Stephanie and Olivier Ramé took over her family’s 160 hectare estate in 2010. Building on the work of Stephanie’s father, Alain Maurel, they started to modernize the operation. Which in many cases meant turning back the clock to work sustainably in the vineyards. Their aim was to work naturally, but as cleanly as possible, expressing the terroir with no ‘makeup’. Olivier’s expertise in oenology and viticulture led them to use experimental techniques, such as employing non-saccharomyces yeast to avoid spoilage, allowing indigenous yeasts to ferment the wine without competition from Brettanomyces and the like.
This happy duality of modern and traditional is mirrored in the appellation of Cabardès, where the transitional climate allows Atlantic grapes from Bordeaux to flourish alongside the Mediterranean varieties. The couple believe that the limestone in the local soils lends a distinctive freshness to their wines. To keep the freshness, they are aged in a range of different vessels: clay jars, concrete and stainless-steel tanks, and large wooden tuns.