Mas des Capitelles is a small family-owned estate located in the village of Faugères, in the South-East of France. The vineyard extends over 24 hectares of vines consisting essentially of the southern grape varieties: Carignan, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault.
They have been cultivated in the schist hillsides of Languedoc for generations, in a unique terroir characterized by its southern exposure, dry climate, altitude (250m), slightly acid soils and influence from the North wind. Cultivated exclusively with organic and biodynamic methods, in the spirit of responsible agriculture and looking to the future. Consisting largely of old Carignan and Mourvèdre varieties, our vineyards allow us to product wines of outstanding quality that keep exceptionally well over time.
Winery Philosophy: Convinced that great wine cannot be made without a great vineyard, we pay particular attention to how we cultivate our vines.
That’s why the 24 hectares of vines that make up the Mas des Capitelles are worked with traditional methods and in respect for the environment.
Viticulture has been part of the family for ten generations.
Our grandfather was one of the first to initiate the creation of our village wine cooperative and the Faugères appellation, for which he foresaw a promising future. As a result, he gave up making wine at home so he could join the cooperative cellar, and he became its president.
Some years later his son Jean Laugé, joined him. He remained there for no less than 35 years, until 1999. Then when his sons Cédric and Brice Laugé arrived on the domaine, he decided to change to making wine in his own cellars.
For us it is important to remain a family business and, as artisans in a small-scale activity, all productions steps are made by us. This allows us to perform constant monitoring of the quality of our wine products, including tasting.
Jean Laugé and his sons Cédric and Brice
The Estate spreads over 24 hectares (60 acres) of vines planted on schiste soils.
Our vineyard is characterized by a high proportion of Carignan, the fundamental grape variety used in the wines of our appellation and more generally in Languedoc Roussillon wines. This variety, often maligned in the past, allow great wines to be produced on dry and sunny hillsides - wines that are powerful, generous and true to their terroir of origin.
For this reason our family has, from generation to generation, focused its particular attention on cultivating this variety. Many vines are more than 60 years old - some are more than 100 years old.
Another variety that we especially use is Mourvèdre. It brings character and fine aromas of leather, pepper and blackcurrent. It has remarkable aging potential.
The vineyard is fully plowed several times a year, either in a single direction or both directions if the spacing is sufficient. This aerates the soil properly and allows microbial life to develop. The vines are mainly trained in traditional manner and short, 90% trained in goblets (no wires). This allows them to mature better, considering our shale-based soils, and allows us to better control the yields. This pruning also allows better foliar exposure and therefore an optimal concentration.
The harvest is entirely done manually and sorted in the vineyard. Average yields are between 20 and 30 Ho / Ha.
Sorting in the vineyard rather than on a sorting table is guided by a our winemaking approach that consists of making wine from grapes that do have the optimal quality.
Anxious to preserve the environment and its biodiversity, the Mas des Capitelles started to evolve to organic farming on March 17 2008, which led finally in 2011 to our first certified AB-certified harvest. As a result the domain uses only products that are certified for organic farming, with no weedkillers and using only only organic fertilizers for soil enhancement.
Treatment is done mostly with sulfur and copper-based products (less than 4 kg / year / Ha). Our domain is certified by the “Bureau Veritas” organization.
Our vineyard is also cultivated using Biodynamics according to the methods of Rudolf Steiner, based on 500, 501 solutions and herbal preparations.
Horn dung 500, once energized, is buried in the soil to allow the development of microbial life and exchanges between the soil and the plant.
The horn silica 501, when it is applied to the aerial parts of the vine.
We also use different decotions of horsetail, nettle, wicker... that protect the vines from various fungal diseases.
This type of method of cultivation corresponds to a certain idea of viticulture, to be in harmony with nature, with living things and the different life cycles of the plant. The goal is to recreate a harmony between the soil, plants and humans. This ancestral working method is the same as our grandparents used.
It is based on observing and listening to Nature. Simple things, which were the basis of our work, but that unfortunately over time farmers have replaced with another kind of agriculture based on “more and more yield” and where the environment, common sense and quality do not have their say.
True to our philosophy, we intervene as little as possible during the aging to preserve the aromas and typicality to the terroir. That is why we do not intervene on the temperatures of our wines during vinification by heating or cooling the soft grapes. We also do not filter the wines and we sulphate as little a possible during fermentation so they can age and become refined over time under the right conditions.
To ensure the correct balance, our wines are vatted for a minimum of one year to develop their typical characteristics and aromas. Our domain also gradually expands its aging cellars from year to year, its as evidenced by our Vielles Vignes, Loris and Collection vintages.
The concern for quality, the winemaker’s approach and a strict fermentation in the cellars are proof of the quality of the products sold at the domain.