The Romans rightly identified the Languedoc hills as suitable for growing grapes. The Saint-Chinian appellation follows a line of gently sloping terraces that begin outside Carcassonne in the Minervois and extend eastwards to the Rhône Valley, but remains one of the least-known appellations of Languedoc.
Saint-Chinian covers quite a large area with different soil types but the style of wine is usually full-bodied. Both the carignan and syrah grapes thrive here and it is these two that are principally used in this wine.
For Isabelle and Mathieu Champart, originally from Paris and Champagne life in Saint-Chinian began in 1976 when they bought a small run-down property with well-placed vines. At first, they sold their grapes to the co-op but struck out on their own in 1988 when they bottled under the estate name for the first time. This first vintage was extremely well received and though Mas Champart is a relatively new estate is already one of the best.
Isabelle Champart makes several reds including a Saint-Chinian named after the previous owner who sold his land to her, the Côte d'Arbo, and an impressive single-vineyard cuvée, Clos de la Simonette.