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Land: Frankrijk
Regio: Cévennes

Domaine de Gournier

Owner: Maurice Barnouin
Region: Costières de Nîmes, France
Estate Size: 180 Hectares (444 Acres)

Estate information
Born in Nîmes, Maurice Barnouin followed in his father's footsteps and became a farmer. Like him, he first started growing fruit trees and then expanded to tomatoes and asparagus. Finally, he opened a nursery, which he still owns today.
Maurice was quickly attracted to the wine business, as it is close to his culture and encourages festivity, for which the region is so renowned. Indeed, the Fête de la Pentecôte (Whitsun Feria) attracts one million people. Staged for the first time in 1952, it lasts for five days. Like the Munich beer festival, it is one of the most popular festive events in Europe. Maurice would not miss it for the world.

Millennial Vines
Vines have been cultivated in the region since the 6th Century BC. Domaine de Gournier may have already existed at that time, as it belonged to the lands of the « Sancta Agatha Villa », now called St Chaptes, whose main tower lies half a mile away from the Domaine. After passing through the hands of noble families, the Domaine finally became an independent entity during the French Revolution. The qualities and secrets of these millennial wines were passed on from father to son for several generations.

In 1959, Maurice's father bought Gournier. At that time, there were more fruit trees than vines. Without a cellar, the grapes were sold to the village's co-op. A pepinierist by trade (vine rootstock and clone expert), Maurice's father became one of the first in the region to plant « noble » varietals when hybrids were the norm. Starting in 1970, he planted Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, followed closely by Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

At the beginning of the 80's, Maurice took over the Domaine and decided to focus on the vineyard. In 1983, he left the co-op for good, amidst clashes with other members of the organization, and created his own cellar. At this time the reputation for the region's wines was poor and changing that opinion for the better became Maurice's challenge.

Maurice has remained faithful to his natal region, but he has also traveled extensively abroad. He worked for a long time in Morocco and Spain and he is part owner of a Romanian domain today. It's certainly because of his pepinierist background that he enjoys experimenting with varietals from other regions.

Gone with the Flood
During the night of September 8th through the 9th 2002, violent and abundant rains fell on the South of France. Many were impacted, thousands were displaced, some lost it all, but Gournier, like the phoenix rising from nothingness, came out of it stronger and better. During that fateful night, the waters rose rapidly and flooded the grounds for miles around. Mud slides created havoc, taking with them trees and damaging houses. Within a matter of hours the entire Domaine was under water. Maurice, along with the Canadian staff who had landed a few days prior to help with the harvest, was now a captive of the rising waters. They first attempted to save important equipment, but soon realized they had to save their own lives first. Trapped in Maurice's house, they took refuge on the highest story and finally climbed onto the roof when the water reached 24 feet. Maurice could only see water where his vines, his car, his cellar, his house used to be. Everything was gone! Maurice, his Canadian workers, his staff, and Alain Demezon - his consulting oenologist - were rescued by helicopter and carried to safety.

As the water came back down, all that was left was a devastated landscape: pallets were hanging from trees, vines were covered in mud, the grounds were strewn with papers, plastic objects and other personal items from the neighboring houses. Everything had been destroyed; the empty stainless steel vats actually went through the roof of the house. Maurice's home had been invaded by mud... Thankfully, the vines didn't suffer too much as the water receded fairly quickly. But Maurice remained upbeat, he announced "let's clean up, rebuild and keep on with our work!" And so they did. Nowadays, the cellar is as state-of-the-art as it gets and even though the houses are still being rebuilt, the vines are healthier than ever.



Wijnjaar: 2014
Regio: Cévennes
Type: Witte wijn
Druif: Chardonnay.

100% Chardonnay voor 30% gevinifiëerd en malo op barrique, nadien terug samengevoegd en voor 6 maand in inox cuve alvorens te bottelen. Maurice Barnouin is de wijnmaker en eigenaar van ...

Prijs (vanaf 6 flessen): € 9,95 / fles

Eenheidsprijs: € 12,05

Volume: 0.75 L