Eight years ago Ghislain and Delphine d’Abocille found paradise on the southern slope of Les Baumes, an extinct volcano overlooking the Haut Languedoc town of Pezenas. This windy site called out to them as ideally suited to the production of interesting wines and more importantly as a rural location perfect for raising their tight-knit family of seven. The couple partnered with friend and mentor Roberto de la Mota (of Cheval des Andes and Mendel fame) when purchasing the property, and Roberto continues to lend his wisdom with each vintage.
This is one of only three locations in France with a high population of basalt soil, the other two being the Grand Cru of Rangen in Alsace and Clermont Ferrand in Auvergne. The second primary component of the soil here is quartz river rock, a soil type made famous in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The quartz here comes from the same source as that in Chateauneuf, but is jagged rather than rounded due to it not having traveled as far. One will find that the quartz here is also present much deeper, continuing underground for hundreds of feet and thus lending a searing minerality to wines grown here.
In total the property is comprised of 23 acres and divided into four vineyard blocks. Each vineyard block is used for one specific wine the family produces. All vines are certified organic and this was the region’s first winery principled on ecological design and process. SO2 additions are extremely limited (under 20mg/L).
Grapes are fermented in unlined concrete vessels that were custom designed to accommodate manual pigeage, which still eight years in is a favorite after-school activity for all of their kids (they strap the kids into climbing harnesses that are roped to a bar overhead and let them go wild).
Allegria meants “joy” in the local language, Occitan!