France: Languedoc Roussillon

Around Béziers

Wines from the Faugères, Saint Chinian and Minervois areas
By Richard James

This Guide was last updated on 11 February 2010
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Clos du Gravillas

Address: Clos du Gravillas, 34360 Saint Jean de Minervois
Tel: 04 67 38 17 52 
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 43:23:8N (43.38557)    Longitude: 2:49:58E (2.83280) 

Nicole (French) and (American) John Bojanowski having been making pure expressive wines for 12 years from their varied plantings of Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Muscat among others (13 in all). The estate now adds up to over 6ha, recently converted to organics. All the vines are on a 300m altitude plateau, made up of sparse chalky gravel soil, surrounding the tiny village of Saint-Jean set in a stunning remote location. Their signature reds Le Rendez-Vous du Soleil and Lo Vièlh are made from old vine Carignan (some of it 100 years old): John is a big fan of this sometimes scorned variety and a founder-member of a growers' group called Carignan Renaissance, who actively promote their wines made from it (see Latest addition to the range is a varietal dry white made from the disappearing Terret Gris. The Bojanowski family also rents out the converted ‘Ancien café’ in the village as a gîte with two bedrooms, a terrace and not a bad view (see website).


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