Auvergne is an incredible region full of secrets waiting to be discovered with unclassifiable winemakers. Catherine Dumora (L’Égrappille) explores for us the natural beauty of the volcanic hills between 300 and 500 meters above sea level. She recovers abandoned vineyards (obviously not the easiest parcels to work on); these small parcels were forgotten by their previous owners and the industrialisation of agriculture.
Having previously created amazing wines in the Bedat valley with Manuel Duveau (Yahou Fatal) since 2013, she is now looking after 2 hectares of vines south of Issoire. On the foothills of Livradois, the land is wooded and rugged, overlooking the Bansat river. Rich biodiversity; surprisingly the local fauna is more interested in eating highly productive crops than the grapes.
The soil is a deep clay loam with inclusion of gneiss, quartz mixed with limestone and patches of volcanic basalt. The main grape is the Vieux Gamay d’Auvergne, an old varietal of local Gamay and her oldest parcels can reach 80 to 100 years old. Other grapes includes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay Teinturier, Syrah, Alicante, Mondeuse.
She keeps the same philosophy: observing what the vine tells and support it, adapting to each plot and each vine. Treat as little as possible while understanding the cycles of diseases and parasites to intervene at the right moment. Horse ploughing only a few parcels at a time, and make wines from 100% grape juice, attending the process with love and patience. In order to learn and to evolve, she also continues to exchange with other winemakers. Most of the job is done by hand. In the cellar, nothing can hinder the natural process of winemaking.
In short, her wines are pure, alive, and bright. A real experience!