Region: Southwest France
Farming Practices: Sustainable
Gaillac is the second oldest known vineyard area in France after Narbonne. Our friends Nathalie and Rémi Larroque, who also make our Gaillac Perlé, have an ancient winery here which has been in Nathalie’s family since 1540. They tend to old indigenous grape varieties such as Prunel’Art, Fer Servadou (also known as Braucol), Duras, Loin de L’Oeil, and Mauzac, from which this wine is made.
The Gaillacoise Pétillant Naturel is made in the méthode ancestrale: an ancient, artisanal method of making sparkling wine which consists of a single fermentation. The grape must is bottled before it is fully fermented, and as the grapes’ natural yeasts consume the remaining sugars, bubbles are produced and trapped in the bottle. The wine is bottled in November after harvest and is disgorged in March the following year.
Mauzac is a late-budding, late-ripening, and slow-fermenting grape, making it perfect for méthode ancestrale wines. It completes fermentation and rests on its lees over winter, developing its signature notes of dried apple peel – at once rustic and alluring.
The estate makes just 90,000 bottles (3,000 bottles of Gaillacoise) and all farming is sustainable, HVE Level 3-Certified. Vines are planted on clay and limestone (facing north-northeast for the whites), and are pruned in the simple guyot method with grass growing in every other row. The vineyards sit atop a 360-degree hill with the farmhouse on the top, and birds, bunnies, bees, clover grass and fava beans peek out from between the rows. The grand crus of ancient Gaul were once planted here, as Gaillac has an ideal climate with the convergence of winds from Mediterranean Africa and the cool Atlantic.