It all began on a morning walk.
By the foothill of the Montagne Noire, it was a lovely day, the air was soft and warm. Amongst the canyons of a higher – colder – terroir, on a battered calcareous soil where truffles emerge and hares run wild, it all came clear ! Lauraire des Lys would elect this particular place to bring to life its honey and sun-filled vintages, in between the fallen rocks and the fragrant garrigue.
Our production is organic, monitored by Ecocert. Most of our work is manual, we score the soil with lightweight material that does not go deep under surface, protects the roots and enhances worm activity. This technique protects the soil’s structure. Also, we do not use pesticides nor herbicides.
Production is limited, hand harvested in shallow containers. Two words to explain our winemaking method : cleanliness and gentleness. The yield is sorted twice and we punch down the grapes manually (‘pigeage’ is the French technical term).
It is in this scenery, where everything happens in the depths of the canyon, where roots run deep, where rabbits run through the bushes, and where wild mushrooms and the ever so precious truffle hide, that Lauraire des Lys developed.
The climate is never too rigorous or too hot, it is not completely mediterranean either. Maybe its singularity comes from the fact it is at the bottom of the Massif Central and because of the numerous hillsides around ? The Montagne Noire, the Espinouse, and the Cévennes border the vineyard and are assisted by the Cers (cooled down by the Pic de Nore) and the clouds coming from the seafront that shed their rain. Wind, coolness, rain and sun are the components of this unique climate that governs this remote area.
The men and women behind Lauraire des Lys are not a tribe. Winemaking is not a tradition inherited from past generations. We are a family that discovered an estate. It came to us as an epiphany. We knew it was going to happen ‘here’ and we carried along sticking to our recurring theme : ‘it all began on a morning walk’. And thus the adventure began : rehabilitating an old estate, creating new wines, naming them, designing the bottles, finding the first client. The children were little, knowledge was scarce, skills lacking… But we followed a strong set of guidelines : cleanliness, work, control over production, protection of the environment, hand harvest, sorting,…
The buildings. The old building with its earth-floor is used as storage. The old cellar was renovated, a new wine cellar opened to the public, an office and an apartment were built. A brand-new cellar was built next doors with its stainless steel vat. It is a useful tool, suitable to the limited production of our wine plots and for grape stomping. It makes the delivery of the fresh harvest simpler as well as its sorting.
The harvest method is one and indivisible. It receives the same gestures and same attention all the way.
During the blending process, a metamorphosis happened and we discovered then the estate’s hidden and numerous qualities. From our best vintages we produce Table Rase, then the « closely shaved guy », then « the ideal son-in-law », followed by « the dandy » and the « nice guy ». Only Kalys’é and K’lybre because of their singularity have gone in their own direction.