Vines are grown on 30ha parcels of schistous/marl soil, then 10 days maceration in concrete tanks before ageing on lees for 8 months.
Representing the 7th generation of his family to work with vines and wine, Jean Gardiés owns some of the finest vineyards (35 hectares in total, divided into a myriad of different parcels) on both the chalky-clay soils of Vingrau and the black schist and limestone outcrops of Espira de l’Agly, above Perpignan. One of the great, yet relatively unsung French producers, he is quietly making wines that represent his identity and interpretation of his terroir. Mixing traditional and modern styling, his wines have great intensity and definition with strong personality. The whites exhibit lovely mineral touches; whilst the reds have all the Roussillon power balanced by freshness and, again, classic mineral character. His offerings are classic Catalan wines that express perfectly the rugged intensity and beauty of this fabulous region. Jean’s 30 years of experience add to his innate ability to craft wines that are distinctive and as authentic as any wines can be. “To live in harmony with rough and wild nature, to understand that everything comes from the soil and from the permanent attention that this brings” is Jean Gardiés philosophy.
Jean set up a new domaine HQ in 2007 (Mas Las Cabes) in the open, accessible spaces of Espira de l’Agly, having decamped his winemaking operations from the family hillside village of Vingrau. However, he did retain all his wonderful old vine vineyards from his former holdings. There, in Vingrau, the numerous parcels of vines are a mixture of valley floor & high slopes, the highest plots reaching up to 350m altitude. It is here on these high-level plots that Jean grows vines mainly for his white wines in order to ensure freshness alongside the vigour, inducing minerality. Parcels found towards the warmer valley floor & lower slopes comprise his red wine vineyards, ensuring great ripeness, intensity and power. All grapes are hand harvested. He masters his craft through his natural feeling for & understanding of these intriguing, yet unforgiving terroirs, seeking out balance & finesse allied to structure & complexity.
Jean’s ongoing quest for additional refinement in his wines has been aided by his preference to work organically, to ferment with natural yeasts, to extract less and to harvest earlier