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Intro: Roussillon

Cyril Fhal’s Clos du Rouge Gorge comes from the village of Latour de France (one of the very best for Roussillon-Villages). Cyril bought his six hectares of vineyards in 2002 having worked with Mark Angeli and Charlie Foucault in the Loire, and then as the chef de cave of Mas Crémat in Roussillon. He chooses to work outside the AOC, as he believes the rules of the Roussillon-Villages AOC (e.g. minimum 30% syrah and/or mourvèdre) make for wines that are contrary to the tradition, soil and climate of Roussillon.

Since he took over, Cyril has searched for a natural balance in the vineyard to help give finer and more complex expressions in his wines. He uses no tractors, just a motorized hand-held cultivator and a horse to help with ploughing. He also sows leguminous plants between the rows of vines, rolling them and folding them back in the summer so that they act as a reserve of humidity, helping every vine to keep enough freshness in its grapes and to suffer less from the heat. The village of Latour-de-France is known to have the driest, non-irrigated vineyard in the world (an average of just 250mm of rain a year). Practising bio-dynamic viticulture for Cyril most importantly entails observing with a lot of attention the nature of each of his vines and reacting according to their needs.

Cyril is a workaholic and held in awe and respect by his fellow vignerons. All his wines are exceptional: southern by their flavours and northern by their tension, acidity, precision and freshness. It is Vine Trail’s raison d’être to seek out superstars in emerging regions, and in Cyril Fhal we are extremely lucky to have found just that.

Organic & Bio-dynamic

See our list of organic and bio-dynamic growers.
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