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Mas des Chimères Visit
This visit to Mas des Chimères took place in July, 2012
Words and photos by Jules Dressner.
Visiting the Dardé in
After freshening up and unloading our bags, we walked to the center of
Because of a strong tourist presence year round, on premises sales are a huge part of the Dardé's business. Guilhem really likes selling wine this way: tasting and explaining each
After finishing up with a particularly chatty couple, Guilhem locked the doors and we began tasting.
2010 is a lighter, less austere
As with most wines from the south of France, it's not uncommon to find
"Having fresh wines at 14,5 is not an art, it's a mystery!"
Mystery or not, the wines are indeed quite fresh. But unlike some of his neighbors who might be using winemaking techniques like
"We're evolving a little bit but I'm still trying to stay
We also talked about the great joys of working with the unknown:
"I think it's great how little we know about how our soils work. The best part of working
Lunch consisted of cheese pizzas, an ongoing joke on Guilhem's part. You see, as a kid I was a very picky eater, and on our first visit I refused to eat anything Palma had prepared. In such, they were forced to go grab me a pizza. In the last 20 years, I don't think I HAVEN'T eaten a cheese pizza on a visit to
The landscape around the Salagou is defined by intensely red
The first site we saw were
Guilhem pointed out problems he's having with these wild grasses growing between vines.
If you don't take care of these the competition becomes too much, and they are a pain in the ass.
Next were some
Though they are in rows, this
"He worked these vines just long enough to mess them up!"
We continued our stroll over to some
Guilhem is completely discouraged by this particular area because he is surrounded by neighbors who are going ham with excessive
And another from a new planting:
"I might sell it one day; I'm sick of being surrounded by chemists."
Besides the lack of even a single blade of grass, you might have also noticed the
"And if they had access to water like this in the
In the three years Guilhem's been
After our long walk, we had a beer in
Later that night over dinner (no cheese pizzas!), the conversation was going strong. In a particularly quotable (and somewhat paraphrased) moment, Guilhem said something like:
"My son was four and had never been sick. His first year in elementary school, he was ill all the time. He was exposed to all types of germs and bacteria that he was never exposed to before. And if you're not full of antibiotics, you learn to adapt, to survive. Paul's been fine since. It's the same for the vines!"