6. A Man on a Mission
On a post harvest trip to Bordeaux in the mid nineties, a young and enthusiastic Laurent shared his plans to create fine wines from the Languedoc with a well known Bordeaux propriétaire. His vision for elegance and definition was met with scorn. To Laurent’s disappintment he stated that "finesse" was impossible in the Languedoc, that it would only ever produce rustic, simple wines - a "country cousin" to its fine wine neighbours. The challenge had been set! Laurent made it his life's mission to prove him wrong. It started with small steps of improvement in the vineyard, but the mission has been at the heart of every decision Laurent has made since. This spirit of Kaizen has seen Laurent work slowly and tenaciously to show the world the extraordinary variety of this region and its unique terroirs, through our wines.
Laurent Miquel have 200 hectares of vines planted, of which 150 hectares are in St Chinian, around Château Cazal Viel, and 50 hectares at Les Auzines in Corbières. Our Auzines estate totals 270 hectares, but the vast majority of this land is left wild in order to promote biodiversity and soil health. You'll find lots of garrigue as well as wild boar roaming here! We planted 27 hectares of our land at Auzines with Albariño and we are, by far, the biggest french producer of this varietal. We know it's because of our unique location - we're at an altitude of 350-400m, on chalky-clay soils, and the grapes benefit high humidty levels and cool breezes die to the nearby Pyrenees.
We like to think that we got the last laugh on that Bordelais wine snob. Recently, Albariño was officially approved for inclusion in Bordeaux wines, as a move against global warming and climate change. Now who's chasing who for quality?!
Garrigue at Domaine Les Auzines