Domaine LES MILLE VIGNES
Not until Jacques Guérin retired from his post as an oenology professor in Orange did he found Domaine Les Mille Vignes. In the late 1970s, he moved to the tiny Languedoc-Roussillon village of La Palme, just a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean. Soon after, he began producing wine from nearby Fitou and Rivesaltes. The wines produced in the area at the time were certainly not driven by quality, but Jacques saw potential in the terroir and had a vision to revitalize his vineyards, focusing on low yields and organic principles, convinced that he would soon be able to produce great wine. Today, Jacques’ daughter, Valérie Guérin has carried on his ethic in the vineyard and cellar.
Fitou produces exclusively red wine and in 1948, became the first Languedoc AOC. The terroir is an amalgam of strong natural elements: clay, limestone, and schist soils; wild scrubland scented with thyme and lavender, and perhaps the most potent force of all, Tramontagne—a fierce wind that sometimes seems it will never stop blowing. Rivesaltes and Muscat de Rivesaltes are both Vin Doux Naturels (a designation for naturally sweet wines from southern France) and are produced within the borders of the Fitou appellation. Rivesaltes can be a variation of colors and styles, though always sweet and fortified like its Muscat counterpart.
Valérie’s wines have gained an ardent following in Paris and it was from the sommelier at the Parisian restaurant “Frenchie” that Kermit first heard of Les Mille Vignes. During the summer of 2013 Kermit visited the domaine and returned saying that “everything I tasted was beyond marvelous.” These are the wines that he raved about in his 2013 NY Times Magazine interview. The addition of Les Mille Vignes to our portfolio not only geographically fills in the space between Banyuls and Corbières but adds true depth and variety to our wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon. Thomas Jefferson imported impressive quantities of such wines for his own cellar.