Famille Fabre Corbières, Languedoc, France

“Every bottle of Fabre Family wine is the result of the work of previous generations, whose hands were responsible for sculpting our terroir. We put all our energy into maintaining centuries of tradition, which we hope will resonate in our wines.”

Famille Fabre Estate

  • Organic Corbières producers dating back to 1605
  • Largest family owned organic producer in France
  • 5 estates across 350ha
  • Château Fabre Gasparets (63ha) - the oldest, established in 1711
  • Château de Luc (71ha) - their family home
  • Château Coulon (138ha)
  • Château La Tour de Rieux (43ha) and Domaine Grande Courtade (46ha)
  • Significant holdings of old vine Carignan

The Fabre Family

André Fabre, returning from being a WW2 POW in Russia, finds the family vineyards abandoned

Focused on quality, he installs an irrigation canal and manages the vines organically

All his neighbours (and some of the family) thought he was mad!

Louis Fabre who took over the estate in 1982 and continues the organic ethos, converting an additional 100ha.

Marie Tesserand, Louis' sister, was instrumental in creating Corbières-Boutenac

Traditions contine with Paule (Louis' niece) and André convinced that organic viticulture is the only way to protect the terroir

400 years of History

  • Roman artefacts discovered in the vineyards
  • Records of the Fabre’s cultivating vineyards in Corbières date to 1605 making Famille Fabre part of the French wine aristocracy....
  • ...who are modest about their innovative spirit and quest for quality which has:-
  • contributed to the creation of the Bordeaux bottle
  • created the first Colorimetre to accurately measure depth and quality of colour in wine (1886)
  • pioneered organic viticulture in France (with certification in 1991)
  • shaped the formation of the Corbières-Boutenac appellation (2005)

Organic Pioneers

  • Early pioneers of organic viticulture due to a respect for the traditions of past generations, a desire to pass them on and a highly suitable climate
  • Today they are the largest family owned organic producer in France with 350ha
  • First certified as organic in 1991 with QUALENVI certification achieved in 2000
“We are lucky, my father never used herbicides thinking it was poison, so we continue with that” Louis Fabre on organic viticulture

Organic (continued)

  • Climate is key to being able to successfully farm organically.
  • Corbiéres has a Mediterranean climate - hot and dry summers, relatively mild winters with little rain.
  • Winds are prevalent; the strong, frequent Cers from the NW benefits the vines by keeping them dry and blowing away bugs.
  • However, it takes stronger measures to protect the vines from grape loving visitors..

Corbières-Boutenac AOC

  • Corbières-Boutenac AOC created in 2005
  • Marie Tesserand (Louis sister) was instrumental in formation this cru
  • Characterized by higher vineyards (80- 100m) and older Carignan Noir
  • A series of rounded hills with the rocky soils & scented with the herbs of the Garrigue – wild rosemary, lavender, thyme, and juniper
  • 184ha of cru classified vineyards of which Château Fabre Gasparets constitutes one third (63ha)
  • Château Fabre Gasparets are the oldest producer in Boutenac

Corbières-Boutenac AOC

  • Blend of Carignan Noir, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre only
  • Proportion of Carignan, Grenache Noir, and Mourvèdre must be = / > than 70%
  • No one grape variety can be more than 80% of the blend
  • Carignan Noir must be between 30% and 50%
  • Permitted yield is 45hl/ha – Château Fabre Gasparets is 30hl/ha
  • Irrigation is prohibited from May 1st until harvest
  • Wine is aged at least until the 31st December following the harvest, with no more than 2 months in bottle
  • Permitted vine age varies by variety (11 years for Carignan, 7 for Mourvèdre and 4 for Grenache)
  • Château Fabre Gasparets vines are up to 60 years of age

Château Fabre Gasparets Corbières-Boutenac 2015

An organic blend of old vine Carignan Noir 35% , Mourvèdre 45%, and Syrah 20% ranging in age from 20 to 60 years

Harvested by hand from the finest low yielding plots in Boutenac (30hl/ha v appellation regulation of 45hl/ha)

Whole bunches are vinified, with a long maceration (20 days) for the Syrah and Mourvèdre and regular remontage (pumping over)

Matured together for 12 months in French oak barrels.

2018 Decanter World Wine Awards Silver Medal winner


Match with robust peasant dishes - grilled lamb chop, a juicy steak, a fricasse of girolles (chanterelle mushrooms) or the regional Cassoulet

"A super powerful wine made to go with food" Nigel Wilkinson MS


Created with images by sipa - "boar wild boar miniature pig pig animal" • dulsita - "Cassoulet"

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