The stories that are bottled inside each bottle of wine speak of hard work, the vines and the history of each winemaker. We've grabbed a moment with the people at Domaine Les Lys who are behind the Duché wine from the February box, to see what makes them tick.
Introductions! How did you both end up here, in Blauzac?
By chance, really. We’re a pair of wine lovers with a similar vision, but very different experiences!
For myself, (Marie-Hélène Veyrunes), it was first in the Languedoc and then California where my formative years were spent. I came back to work in the Côtes du Rhône and after a few years, I finally felt ready to start my own project. That’s when I started to work on Lys with Thomas, a few years ago now.
Whereas for me (Thomas Faure), I worked further north in Croze-Hermitage, Condrieu, Côtes Rôtie and also Cassis. Our two very different sets of past experiences has given us a remarkable mixture of skills, as well as a global vision of wine. It works well as I tend to spend most of my time in the vineyard, whilst Marie-Hélène is drawn to the cellar.
How would you describe your estate and it’s style?
Pure, precise wines, with fresh and delicate aromas, reflecting the terroir of the Duchy of Uzès. Just a stone's throw from Uzès, and facing the Cévennes, our vineyards enjoy the influence of its beautiful mountains. In the surrounding woods Chardonnay, Syrah and Grenache melt into the landscape, in the middle of the Capitelles. Our grapes draw their strength from the sandstone and limestone of our terroir so that our wines reflect freshness and minerality.
The underground cellar houses our different wooden vessels: barrels, half-barrels and frustoconical tanks but also our stainless steel tanks, which allow us to keep wines for up to 24 months without bottling. Our vineyard work is natural and consistent with our principles of biodiversity; the driving philosophy in the vineyard is always related to organic practices. The wines are either labelled as AOP Duchy of Uzès or IGP Cévennes ".
If your wine was a song, which one and why?
The Duchy would be "Space Oddity" by David Bowie. In fact it’s one of the only AOP Duchy of Uzès to be assembled with a majority of Grenache, making it slightly atypical for the appellation. It’s light, playful, and just like Bowie, it makes us sing and dance, particularly if we drink enough of it!
What are you hoping for in 2018?
A nice vintage, perhaps? We’d be more than content with that! However, half the fun of making wine is the challenge of channelling the style of a particular vintage, so they’re all rewarding in their own way.
What do you love about this wine?
This is one of the flagship cuvées of the estate. Grenache is a little naughty in the south of France; it ripens very quickly and the high levels of sugar can lead to imbalances in the final levels of alcohol. However, over time we’ve found that Syrah is the perfect companion to help tame this, and the combination is the ideal style of the estate and exactly the sort of wine we’re proud to offer.