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My fiancé and I traveled to France to meet with Christophe Cadis, one of the owners of Château les Maubats. This vineyard and winery are located in Roquebrune, a town in the Bordeaux region of France. The property is incredibly lovely and historic, set in the beautiful rolling countryside. Christophe is not only passionate about his wines but also about the environment as well. I loved the company, its values, and the wines here so much that I’ll soon be selling them through Vegan Wines. This winery and its owners are dedicated to creating wines without the use of animal products through environmentally-conscious farming and winemaking methods. In addition to being an independent winemaker and producer of vegan wines, Château les Maubats has the High Environmental Value (HEV) designation. Unlike being certified “organic,” this standard takes things a step further when it comes to food and wine production.
When the French Government grants the “HEV” label to certain products, it doesn’t just mean that that particular farm or winery carefully and naturally produces its own crops and vines. They also take into consideration how well these institutions handle and respect the environment as a whole. The French Ministry of Agriculture uses the HEV certification to notify consumers when products are made from at least 95% raw materials on farms or wineries dedicated to environmental performance. These businesses should also make efforts to increase biodiversity, manage fertilizer inputs, improve water management, and decrease any negative environmental impacts. I wanted you to hear about this fabulous winery, its natural methods, and its delicious wine from one of the owners himself, so I interviewed Christophe for Vegan Wine’s blog. This way, our readers and subscribers (and future wine club members!) can understand why his business appealed to me so much. And why I’m excited to be including his wines in our range. Below is our interview!
Were you born into the winemaking business? Growing up, did you always know that this is what you wanted to do? I am not born into the winemaking business. I decided to do this job 15 years ago because It was I really want to do. It took me 10 years to find the place to settle down and produce the wines I would like. What is your favorite part of the winemaking process? That's the harvesting time. It is one of the most important times to produce a future good wine because you have to decide when the grapes have the good maturity to cut them. You have your HVE certification. Is this something that you worked toward to get the label or were you able to attain it simply through your dedication to the environment? Why is a commitment to eco-friendly farming and wine production important to you? Has this always been the case through this winery’s history? It was quite simple for us to get this certification because the jobs done on this property are environmentally friendly for the past 30 years. It is important for us to produce a natural wine made with natural grapes (without pesticides or chemical products in soils, vines, air, or groundwater). It is better for the environment and our self-health!! Your wine is vegan. What process do you use for clarification or refining the wine since you don’t use any animal products? What made you choose to avoid using animal products and why is that important to you? The process used to clarify our wines is natural decanting by gravity during 2 years - we keep our wines in the tanks or oak barrels, and we re-rack them every 3 months to separate the wine from its sediments at the bottom. As we make do this 8 times during the maturity time, it allows us not to filter our wines, and so we produce natural wines. We have just to be patient! You are also an independent winemaker. This means that you do everything from growing, harvesting, producing, and marketing all yourselves? HOW do you do it all? (Especially since you harvest the grapes manually!) Do you think this contributes a lot to the quality of your wine? It is possible to do everything without being a Superman Hero! We have time in the vineyard mostly from January to September, and from September to December, we are in the winery. And I want to be in each step of the production to control the quality of our wines too.
How much wine do you produce annually? (Is that considered large or small?) We produce 30,000 bottles a year, which is a small production. Which wine is your favorite? You can choose more than one... My favorite is our white wine only made with Sauvignon (very fruity and rounded) and our Cuvée Caliste (matured 2 years in new French oak barrels) Can your wine be purchased internationally? Do you mostly export your wines or sell it within France? We just sell a small part of our production to Germany, Denmark, and Belgium. Tell us about the Château and the property. How old is it? How old are the vines and the winery? Do you also live there? What do you love most about this region in France? The Château and the wine property has existed for 30 years. The years before, our grandparents were producing wines too, but also cereals, tobacco, and cow milk. Some vines are more than 40 years old! And the first house of the property was built in 1790! I enjoy this region because of the weather (not too cold, not too hot, not too rainy). It is nice to work outside all year long. I like the hilly landscape too. Did you know that some people find that our region is similar to the Tuscany area in Italy? Keep checking back to see when you can buy wines made by Château les Maubats from Vegan Wines!