Chateau Maris is the vision of Englishman Robert Eden, who emigrated to France over 20 years ago to pursue his dream of crafting wines that reflect, rather than mask the land on which the grapes are grown. Robert's approach to winemaking is based on the fundamental premise that wine is "grown", not "made".
To craft wines that reveal the true character of the land, Chateau Maris strictly adheres to biodynamics, which is in effect a supercharged system of organic farming. Similar to organic farming, biodynamics adopts a holistic approach that views the entire vineyard as a living system that is impacted by its surroundings. Biodynamics seeks to encourage vitality in the vineyard by introducing live matter into the soil through intensive composting. In addition, biodynamics places a strong emphasis on harnessing naturally occurring cycles.
The entire estate is certified Organic as well as certified Biodynamic, using homeopathic preparations instead of chemicals on its land. The cellar itself is the only building in existence constructed entirely with hemp blocks and contains no paint, no plastic, no chemicals. Thanks to the geothermal properties of hemp, the cellar has no heating nor cooling system, making the project not only energy self-sufficient but making the project one of the few carbon-negative constructions in the world.
A catchall term for the area surrounding the Languedoc and Roussillon, Pays d’Oc is the most important IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) in France, producing 85% of this country’s wine under the IGP designation. (IGP indicates wine of good quality, not otherwise elevated to the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status.)
The near perfect Mediterranean climate combined with dry, cool winds from the north, optimal soils, altitudes and exposures make Pays d’Oc an ideal wine growing region. Single varietal wines and blends are possible here and while many types of grapes do well in Pays d’Oc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Grenache and Cinsault are among the most common.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.