Category Archives: Southwest

Le Champ d’Orphée, Gaillac

Stéphane Lucas apprenticed in Languedoc, Bordeaux, and Provence, and eventually landed a gig running a biodynamic estate in the Côtes du Rhône. Through the years he kept his eyes open for an opportunity to purchase his own domaine, a chance he leapt at in 2008, when he discovered a 2 hectare property for sale in Gaillac, complete with older vines and a small farmhouse chai. A life-long musician, Stéphane named the domaine Le Champ d’Orphée, the Field of Orpheus.

Planted to the local Braucol vine (perhaps better known as Fer Servadou or Fer Noir), the domaine is managed biodynamically, with no use of chemical treatments at all. The vines are interspersed with grasses, legumes, and sometimes even garden vegetables– whatever Stéphane decides is necessary to maintain the domaine’s local biodiversity and soil health. Winemaking is straightforward and natural, with all indigenous yeasts, no new oak, and only a minimal dose of SO2 prior to bottling. Though located within the Gaillac appellation, Stéphane uses the Côtes du Tarn  designation for his wines in protest of what he sees as the Gaillac AOP’s lax standards.

Core Wines…

Le Champ d’Orphée “Papillon d’Orphée”

Le Champ d’Orphée

Château Combel-La-Serre, Cahors

For years, Julien Ilbert’s family sold their fruit to the local coop, but he set off on his own in 1998 to begin his own domaine. Initially Ilbert sold his fruit to vigneron Mathieu Crosse, but starting in 2005, he has both grown and produced everything from his estate. Since that time, Ilbert has gained a reputation as an innovative young gun, producing Cahors wines that are lively and natural, while still retaining Cahors’ classic structure and rusticity.

Core Wines…

Chateau Combel-La-Serre Cahors “Pur Fruit du Causse”

Chateau Combel-La-Serre Cahors “Château Cuvée”