Vinocap show in Cap d'Agde: in Caux, the paradise of “Marc-O”

Vinocap show in Cap d'Agde: in Caux, the paradise of "Marc-O"

On this hillside with a view of Caux and, further on, Mont Saint-Loup d’Agde, Marc-Olivier enjoys a superb terroir. FREE MIDI – OLIVIER RAYNAUD

The 15th edition of the most important wine tourism fair in the south of France will take place from Thursday May 9 to Saturday May 11, on the quays of the Center-Port du Cap, where more than a hundred exhibitors are expected. . Until then, Midi Libre invites you to meet several of its players, including Marc-Olivier Bertrand, who took over the Lacroix-Vanel vineyard in 2016, after having traveled quite a bit.

On the road to Fontès, Marc-Olivier's Skoda takes a small path on the right which climbs through the middle of vineyards. It is there, on a plateau shaken hundreds of thousands of years ago by volcanic eruptions, that the Alsatian of origin and trained oenologist found his little paradise.

180 co-owners have invested in the estate

Nine hectares of land which previously belonged to Jean-Pierre Vanel, acquired thanks to crowdfunding from Terra Hominis, which brought together nearly 180 co-owners behind this recovery project. "I don't know them all of course, but some have become friends in addition to being loyal customers. I even sometimes stay with them, during the shows in which I participate. "

Before packing his bags in Caux, he had already traveled quite a bit. "I started studying biology to be a teacher. But after my first internship, I preferred to change during the year! " For the record, it was upon entering a supermarket where a wine fair was taking place that he had the revelation: "I told my friends who were with me: “this is what I want to do.

Australia, Corsica, Limoux, Var…

Go for the vineyard and direction Dijon, for oenology studies. Then came the time to visit Australia, the Corsican vineyards and the offer to take charge of an estate located very close to Limoux, in Aude. Four formative years before working in Beaujolais then in Provence, in order to refine his perception of wine and the precepts that are his today: an organic farming vineyard, respectful of the environment, a living soil "which we no longer plow to avoid “breaking” mushrooms", where herbs frolic, manual harvests and artisanal winemaking in a rented cellar in the center of the village. Hand-sewn for lovers of an exceptional terroir, where white rockroses grow among volcanic bombs, quartz and black marble. "We are on rich lands", confirms Marc-Olivier Bertrand, who has learned over the past eight years to get the best out of plots which, some of them, are around forty years old. A canonical age which, however, does not seem to worry the winemaker: "They are still yielding quite a bit and above all, these are vines which have found their balance a long time ago. It’s not neutral."

A production of 20,000 bottles

An appointment is made at the cellar. Of course, Marc-Olivier would have preferred to be able to build his own winery on one of his plots of land. But the twists and turns of the Local Urban Planning Plan (PLU) are thwarting the project for the moment, which he has come to terms with."Before me, Lacroix-Vanel was already vinifying in this discount, there was no reason why I couldn't do it."

Press and vats are shoehorned in, but the essential is elsewhere: like the good craftsman that he is, Marc-Olivier manages to extract the quintessence of his production, available in four vintages, one white, three reds and 20,000 bottles. No rosé ? "I did a test which I will perhaps present to Vinocap, but no more." The Provençal interlude, where rosé is king, has visibly left its mark!

As we said, direct sales and exhibitions allow the owner to sell a good part of his production. Word of mouth works well and if the property does not enter competitions, a few distinctions here and there, particularly in Germany, have not done any harm. "J&amp ;rsquo;also ships to Sweden and Holland, even if the English market is in very sharp decline", he lists.
At tasting time, the “Nuances rouge” 2021 (19 €) frankly amazed us, with its dominant Mourvèdre (80%), barely polished by the Syrah. A beautiful expression of what can be done on these Caussinard lands, for which Marc-Olivier Bertrand had "a crush"& nbsp;about ten years ago. "Here the wines are silky, fruity."&nbsp ;The promise of a good time.

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