Coume del Mas

One of the oldest viticultural areas of France, vines in the Roussillon were cultivated by the Romans, and perhaps even before that. With some of the most dramatic topography in France, many of the zones are composed of extremely steep hillsides. Much of the vineyard land looks more like that of the Priorat in Spain than it does like wine regions of France. This area of French Catalonia still possesses many cultural remnants of being part of the Catalan region including the language, cuisine, and art. The winemaking in the region has undergone a revolution in the last 10 years.

Although not originally from the area, the young Philippe Gard first came to the region on vacation. After working in both Chablis and Pomerol, Philippe and his wife Nathalie decided that this beautiful sea-side region was where they wanted to start their winery. They sought out only the most terroir-driven sites, and after many months of hard work, purchased a spectacular site called the Coume del Mas which forms the base of the estate. They also own a few parcels in Banyuls-sur-Mer.

For the past two millenniums, men have striven to upkeep these miles of dry stone walls and the vines they protect. These hillsides, artificially sculpted by man, have remained unchanged for 2000 years. Without the constant attention of man, climatic forces and erosion would have rendered the mountainside quite barren. Today, the imposing silhouette and steep slopes of this site, unamenable to mechanization, remain a harbor of human activity. The Gard family is continuing this tradition with amazing results.

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