Outside the charming medieval village of Puéchabon, the vineyards of Mas des Brousses are perched on the slopes above the Hérault River Valley where they meet the Cévennes Mountains in the newly created appellation within the Coteaux du Languedoc AOC, Terrasses du Larzac. Géraldine Combes’ family has worked this land since 1525. For the last 15 years, she has worked nine hectares with her husband, Xavier Peyraud—grandson of the iconic Domaine’s Tempier’s Lucien and Lulu Peyraud. Together, they grow Grenache, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, caring for every part of the production process from vine to bottle—a true, small production, artisanal winery, all operated from the garage beneath their home. They farm sustainably, often incorporating organic practices in their vineyards, without any herbicides or pesticides. And at Mas des Brousses, regular plowing of the vineyards is the rule, not the exception. Planted on a bedrock of limestone and clay, the soils are rich in glacial sediment and galet roulés (rounded limestone rock), the latter of which provides excellent insulation and even distribution of heat to the vines during the winter months.
After the harvest—all done by hand—they de-stem the grapes and press them in a traditional basket press. Old-school vinifications include regular pump-overs, a total immersion of the cap for a successful maceration, and a healthy aeration after fermentation to eliminate excess gases. Their reds are bottled unfiltered to capture every bit of the intense fruit and garrigue aromas of their terroir, creating rustic wines of power, balance and finesse.