The “complantation”, an ancestral method, a method preserved in Roussillon.
One of the specificities of the Banyuls cru and shared in Roussillon is the complantation of several grape varieties on the same plot. This ancient practice dates back to a time when grape varieties were not as important as they are today, and it was very natural for a winegrower of past centuries to replace the dead stumps of a vineyard with plants of a different grape variety than the one planted on the plot. A plot of land was rarely uprooted in its entirety, and vines that were no longer old were replaced, or “complemented”, in what is known today as “massal selection”, since they were made up of very old vines and more recent ones planted to replace the “missing” ones.
At Domaine Augustin & La Préceptorie we have maintained this method of cultivation. This means that during the harvest, we have to make several passes to harvest, for example, first the Grenaches gris to make white Collioures or white Côtes du Roussillon at the end of August, then ten days later, on the same plot, the Grenaches noir to make red Collioure or red Côtes du Roussillon. This “segmentation” of the harvest corresponds to a distribution of the production and forces us to distribute the marketing. Contrary to other estates, in other crus, we did not choose our vineyard, our grape varieties; we wished to preserve an old vineyard which only produced traditional Banyuls or Maury twenty years ago by making it “speak” differently today through the exposure and the altitude of these plots vinified in a different way. We did not choose to plant this or that grape variety after a market study to make a type of wine adapted to this market. Therefore, our distributor clients can only support us if they like the wines and if they share the same cultural requirements in order to maintain this anachronistic vineyard, by marketing and consuming the wines, all the wines produced, whether they are white, red or mutated.
It is for this reason that we cannot meet the demands of those who would be content to buy only the whites from us to the detriment of everything else: the volumes of white wines made available to our customers can only be in proportion to those withdrawn from the reds.