Producer: Caves Castelmaure
This go ahead co-operative is situated high up in the Hautes Corbières close to Fitou in the village of Embres et Castelmaure approached over narrow, winding roads. Founded in the 1920s it has about 65 growers covering around 350 hectares of arid, stony soil, much of it on steep, mountainous slopes.
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This is a windy region which enables the grapes to be grown sustainably with few treatments needed and harvesting is by hand due to the nature of the terroir. Grape varieties here are the usual southern stalwarts, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Carignan; about 90% of the production is red. The president of the co-op is Patrick de Marien who is very influential on the marketing side, including designing the modern labels, and the winemaker is Bernard Pueyo. There is great attention to detail with all the vineyards carefully divided into individual plots and the growers constantly encouraged to produce quality and being paid accordingly. The winery is relatively modern and there is oak ageing in a temperature controlled cellar for the top wines. This is a dynamic, co-operative with much of the feel of a small, quality driven estate.