Marc Castan is from the Corbières Maritimes country and grew up between the sea and mountains. After graduating from high school, he decided to study winemaking and took over his grandfather’s vineyard. Initially worked for the local co-op, he started Domaine M?m?rutá in 2009.
The vineyard extends over 14 ha on the Aude littoral between the towns of La Palme, Roquefort-des-Corbières and Leucate within the AOC Fitou. The terroir is rich and fragmented ; from rolled pebbles located next to the La Palm pond to limestone cliffs by the Mediterranean Sea. 70% of the vines are trimmed in Gobelet and the rest are done in either Guyot simple or Cordon de Royat. Yields are very low; between 16hl / ha and 20hl / ha on average within the grape varieties of Carignan, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache Noir and Gris, Macabeu and Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains.
The soils are gently worked with respect for life and biodiversity; biodynamic practices without certification are applied. Marc prefers to plough and weed the land through his herds of rustic cows; Highland, Jersey and Aurochs breeds. Tree hedges are planted on the edge of the vineyard and the plots are maintained by hand. The treatments are simple and based on sulphur, green clay and decoctions of plants (chamomile, nettle, dandelion, lavender or rosemary).
Manual harvest usually starts as early as mid-August to preserve natural acidity, only in the morning and in small boxes. In the winery, vinification happens naturally. Nothing is used to tamper the juice during fermentation, and carbonic maceration is often favoured. Light punchings of the cap and pumping-over are done for the full-bodied wines. Almost every wine is stored in old barrels during the winter. No fining nor sulphites are added except for some cuvee only when necessary.
Marc is therefore mindful of working ‘cleanly’ in order to produce the most natural wines possible.