Château La Baronne - Le Grenache Gris de Jean
Vin de France, Languedoc, France
This wine is made for the adventurous white drinker — 50% on skins for up to 8 months results in some delicate tannins, a magnificent red/orange glow and protection against oxidation. Natural yeast keeps the wine true to its terroir. Fermentation takes place in amphorae (terracotta and sandstone "eggs") which leads to a floral, ripe wine with hints of all the wild herbs growing around it in the vineyard. Certified Organic and Biodynamic.
The story behind Château La Baronne is a modern day tale of a medical family with wine in their veins. Jean (the village doctor, like his father before him) and his wife Anne, look after the estate. The Lignères family ties to the wine world can be traced back to the sixteenth century, but it was in 1957 that Jean's parents André and Suzette Lignères bought the estate.
Today, the approach to winemaking in Château la Baronne is influenced by the medical background of its owners. As a doctor, Jean Lignères looks after his vines as he does his patients. He avoids strong chemicals in favour of building up the immunity of the vine — all farming and bottling is done according to organic and biodynamic methods.
When you visit Château la Baronne, you begin to understand precisely what goes into producing the Lignères family's exceptional wines. On our last visit to the estate, we were greeted by the family, the vineyard dog Doushka and a small army of adorable puppies. If juggling medical practices and a vineyard isn't enough; they were treating and rehoming some abandoned puppies (in between tastings). We continued our journey through the vineyards to experience the look, feel and smell of the terroir of the Alaric Mountain. The vines are well-tended, happy, healthy, and full of beautiful biodiversity and the winery is a fantastical place of experimentation, including Jean's custom-designed egg-shaped clay vessels for vinification and storage. The last stop on tour is the tasting room where it all starts to make sense. One can taste the respect of land and all living things, meticulous attention to detail, and the loving care in each wine produced by the Lignères family.
Another trip to Château la Baronne proves yet again that wonderful people make wonderful wine.