Bubbles of the MonthDiscoverMeet the Winemakers

Your new favourite French fizz: Domaine de Montmarin

by Lucinda Beeman - April 24, 2017

More than 500 years ago, a soldier by the name of Nicolas de Sarret travelled to the South of France in service to the King of Aragon. There he discovered a beautiful piece of land – a very special vineyard that today they call Domaine de Montmarin, the winery behind the lovely Brut in April’s Bubble Box.

In the South of France, not too far from the border with Spain, is a region called Languedoc. This part of the world has been producing stunning white wines for centuries. Even the Romans, who occupied these lands nearly 2,000 years ago, were eager to get their hands on this alcoholic export: Languedoc white wines have been found buried in ancient Roman cities, proudly stamped with their region of origin.

It was to this arid land that Nicolas de Sarret travelled in service to the King of Aragon. The Spanish king was occupying Languedoc at the time, but the foreign soldier in his employ came to look upon this land as his home. In 1488, he purchased an estate in the foothills of Montblanc. 29 generations later, his descendants still control the estate, producing delicious red, white and sparkling wines under the name Domaine de Montmarin.

A Living Inheritance

When Nicolas de Sarret first purchased the land that now houses Domaine de Montmarin, he was declaring ownership of 400 hectares with a very mixed purpose. On his land were olive groves, grapevines, cereal production and even river-grazing livestock like goats, sheep and horses. The original deeds, written on sheepskin and signed by Nicolas himself, are still in good condition.

Up until the 19th century, the land remained devoted to these mixed purposes, and any winemaking that went on was focused on quantity over quality. But in 1987, Count Phillipe de Bertier, a direct descendant of Nicolas de Sarret, inherited the estate from his mother, Paule de Sarret, herself a 28th generation descendant.

As soon as he took control, Phillipe decided to modernise the vineyard and winery. While the gorgeous olive groves, almond trees and oak forests remain, Phillipe dedicated 80 hectares to his grape vines and shifted the winery’s focus from bulk production to by-the-bottle production.

It was a gamble that paid off. These days, Domaine de Montmarin is one of the most respected producers of wine in Languedoc, releasing a number of red, white, rosé and sparkling wines.

In this arid land, where the soil a wonderful mix of chalk and clay and the south-facing hills face the sun all day long, the terroir is varied and complex. Across the tens of hectares, the Domaine de Montmarin viticulturalists plant Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Syrah and Grenache grapes; a staggering variety for a single vineyard, and the root of the immense amount of choice the house can offer to lovers of Languedoc wines.

Fizz for the Ages

Three of these varieties come together in perfect harmony to form the Montmarin Méthode Traditionelle Brut in April’s Bubble Box. In the dry and windy weather of Languedoc, these grapes thrive and grow ever-more aromatic as they proceed towards the harvest.

The grapes in this beautiful bottle were harvested at night, to prevent the change in sugar levels that can occur when vines are picked in the heat of the sun. They were then pressed and fermented for the first time.

Its first fermentation done and dusted, the wine was bottled in January of 2015. Joining the still wine in the bottle was an extra dose of yeast and a little bit of sugar; these components stayed together for 21 months while the yeast and sugar reacted to form the beautiful bubbles that make this wine such a fabulous fizz. This process, known as the ‘traditional method’, is the same way that Champagne is made and results in the delightfully toasty notes you’ll taste in this wine.

Some of the incredible aromatics will come from the inclusion of the Viognier grape variety in this wine. Like Chardonnay, Viognier (pronounced Vee-own-yay) tends to produce full-bodied white wines, but with more floral and perfumed aromas. A beautiful addition to a gorgeous wine, this wonderful variety adds a truly special something to the wine in April’s Bubble Box.

As you sip a glass of Montmarin Brut, consider the influence of this unique and aromatic grape – and the bravery of the Spanish solider whose passion for a home away from home brought this glorious wine to the world.

You may also like...

October 18, 2017

Fancy a Fizz Festival?

A festival of fizz will be right up your sparkling street!

October 17, 2017

See what’s inside October’s Autumnal Bubble Box!

Autumn is here and we are falling for fizz! Find out what is inside October’s Bubble Box!

October 17, 2017

Fizzy Facts: Frey-Sohler Crémant Riesling Brut

Learn all about the Alsatian sparkler in October’s Bubble Box.

October 11, 2017

September’s #FizzyFotos winners

See which fabulously fizzy snap won a month of FREE fizz in our photo competition last month.

September 27, 2017

Hayman’s Sparkling Cocktails

Raise a toast to London’s rich, ginny history with these fizzy treats.

September 20, 2017

9 Reasons Why Prosecco Is Better Than A Boyfriend

Boyfriends haven’t got a thing on prosecco! Here is a definitive list as to why…

September 20, 2017

This honeycomb chocolate will make your mouth water

This Love Cocoa treat is seriously chocolate perfection.

September 19, 2017

This Champagne Curry is what you need for dinner tonight

Not your average curry recipe.

September 18, 2017

Here’s two super easy cocktails you can make right now

Open up the cupboard and prepare to be amazed!

September 13, 2017

Fancy a taste of original English gin? Then you need to try Hayman’s Old Tom!

As Hayman’s Gin prepares to return to its London roots, step back in time to the Victorian-era Big Smoke with their Old Tom Gin, distilled to a generations-old family recipe.

September 13, 2017

11 things everyone who loves bubbly will understand

It’s *always* prosecco o’clock.

September 12, 2017

9 Champagne accessories you never knew you needed

#5 is a total must-have!

September 8, 2017

See what’s inside September’s sparkling Bubble Box!

Can’t wait to see what’s in September’s fizzy delivery? Check out all of this month’s treats here!

August FizzyFotos Winner

September 6, 2017

Meet our August #FizzyFotos winners!

See which member’s photo won them a whole month of sparkling wine – free!

September 6, 2017

How to keep your bubbles bubbly

For those occasions when there are just too many bubbles and too little time, fizz fans have invented a range of tricks to hang onto their wine’s sparkle – but which of them can you really rely on?