English couple Deborah and Peter Core left London in September 2002 with a dream not uncommon to many of us, which is to own a vineyard and to make wine in France. From backgrounds as a lawyer and finance director respectively they were already successful so it is hardly surprising that they have made such a success of their Mas Gabriel domaine.
They made it to their final destination at Caux in the Languedoc via New Zealand and Bordeaux, where experience and qualifications were gained. In 2006 they purchased their own vines and a traditional winemaker's house and harvested their first vintage of Mas Gabriel.
They own six hectares of land at Caux, some six kilometres from the famous village of Pezenas and close to the Haut Languedoc National Park, and their wines are all classified as Coteaux du Languedoc. The 4.7 hectares at Caux is volcanic basalt, gravel and loam with an outcrop of limestone, while a further 1.4 hectares in Saint-Jean de Bebian features the rounded pebbles familiar to Châteauneuf lovers and known as 'galets'. Grenache, syrah, carignan, vermentino and grenache gris are all planted
Peter and Deborah farm their land organically, following the tenets of biodynamism in order to make their soils, and indeed their eco-system, as vibrant and as healthy as possible. It helps that the climate of the Languedoc, long, hot days in summer and cool in winter, with welcome winds regularly blowing away the threat of fungal diseases, helps them to do so and to make wonderful wine in the process. Cool evenings breezes snake down from the nearby mountains also help to balance the acidity of the fruit against the rising sugar levels, meaning that there is real poise to match the ripe fruit. Though young, this is an estate to watch.