Before each difficult scene, he asked the assistant to bring a glass of red Bronzinelle! It was an honor for us to treat the Master.

Pierre Richard and Jean-Luc Parret in the courtyard of the chateau

Pierre Richard with friends on the set of the series in the castle of Saint-Martin de la Garrigue


11 - If it's not a secret, tell us about your plans for the future ...

Expand the estate. Currently, we supply wines to different countries of the world - USA, Japan, Europe, China. So far, the wines of Saint Martin are not represented in Lithuania. Let's set such a task!

12 - What white wine producer (from France or another country) would you recommend for "Yellow Road"?
I really love Meursault from Burgundy. I recommend to extend the road there!


Sergey Evtuhov, author of the project "Yellow Road"
evtuhov@yahoo.com
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