The year 2000….
It is quite difficult for a child today to imagine what these magic words meant fifty years ago.
As children of the post-war period, we evoked this time as that of a paradisiac future, embodying for us the very notion of technical progress, symbolising an ideal world, this orange-coloured world of which Aragon spoke about, a “modern” world where nothing would be as it was before, a world where we would be liberated from our burdens and our limits, our pettiness and our contingencies…
The end of the 90s embodied for many French winegrowers a period when everything seemed possible and as far as we were concerned, freed from our southern winegrower complexes, leaving the Banyulenc enclave, and set off, some from La Rectorie (where we all worked at the time and which is now managed by Thierry and Jean Emmanuel Parcé) to explore the north-western part of the Roussillon region, moving away from the Mediterranean shore, in order to establish a “foundation” there.
The Hautes Corbières du Roussillon, as it was called until 1972, was home to a small village and winery on a plateau south of the village of Maury, which would welcome us after a successful experiment at the Maury Cooperative Cellar for the 2000 vintage. During this harvest, we created a trial red wine for the cellar with a vision of a future AOC on this terroir, which, at the time, only produced VDN (sweet wines). Vincent Legrand was at the head of the project and deployed his usual energy to bring it to a successful conclusion.
Thanks to this experience, the team of La Rectorie, reinforced by a young winemaker and two more experienced winemakers, acquired the cooperative cellar of St Arnac in July 2001 in order to establish a winemaking site in the Fenouillèdes, near the Maury cru. There, we aimed to experiment with the particularities of the Maury terroir by applying the same requirements and discipline as we had done at Domaine de La Rectorie. For ten years we tried, both in the vineyard and in the cellar, with modest means, to get the greatness out of the silent! Once again, as at La Rectorie, the absence of means was our guide, the absence of a guru our credo!