Saint-Chinian is one of the best appellations within the Languedoc in the deep south of France. This estate is deep in the wilds, near the town of Causses-et-Veyran. Cathy Izarn runs this 18 hectare estate alone since the death of her husband and winemaker François in a tractor accident in 2014.
The estate has been fully biodynamic since 1998 and the diverse and healthy soils, from clay and limestone through alluvial pebbles to schist, gives her plenty of scope for a variety of cuvées. Les Cres, for example, derives its name from the Occitan term for the pebbly soils in which the vines for this cuvee grow.
The estate is isolated enough, deep in the country, that they have no fears of the ‘blow-over’ of chemicals from neighbouring estates. Yields are kept low and the grapes hand harvested before reaching cellars in which the approach to winemaking is to interfere as little as possible with what untrammelled nature has provided after hard work among the vines.