Domaine Laurens

VigneronVincent, Pascal and Eric Laurens
LocationClairvaux d’Aveyron (Aveyron)
Size of Domaine25 ha
TerroirContinental climate with Atlantic and Mediterranean influences. Deep iron oxide-rich sandy soils derived from the erosion of sandstone, limestone, schist and granite in some places. Steep terraced vineyards shaping a south facing amphitheatre. 350-550m altitude.
ViticulturePractising organic
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If you enjoy wild, mountainous country, spectacular scenery, rugged red sandstone buildings and your wines with a real irony ping, then head for Marcillac in the west of the Auvergne, an hour and a half east of Cahors, and one of the most breathtakingly beautiful wine regions in France.

Wine was made there as far back as 918, the region's early development owing much to the local Benedictine abbey of Conques whose economical and spiritual influenced reached all corners of Europe. Miners employed in the local coal basin of Decazeville worked in the vineyards during evenings and weekends and consumed much of the local production. The closure of the coal mines in 1962 was a terrible blow, and it would have put an end to the region if it wasn't for the creation of the Marcillac wine syndicate by 120 local vignerons.

Brothers Vincent and Pascal Laurens and their cousin Eric now farm the 25ha of vineyards established by their parents around the towns of Goutrens, Clairvaux and Valady. 80% of the vineyards are on steep terraces in a purple coloured sandstone rich in iron oxide, which provides the perfect conditions for local grape variety fer servadou – aka mansois – to thrive.

Fer servadou took centre stage following the arrival of phylloxera because it was better suited to grafting onto American rootstock, but it wasn't always that way. Before then Marcillac was a blend of many different indigenous varieties and the Laurens have created a conservatory where they grow some of them, in the hope that they might soon be accepted and reintroduced in the appellation.

In the vineyards they're moving towards viticulture ever more respectful of its environment, planting almond, olive, walnut and oak trees to bring more biodiversity, cultivating various crops between the rows to improve soil structure, and eradicating the use of herbicides on the terraced vineyards.

Domaine Laurens Wines

Domaine Laurens

Pierres Rouges
100% Fer Servadou (12.5% alc.)

Marcillac comes from terraced hillside vineyards with extraordinary deep red soil, rich in iron oxide. Medical studies have indicated that Marcillac is particularly good for the heart as it lowers cholesterol. It is a very supple, lighter structured wine, with raspberry, blackberry fruit and iron on the finish. An especially versatile food wine.

Previous Grower ← Maison Lalanne