Beginning in the same way as many of the best stories, Domaine des Vignes Oubliées was born when two wine enthusiasts met. Olivier Jullien and Jean-Baptiste Granier took just a couple of years to breathe life back into their Vignes Oubliées – the forgotten vines. It didn’t take long for this certified organic domain to catch the attention of iDealwine. Once tasted, there was no going back, and we were delighted to welcome Domaine des Vignes Oubliées to our network of over 700 partner wineries. In this article, read more about the fascinating story of these vines that were so close to being abandoned and forgotten forever.
Domaine des Vignes Oubliées is located in area surrounding the village of Saint Privat, at the southern edge of the Causse du Larzac plateau. The vines grow on high terraces – some of the oldest vines are as high as 300 or 400 metres – keeping the valleys cool in the foothills of the Larzac plateau. The soil is rich in schist, sandstone, and clay-limestone. This is where Olivier Jullien and Jean-Baptiste Granier decided to revive long abandoned vines to make their wine. « This terroir has the advantage of both the fruitfulness of the Languedoc region and the cool air of Larzac. With the vines interspersed along several different slopes, each parcel is unique and a veritable goldmine for any terroir fiends.
It was in 2007 when Jean-Baptiste was training to be an agricultural engineer that he met Olivier « one of the greatest terroir researchers in the Languedoc ». The pair decided to take a closer look at the parcels in Saint-Privat, and, now famously, the vines that today make up the Domaine des Vignes Oubliées. Even though the vines had fallen into disuse because they were not viable for the local co-op winery, a few tests on the grapes and early experiments in vinification revealed enormous potential. Olivier and Jean-Baptiste marvelled at the beauty and quality of the grapes from the very old vines. It was not long before they decided to begin their wine adventure together, creating what we know today as Les Vignes Oubliées. They said that « as long as this name remains on our bottles, these vines will not be forgotten.
This property is unique in many ways, particularly in the way it operates: on a partnership system between the farmers who grow the grapes on the parcels and Jean-Baptiste Granier, who oversees the whole operation. Tending to the sloping parcels and terrasses of Vignes Oubliées has meant adapting to a much different way of winegrowing that many were used to. Yields are lower but the labour is more intense, and the work meticulous. Lower yield is of course intentional, with the aim of producing more concentrated juice. The idea is also to control the yield in order to obtain a more concentrated juice. With Olivier uninvolved in the day-to-day running of the domain, it is in the capable hands of Jean-Baptiste – himself a son and grandson of a winemaker. Since the beginning, it has been important to Jean-Baptiste for the property to be certified organic. Fortunately, the vines at the time « were not subjected unsustainable or strong chemical treatments », which made it possible to preserve the soil quality. The only treatment that had been used in the parcels was weed killer, which was of course stopped. Once vinified, the wines are aged in impressive grottos, carved into the rock – which maintain a constant cool temperature.
« Les Vignes Oubliées is a wine about learning and sharing. It has a gentle balance that aims reflect the terroir of Saint-Privat. The richness of this wine and the quality of its tannins make you want more. This is the most important thing because wine is made to be enjoyed and… enjoyed again.”
Les Vignes Oubliées, what the experts say
La Revue du Vin de France : 1 star out of 3
« Le terrasses-du-larzac s’affirme depuis ses débuts, en 2007, comme un vin soigné et expressif, fidèle messager du terroir. Dans un style pimpant et digeste, la cuvée déclarée en Languedoc est un pur bonheur. Basé sur la clairette, le blanc est adroitement cadré par l’élevage en bois. Dans cette zone très dynamique, ce domaine est en constante progression. »
« Since its debut in 2007, Terrasses-du-Larzac has established itself as a neat and expressive wine, a faithful messenger of the terroir. In a dapper, easy-to-drink style, this Languedoc cuvée is a pure delight. Predominately clairette, the white is skilfully framed by wood ageing. In this very dynamic region, this producer is constantly improving.
Coteaux du Languedoc Autour du Cinsault (red): A beautiful wine that pays tribute to Cinsault through exemplary fruitiness and delicacy. To be enjoyed with delicate meat such as rabbit.
Terrasses du Larzac (red): Produced by two of the region’s leading winemakers, this fresh cuvée, with its pleasantly spicy aromas, is the signature of the AOC Terrasses du Larzac wines.
Terrasses du Larzac (white): A perfectly balanced white wine which bears witness to the sunny and fresh aspects of the original terroir, that of the Larzac terraces.