Julie Benau,

The domaine, centered around a 16th century fortified farm, was bought by the Benau family in 1980.

For almost 20 years they sold their viticultural production to the local Co-op. In 1999, when their young daughter Julie returned to the domaine, they bottled part of their production for the first time. At Julie’s insistence, the Benau’s have set their sights on putting only the highest quality wines in bottle. In 2001, they bottled a mere 2,000 cases at the domaine (2 cuvées of Picpoul de Pinet, a VDP Red and a Rosé).

They are adapting their vineyard work and are making investments in the cellar with the goal of increasing the quality and as the quality merits, bottling more wine.

The appellation of Picpoul de Pinet is composed of 6 communes in front of the bay of Thau near Sète between Bezier and Montpellier. The vineyards are planted only with Picpoul which Jancis Robinson says comes from “pique poul” meaning “lip stinger” due to the high acidity in the grapes. James Wilson, in his very dry academic tome Terroir, disputes this and suggests that piquepoul is in fact another name for the Folle Blanche of Armagnac and Cognac – another ‘lip stinging’ grape. In any case, Picpoul is known for its high acidity and since at least the 17th century it was blended with Clairette to give that grape some spine. All of the vineyards in Picpoul de Pinet share a southern exposition, are sheltered by inland hills from the NW wind, enjoy lots of sunshine and the moderation of summer heat by humid ocean breezes. The soil is sand, marl, and limestone.

In Gallo-Roman times, close to the VIA DOMITIA, the village of Pinet was probably a villa and a group of barns. It was then called PINETUM. Prior to the Roman conquest the Via Domitia was known as the HERACLIIAN Way taking Iberians, Ligurians and Celtes from Spain as far as Italy. Today it border's the villages of Castelnau de Guers and Pinet and if you follow it for a while, you will discover panoramic views of exceptional beauty with the Etang de Thau and Mont St Clair as a backdrop.

In the church of St. Simeon at Pinet is an unusual mechanized crib which also displays scenes of local life and activities.


The region of PICPOUL DE PINET has been inhabited since time immemorial. The land's rich with rocky soil and hillsides producing a sunny and noble wine, PIQUEPOUL, at the origin of today's equally noble PICPOUL DE PINET.


There were vineyards around the Thau lagoon more than 2000 years ago. Some vineyard have kept the same boundaries over the years and the same exposure to this day.


In 1773, Turgot (Louis XVI's Minister) appointed the PICPOUL vines and ordered that each barrel from the Pinet area should be made with his crest.

In 1860, during the reign of Napoleon III, Picpoul de Pinet was already fashionable, as seen in a painting in the Louvre.

In 1946, Picpoul de Pinet was classified as VDQS (Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure).


Today, the vines are pruned low and produce small, golden, oval-shaped grapes and in 1985 became AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée).

The region of AOC Coteaux du Languedoc - Picpoul de Pinet includes the towns of Castelnau de Guers, FIorensac, Mèze, Montagnac, Pomerols and Pinet.

 

PICPOUL DE PINET

VARIETALS:

100% Picpoul de Pinet


VINIFICATION:

7 months sur lies

Natural yeast


YIELD:

35 hl/ha


PRODUCTION:

3000 Cases

All Rights Reserved (c) 2011 wine mc2

Domaine Julie Benau