Organic viticulture is our passion. Our objective is to create exceptionally-crafted wines with a distinct style and richness, using traditional wine-making techniques.
Château de Caraguilhes
Since Greek merchants first introduced the cultivation of vines to our area more than 2,000 years ago, the Corbières region of the Languedoc in the south of France has been a prime region for grapes and the making of wine.
From the beginning, Caraguilhes covered an area of some 600 unbroken hectares. Remarkably, over the course of history, the domain of Caraguilhes has remained intact.
Centuries later in 1958, Lionel Faivre, an established wine-maker in Algeria, took over Caraguilhes with the ambition of making authentic wine with organic grapes. Being an environmentalist, Lionel pioneered natural farming and wine-making practices by employing sustainable organic techniques. His refusal to use chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides was almost unheard of at the time. Nearly thirty years later, he completed the final transformation of Caraguilhes into full organic production. In 1998, Lionel reluctantly made the decision to sell the entire Caraguilhes estate.
The ideal growing conditions were recognised as long ago as the 12th Century, by the monks of the Cistercian Order based at the nearby Abbaye de Fontfroide. They became successful and prosperous wine-makers, and one of their estates was Caraguilhes.
Pierre Gabison convinced him that he and an associate could succeed in carrying on the proud tradition of high quality organic wine-making he started 50 years earlier.
In 2005, Pierre Gabison took over sole ownership of the business and it has remained organic. With a passion for wine, for Caraguilhes and for the region, Pierre has committed the resources essential to the vineyard as well as to the Château. Pierre’s ambition is to produce top quality wines from healthy vines, wines that express perfectly Caraguilhes’ unique terroir.
Our vineyards cover 135 hectares and are strategically surrounded and protected by 500 hectares of garrigue (wild land) constituting a rich ecosystem and a unique environment.
Situated just 30 kilometers from the Mediterranean sea at altitudes of 100 to 180 meters, the vineyards at Caraguilhes are exposed to the north west wind (the Tramontane) which is a natural aide, keeping the vines healthy by limiting fungal maladies (champignons) and reducing the population of harmful insects. The wind also cools the vines on hot summer days, which helps to maintain acidity levels in the grapes and allows them to mature more slowly and more completely.
Organic viticulture is our passion. Our objective is to create exceptionally-crafted wines with a distinct style and richness, using traditional wine-making techniques. We let our soils and vines express themselves naturally through each bottle and vintage. We want not just to produce the highest quality wines but to communicate through them an experience of our rich regional history and the warmth and beauty of our estate.
We are the largest grower of certified organically-grown grapes in the Corbières region. Since 1992, the accreditation body ECOCERT has ensured that all the grapes used in the making of Caraguilhes wines are certified as organic (www.ecocert.com).
Our organic wines do not use pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. We use only environmentally-friendly methods and resources to grow our grapes, such as natural pest and weed control. Plants other than vines are grown in and around our vineyards to maintain and improve biodiversity and soil structure.
Caraguilhes vineyards have been committed to full organic farming since 1987. With this early awareness of the need to respect the earth and its terroir, our soils and vines have evolved to become richer and healthier. With healthier soils and healthier vines, we are growing better quality fruit, which in turn allows us to make better quality wine.
Caraguilhes represents a dream site for any wine-maker. The diversity of grape-varieties and climatic conditions furnishes us with a rich palette of aromas, colors and flavors, which enables us to create unique blends expressing the unique personality of our terroirs.