IN THE HEART OF LANGUEDOC
Faugères is a small AOC in the Languedoc region in the South of France. It nestles on the foothills of the Espinouse and Caroux mountains facing the Mediterranean Sea.
The Faugères AOC has only one natural border, the Schist soil, which marks the boundaries of a 2,000-hectare winegrower area. This makes our AOC one of the smallest in the Languedoc region in terms of size and one of the biggest in terms of its exceptional qualities and homogeneity. Mas 0nésime is tucked away on the hillsides at La Liquière, one of the hamlets of the Faugères AOC’s 7 tiny picturesque villages, in the commune of Cabrerolles. The domaine’s 20 hectares of south-facing vineyards are located at 300 metres altitude and can be explored along the
small local roads and trails. Most of my vines are over 50 years old.
From our vineyards, there are breathtaking views of the landscape where the hills, the sky and the Mediterranean Sea all meet on the horizon. The beauty of the surroundings is further heightened by the still wild countryside and scents of the garrigue scrubland.
HISTORY OF MAS ONESIME
In 1920, my grandfather 0nésime took over the wine
domaine from his father Adrien. At that time the wine was produced in a private winery below the family home. In 1939, 0nésime left to fight for his country in WW2 and the vineyards were left for the women of the family to manage. During the turbulent years of the 1940s they decided to join the wine cooperative in Laurens. They would work with other winegrowers to sell the wine and also share the technical resources needed to produce it.
My father, Emmanuel, gradually joined 0nésime on the domaine. Emmanuel had started out by working as a service provider offering his ploughing services to his winegrowing neighbours, working first with a horse and then with a caterpillar tractor. He still likes to boast that he was the first in his village to have a tractor! Emmanuel quickly enlarged the family vineyards during this period when mechanisation was taking hold. In 1995, he became Mayor of Cabrerolles and split his time between his vineyards and his work for the local community.
I joined my father in 1999 having completed my studies in oenology, a 6 months training stint at
Château de la Nerthe in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and
some world travel (Chile, South Africa and Asia), which had shaped my personality and broadened my viticultural horizons.
In 2003, I created a vineyard services company. At this time many big names were moving into the Languedoc region. I offered them my services, from pruning through to
manual harvesting, including the creation of vineyards, planting, green work, wire work and grafting. Having supplied my services to big wine producers such as Bernard Magrez and worked to very detailed specifications such as those imposed by Michel Rolland, I was able to build my experience, knowledge and a qualified team. Today this company employs 15 people and is applying its expertise to the Mas 0nésime vineyards.
A NEW CHAPTER
It was a natural development for us to start bottling our wines at the property in 2011. This was a
culmination of all the hard work that had gone before
and a tribute to previous generations who had played
a part in the domaine's history.
The vineyards are cultivated biodynamically and the wines are Demeter-certified. Biodynamic practices aim to create an environment that allows the elements that live within it - plants, animals, humans and soils - to develop as harmoniously as possible
with a minimum of constraints. The roots dig deeper and the wines become more expressive and acquire greater freshness and minerality.
MAS ONÉSIME GOING FORWARD
On the domaine: I intend to further build my knowledge of biodynamics and improve my practice of it in the vineyards and winery. In the environment surrounding the domaine: we are considering how best to help the ecosystem to become more “virtuous” and thus allow the species that are part of it (invertebrates, flora, reptiles, mammals, birds) to live and reproduce in peace. We will determine how we are going to do this shortly….
VITICULTURE AND VINIFICATION
My ‘vieilles vignes’ (old vines) are mainly trained in “Gobelet” style and receive my constant attention and care, from the pruning right through to harvesting. I prefer to closely monitor and listen to the vineyards believing that man should only intervene to enhance the natural balance between the vine, the terroir and the environment in the most respectful manner possible.
The grapes are handled with the utmost care at Mas Onésime. They are harvested by hand, sorted, de-stemmed and brought to the winery immediately after being picked. The grapes are then carefully placed in vats, using natural gravity rather than pumps. I strive to produce authentic wines, without artifice, thereby allowing the terroir to express its true complexity and character.
By controlling the yields and carefully monitoring maturity levels, I am able to craft fine wines with great elegance and depth that reflect the authenticity and minerality of their terroir.