Mas des Capitelles is a small family-owned estate located in the village of Faugères, in the southeast of France. Founded in 1999, it is owned by Jean Laugé, whose family has been involved in viticulture for ten generations. His father was instrumental in creating the Faugères appellation. He gave up making wine at home so he could join the cooperative cellar, and he became its president. When Jean’s sons Cédric and Brice Laugé joined him to work at the domaine, he decided to change to making wine in his own cellars again, and Mas des Capitelles was born.
The vineyard extends over 24 hectares (60 acres) of vines, consisting essentially of the southern grape varieties: Carignan, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. They are cultivated in the schist hillsides of Languedoc, in a unique terroir characterized by its southern exposure, dry climate, altitude (250m), slightly acidic soils and influence from the north wind.
The vineyard is characterized by a high proportion of Carignan, the fundamental grape variety used in Faugères wines & more generally in Languedoc Roussillon wines. Carignan is known for thriving on dry and sunny hillsides, yielding powerful wines that are true to their terroir. For this reason, the Laugé family has focused on cultivating Carignan, with many of their vines over 60 years old; some over 100 years old.
They also emphasize Mourvèdre, known for its 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 traditionally trained and short; 90% trained in goblets (no wires). This allows them to mature better, given the shale-based soils, and allows better control of yields. The harvest is entirely manual and sorted in the vineyard. Average yields are between 20 and 30 hl/ha.
The winery exclusively uses biodynamic and organic methods, having been certified since March 2008. They also follow the Biodynamic methods of Rudolf Steiner. They intervene as little as possibly during the aging, to preserve aromas and terroir: no heating, no cooling, no filtration and minimal sulphates during fermentation. To ensure the correct balance, their wines are vatted for a minimum of one year to develop their typical characteristics and aromas.