Domaine Christophe Marin

Marin
  • Christophe Marin is a newly installed, passionate, and experienced winegrower based in Maury, crafting top-quality, non-fortified wines that showcase the local grape varieties of Côtes Catalanes.
  • Christophe draws much of his winemaking philosophy from his time in Burgundy, the majority of which he spent working at as the cellar master at Domaine Vincent Girardin.
  • The estate specializes in single-site/single-varietal expressions, showing the varied terroir of the Valley de L’Agly.
  • Old vines are the focus, with all plots 70+ years old.
  • The estate is fully biodynamic, and viticulture, vinification, and bottling are all performed in accordance with the biodynamic calendar.

Christophe Marin is a winemaker who seeks to elevate the grapes and terroir of the Côtes Catalanes, specifically from the Valley de L’Agly. By drawing on generational know-how, capitalizing on the raw materials available, and exploring the potential of this large growing area, he takes seriously his goal of creating great wines from the Côtes Catalanes that clearly express their origin.

Christophe’s grandfather was a winegrower in Rivesaltes and passed on to him the love of the land and the grape. After his studies and various internships, Christophe began his career in Burgundy, where he remained for 12 years, including ten years at the famous Domaine Vincent Girardin. There, he was able to appreciate the importance of the terroir and the possibilities of vinification of a single grape variety and single vineyards. Deciding to go back to his roots by buying vines in his native region, he wanted to bring this vision of single-varietal and single-plot viticulture to the Côtes Catalanes.

Domaine Christophe Marin was founded in 2019 with 11 hectares of vines located in Maury. The wines are labeled Côtes Catalanes because this appellation is more associated with the dry, non-fortified wines that Christophe produces. Additionally, the Maury Sec appellation does not allow more than 80% of any one varietal in the wine. Since the wines here are 100% monovarietal (with the exception of the Olivia white blend), they are excluded from the appellation. During his first harvest, Christophe decided to analyze the various soils on his estate, including granite, shale, clay and limestone, and clay loam, among others, and harvest the plots separately according to these criteria. At the end of harvest, he had 12 vats in vinification and, once he started tasting, it became clear that these micro-terroirs all had something different to express. Thus, Christophe came to the natural conclusion that these expressions should be explored. This approach allows the estate to stand out from winemaking practices common to other producers in the appellation, who more commonly blend grapes and plots.

In the vineyard, Christophe uses natural grassing and the development of plant cover. This technique helps protect soils from UV radiation and limit evaporation. Maury has fragile soils that heavy rains can damage, so this plant cover limits erosion. He also maintains hedges and even plants trees in the vineyard to protect the vines from high temperatures, since in the shade, there may be a difference of 2 to 3 ° C. Co-plantation plays an important natural role, allowing the creation of a natural biodiversity that is essential to the vineyard.

The viticulture and vinification on the estate is fully biodynamic, and respect for the environment is paramount in order to preserve the old vines. With this in mind, manual work is favored and mechanical intervention is kept to a minimum. Christophe follows the lunar calendar for vineyard and cellar work and bottling.

Domaine Christophe Marin produces wines that taste like Maury Sec – granitic, sanguine, and nuanced. He is also sensitive to the changing climate in the South of France, which is why he concentrates on achieving freshness alongside ripeness. These are Roussillon wines that are made with great care and deliberation, extracting the very best from this underrated terroir.

Martine’s Wines is the exclusive U.S. importer for Domaine Christophe Marin.

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