The Sauvaire family has been working the land around Crespian, in the Languedoc, since the mid-1600s. The winery’s buildings date from back then, and are still in use. Its 25 hectares (61.77 acres) of vines, planted to traditional Southern varieties, are scattered on a plateau with lots of small boulders and stones, and thus mainly poor, sandstone soils. This forces the vines to work extra hard to find nutrients.
Hervé Sauvaire works the land here using ancestral methods, with no pesticides or chemicals. He believes in letting the vineyard work in conjunction with the land around it to find balance on its own, without man’s help. What little assistance he provides is in the form of compost made from the marc of his grapes. At harvest, everything is manually harvested.
This philosophy follows through in the winery, where he takes an almost “hands-off” approach. Indigenous yeasts are allowed to take over all fermentation duties, and the wines are allowed to sit in steel and cement tanks, with absolutely no oak treatment: this allows the purity of the terroir to shine through. Wines are then bottled after 2-3 years in tank.