It all began twenty years ago when Englishman, Robert Eden emigrated to France with the dream of crafting wines that were a reflection of the land where the grapes were grown. He believed just as passionately then as he does today that ‘wine is grown and not made’.
Robert fell in love with the beauty and potential of the Minervois and, in particular, the little-known village of La Livinière. The surrounding vineyards were the very first in the Languedoc to be granted permission to put the village name on the label, alongside AOC Minervois: recognition of the distinct quality that these vineyards are capable of producing.
Along with much of the Languedoc, the Minervois has a winemaking history that goes back some 1000 years. Despite this, it is an area that has only recently established itself as a source of top-quality wines.
Today we are blessed with not just fabulous grape growing conditions but also the motivation of driven, talented winemakers who are maximising the potential of the region. We are very happy to be a part of this exciting movement and are thrilled that the Maris wines have achieved global recognition by some of the world’s leading wine critics for their depth, intensity and character.
Château Maris vines are certified as organic and biodynamic by Ecocert, the international certification body.
In a nutshell we focus much of our efforts in the vineyard on increasing soil fertility and health by introducing live matter from compost and companion crop planting. In so doing the health of the vines and the quality of the fruit they produce is fully optimised, ensuring the wines we make are of the very highest quality.
Our commitment to organics is very much a reflection of our total and unending love of the earth. It is through the earth that we are a part of nature. By respecting and understanding the earth as a living organism we are able to become an integral part of it. The earth is not an object for human dominance but a living thing that we should strive to work with.
At Château Maris we replenish the earth by adding live compost, made from local organic manure, to our vineyards. This live matter is critical ‘feed’ for our vines.
Buddha said “we must have love for the tree”. We follow biodynamic practices and we believe that the plants we work with have souls similar to ours and that they should be respected in the same way as we do with our own. We search for natural ways – herbal teas for instance - to stimulate our vines and to protect them from their natural predators.
When we introduce companion plants to the vineyards we are providing nature with the tools she needs to look after herself, without chemical intervention. This is a delicate balance between every living plant and creature, which aggressive modern agricultural practices have so detrimentally affected.
The lunar cycles are also important to the way we work at Château Maris. By paying attention to the position of the planets within these cycles, during the growing or ageing period and also when bottling can have a very positive effect. This might sound a little off the wall, but it can be as simple – and sensible – as planting on day when the sun is growing stronger.
Read about our Biodynamics