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Country of Origin: France
Location: Cahors, South West France
People: Fabien Jouves, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Certified Biodynamic
Fabien Jouves’ family has a long history farming grapes in Cahors. The domaine is a 6th generation property and is located in Causses (an Occitan word meaning limestone plateau), on the highest slopes of the Cahors appellation. His family’s 22 hectares sit atop the hills of Quercy at over 1,100 feet. The high elevation guarantees low nighttime temperatures, which partly explains the freshness and vivacity of the wines. In addition to his family’s holdings, Fabien purchased two other pieces of land; his property totals over 30 hectares.
Fabien Jouves' first vintage as the vigneron was in 2006. He initially intended to become a doctor, when in the early 2000s his parents were struggling with the family domaine and were going to sell it. He chose to help his parents and enrolled into the prestigious École du Vin de Bordeaux. Over the weekends, Fabien would drive to Cahors to take care of the vines. Upon graduation, he became the head of the domaine and immediately embarked to convert the viticulture to biodynamic. He says that when you work naturally in the vineyard and in the cellar wine is really the incarnation of the emotion of a winegrower, which is magical. Conversion began in 2004, and Demeter certified the domaine biodynamic in 2011. He is currently a member of the Renaissance des Appellations.
Fabien’s employs a non-interventionist vinification philosophy. The whole vinification process occurs naturally with spontaneous yeast. Various vessels are used to age the wines: concrete tanks, barrels, large foudres, and amphorae depending on the wine’s personality. His Vin de France (Vin de Soif) tier is his creative outlet, and showcases the grapes excluded from the modern AOC such as Jurançon Noir, Gamay and Chenin Blanc. Each of Fabien’s Vin de Terroir cuvées is a vineyard designate wine, which is why he uses a Burgundy bottle instead of the traditional Bordeaux. Similar to Burgundy, the focus is on showcasing the various differences in soil composition. Fabien even goes one step further and lists the soil type on the front label of each cuvée.
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