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150 fantastische wijnen uit 25 wijndomeinen - 150 fantastic wines from 25 wine estates
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MAS GABRIEL - Les 3 terrasses - 2021

MAS GABRIEL - Les 3 terrasses - 2021

50 to 70 year old vines, yielding 22hl per ha. A blend of black carignan (75%) f..
MAS GABRIEL - Clos des Lièvres - 2019

MAS GABRIEL - Clos des Lièvres - 2019

Mainly syrah, supplemented with grenache. Aged in 500 liter barrels, only 15% ne..
MAS GABRIEL - Clos des Papillons - 2022

MAS GABRIEL - Clos des Papillons - 2022

Exceptional wine from 100% white Carignan. In the nose notes of wild fennel, ver..
MAS GABRIEL - Champ des Bleuets - 2022

MAS GABRIEL - Champ des Bleuets - 2022

80% Vermentino (or also called Rolle in southern France), 10% Grenache blanc, 10..


Three terraces in paradise north of Pézenas

In Caux, a few kilometers north of the tourist town of Pézenas, there is a small but very special winery: Mas Gabriel. Here Deborah and Peter Core have realized their dream and together they produce excellent wines - with a lot of manual labor and according to biodynamic criteria.

At first glance, nothing in this side street in the village of Caux indicates that one of the best AOP Pézenas-Languedoc is produced here: Mas Gabriel. When you hit the pumpkin-sized, heavy bell next to the iron gate, the answer is a barking dog, shortly after the gate opens and Peter Core invites you into the courtyard of the old, traditional wine tube. The barking can now be safely interpreted as a joyful greeting: Border Collie Jack loves visitors - with the exception of the postman, as Peter explains with a laugh.

Peter Core and his wife Deborah met in London in the 1990s. The two Englishmen had good jobs, she as a lawyer, he as a financial director in the media industry. However, they lacked a challenging, fulfilling and creative activity in which they are one with nature. In 2002, they turned their backs on the metropolis with the dream of owning a small winery in the south of France.

Internships in New Zealand

First, the Cores completed an 18-month apprenticeship as winemakers in New Zealand's Tairawhiti. "Because of the language," admits Peter, "we are typical Brits who have a hard time with French." Back in Europe they looked for a suitable estate and in 2006 they found what they were looking for in Caux: a vineyard with a very special terroir, rich in volcanic basalt. For the wines this means a nice freshness and a balanced acidity. After a search of almost a year, we fell in love with a vineyard in Caux, in the Pezénas appellation. A beautiful basaltic terroir on the hills with breathtaking views over the Régagnade valley in Caux.

The nearly five hectares are situated on three gently sloping terraces in the shadow of a first ridge to the northeast. Together with the old stock of trees around the plot, the vines are well protected from excessive sunlight and drying wind. The plots are planted with over 60 year old Syrah and over 70 year old Carignan vines. Some Cinsault and Grenache round out the range of grape varieties.

Biodynamic cultivation

Both Peter and Deborah have always been fascinated by natural cultivation. They therefore work strictly without herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers: "We are convinced that biologically-dynamically grown grapes better reflect the influences of the terroir on the wine." They therefore only fertilize with cow dung, with composted horn shavings and take the lunar calendar into account. Grass and flowers are allowed to grow among the vines, occasionally tied up by a flock of local sheep. Incidentally, in their company, Jack feels in his element – ​​after all, he spent a year as an apprentice with a shepherd.

Working together in the vineyard

The Cores tend their vines all year round and can be found in the vineyard every day. They harvest the grapes entirely by hand to best express the typicality of the grapes and the terroir. "This way we can complete each work step at the right time without having to rely on the help of third parties - with the exception of the harvest." Then they can count on the annual support of a group of loyal friends.

What particularly characterizes the wines of Mas Gabriel: despite all the power, intensity and regional spiciness, the reds and rosés have a lot of fruit, they seem very harmonious and attractive - weightless, so to speak - with their natural elegance. Meanwhile, critics such as Robert Parker have taken notice of Mas Gabriel's wines and are awarding the Cores' efforts with high marks.

What is so typical about the Pézenas terroir?

They are often asked: why did you choose Caux and this particular vineyard?
The answer is: the terroir. The soil contains large amounts of volcanic basalt, which is rare in the Languedoc. In Caux, they have 4.7 hectares of red vines (Carignan noir, Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache noir) on the slopes at an altitude of 120 meters, facing east.

The soil consists of Villefranchian gravel, silt and basalt. The large amount of basalt - which varies in size from gravel to large stones - brings freshness and a good acid balance to the wines. The vineyard is surrounded by trees and vegetation that ensures a balanced and healthy ecosystem.

On limestone soil they also have a small plot of old white carignan. This soil gives freshness and an interesting minerality to our white wines.

3 km from Pézenas, in Saint-Jean-de-Bébian, we also have a small vineyard of 1.4 hectares on a very different soil, where they grow old carignan and cinsault, as well as vermentino, grenache gris and white carignan. It consists of rolled pebbles from the Villafranchian era, which can also be found in Châteauneuf du Pape in the Rhone Valley.

The climate

The Languedoc's climate is perfect for producing excellent quality organic wines. Winters are cold, summers long and dry. Rain is often followed by a strong northwesterly wind that dries out the plants and reduces the problems of fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and mildew. Located between the mountains of the Haut Languedoc and the Mediterranean Sea, Caux benefits from the refreshing night breeze that gives the grapes perfect conditions for balanced and expressive wines.

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