Embres-et-Castelmaure

The co-operative Cave de Castelmaure was founded in the 1920s, and today consists of 65 members, 15 of whom are responsible for around 85% of the company's output.

Embres & Castelmaure is the fusion of two villages, deep in the Corbières, surrounded by mountains and adjoining the vineyards of Fitou. This is frontiersman country, wild in terrain and, for most of the year, windswept too. The location may feel like the back of beyond, but the co-operative is modern, innovative and among the best run anywhere.

The nearest town of any size is Durban which gives its name to one of the 11 crus of the Corbières. What distinguishes Durban is the rugged countryside and the hot summers, but these relieved by cool breezes, a definite bonus for the vines, especially the fruity whites like grenache blanc and macabeu.

The majority of the 350 hectares, however, is dedicated to the production of red wine. 90% of Castelmaure's production is red, with 80% of this classified AOC Corbières. The company grows the major Corbières grape varieties, including the aforementioned white grapes as well as grenache noir, syrah, carignan, and mourvèdre. These are grown on a variety of soils: schist, limestone, alluvial river wash and clay-chalk.

To keep quality levels high among such varietal diversity, the team employs rigorous quality control: the vineyards are split into 760 individual parcels, the details of which are recorded electronically. Each plot is monitored by its own technician, who is responsible for pruning, ploughing, yield management, sorting and selection, all of which is done with the environment in mind.

The difference between a truly good co-op and a mediocre one is usually the people involved, and Castelmaure is no exception. The president is the dynamic and mildly eccentric Patrick de Marien, who has both vision and flair, and has been the creative genius behind the labels, the cuvées and the names.
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Embres-et-Castelmaure, Corbières, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Photographer:
© Images that go BAM, Brent Alexander McTavish
Embres-et-Castelmaure

Embres-et-Castelmaure

The co-operative Cave de Castelmaure was founded in the 1920s, and today consists of 65 members, 15 of whom are responsible for around 85% of the company's output.

Embres & Castelmaure is the fusion of two villages, deep in the Corbières, surrounded by mountains and adjoining the vineyards of Fitou. This is frontiersman country, wild in terrain and, for most of the year, windswept too. The location may feel like the back of beyond, but the co-operative is modern, innovative and among the best run anywhere.

The nearest town of any size is Durban which gives its name to one of the 11 crus of the Corbières. What distinguishes Durban is the rugged countryside and the hot summers, but these relieved by cool breezes, a definite bonus for the vines, especially the fruity whites like grenache blanc and macabeu.

The majority of the 350 hectares, however, is dedicated to the production of red wine. 90% of Castelmaure's production is red, with 80% of this classified AOC Corbières. The company grows the major Corbières grape varieties, including the aforementioned white grapes as well as grenache noir, syrah, carignan, and mourvèdre. These are grown on a variety of soils: schist, limestone, alluvial river wash and clay-chalk.

To keep quality levels high among such varietal diversity, the team employs rigorous quality control: the vineyards are split into 760 individual parcels, the details of which are recorded electronically. Each plot is monitored by its own technician, who is responsible for pruning, ploughing, yield management, sorting and selection, all of which is done with the environment in mind.

The difference between a truly good co-op and a mediocre one is usually the people involved, and Castelmaure is no exception. The president is the dynamic and mildly eccentric Patrick de Marien, who has both vision and flair, and has been the creative genius behind the labels, the cuvées and the names.
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Embres-et-Castelmaure, Corbières, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Photographer:
© Images that go BAM, Brent Alexander McTavish