One of the first wines Vegan Wines imported from Europe, was from the small family vineyard of 8 hectares, Chateau Les Maubats, located in the town of Roquebrune in Entre-deux-Mers. Their motto is “respect the vines, the soil and the environment” and their focus is on traditional and artisanal methods of farming vines, including manual harvesting and controlling yields.
Chateau Les Maubats practices natural vinification, which means no fining or filtering, without stabilizers and minimally added sulphates. They have practiced sustainable viticulture for over 30 years with an objective to let the vines and plants self-manage so they can stand up to any challenges nature might give them.
We were fortunate enough to interview Christophe Cadis, who runs Chateau Les Maubats along with Robert Armelin, to learn more about his wine and winemaking philosophy.
What inspired you to become a winemaker?
My father loves Bordeaux wines and he taught my brother and I how to make wine when we were young adults, and also how to taste and identify wines in good condition. This became, and still is, my main reason for becoming a winemaker. I fell in love with working the vines in the vineyard, transforming the grapes to make wine, and deciding which kind of wine I want to make.
What are some advantages of being located in Bordeaux?
For me, being located in Bordeaux means using the famous ground and soils for vines. It is also a very well-known wine area, which helps!
When you set out to make a wine, what is your objective or goal?
My main goal is to provide happiness for people tasting my wines (and for me too !). This is possible because we are a small property. We can make wines we like to produce, and not wines we must sell to thousands of people ! We call this type of wine “Vin de Terroir” in France. That means that these wines are made by real people, mostly by hand and with our heart. The wines also varies slightly with each vintage because of the weather…
Who are your wines for?
We have two categories of wines :
- Our Bordeaux supérieur “Cuvée Tradition” (Vegan Wines carries this one), Bordeaux Rosé (Rosé) and Bordeaux Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc) which are very fruity wines and easy to drink. These are made for everyone to taste and enjoy.
- Our other red wines are made in oak barrels and more directed at wine connoisseurs because of their strength and complexity.
We know you are passionate about working in an environmentally friendly way, and that your Chateau is certified a “High Environmental Value” (HVE) property. Why is this so important to you and what was your inspiration to grow and make wines this way?
It is very important for me to work and live in a peaceful environment. It is also important for the vines. We can’t make good wines if we are not taking care of the vines, their soils and the life around.
We are so fortunate to be able to carry Chateau Les Maubats Bordeaux Superieur Red 2015 in our Vegan Wines’ club. Can you tell us a little bit about the process you went through making this wine? How would you describe it?
We first harvest the grapes by hand at good maturity (around the 20th of September for Merlot grapes and 15th of October for Cabernet). Then we put all the berries in stainless steel tank and we let the juice and berries macerate together for about 3 to 4 weeks, to highlight and catch the fruity aromas and flavor, the color and the tannins during the alcoholic fermentation. It is a natural and long process, and we have to control the balance between alcohol, acidity and tannins during this period. At the end , this wine achieves an intense ruby-red color with cherry-red highlights. The wine as a result is aromatic, fruity, with a slight cherry nose with subtle raspberry and generous red fruit. On the palate it is fruity, rich and unctuous with slight cherry hints, with generous red fruit and blackberry flavors. The wine is smooth with round tannins, good intensity and a long length.
What is your favorite wine that you make?
I prefer making white wine, because white grapes are fragile and it’s more difficult to keep the aroma and pale color of a white Sauvignon wine than a red wine. I feel the result is more rewarding for the wine maker.
Besides your own, what is one of the best wines you’ve ever tasted?
It is Bordeaux wines, sorry… Once I tasted an old bottle from 1964, from my grandmother’s cellar. It was a sweet white wine from Château Giraud in Sauternes. It was a great memory.
What are your plans for 2019 – anything new and exciting happening?
My major plan for 2019 is to begin the French organic certification. We’ve already practiced organic winemaking for many years in the vineyard, but we have to be overseen and officially monitored for 3 years to get the certification.
And finally, can you think of a vegetarian dish native to Bordeaux that would pair beautifully with the Les Maubats Bordeaux Superieur 2015?
Yes, it’s a special grilled mushroom plate from Bordeaux called “Cèpes mushrooms”, with garlic and parsley.
Bon appétit !