Michel & Tina Gassier Mas de Nages Chemin des Canaux
Phone: 33 (0)4 66 38 44 30
I see myself as a “peasant-researcher”. The “peasant” side is in my genes, a family trait. I am deeply attached to this land where I grew up. As far back as I can remember, working in the vineyards is a real pleasure for me. I am convinced that the less we intervene, the more the terroir can express itself.
By observing, listening, respecting the land and its vineyards and by being patient, letting it have the time it needs, the terroir will give its very best for us and for future generations.
My “researcher” side has more to do with my character. A bit of a perfectionist, I’m also a doubting Thomas. I consider each of my wines a unique creation that requires its own approach in the vineyards, the winery and the cellar.
I enjoy exchanging with other terroir-driven winemakers around the world, discovering their convictions, their methods. Once home, I often find myself tinkering with what I’ve seen, exploring how our combination of soils, varietals and winemaking interprets their techniques.
Working with instinct and intellectual rigor, my goal is to further my understanding of my terroirs, limiting myself to doing what is essential at precisely the right moment, thinking outside the box and avoiding simplistic recipes.
That, for me, is how you can produce great wines. It’s also a matter of teamwork, a duo that my wife, Tina and I form. Together we’ve chosen the exceptional terroirs to have given birth to the wines of Michel Gassier.
A fervent defender of Costières de Nîmes and my Camargue, I’m dedicated to crafting wines that are intimate expressions of my terroir and that demonstrate the potential and richness of our appellation.
Our vineyards benefit from a perpetual stewardship that focuses on soil health, biodiversity and our vines’ rich genetic pool. This partnership with nature makes a significant impact on their grapes’ ability to express their terroir, thereby giving us wines of the freshness, minerality and balance.
As with our own children, we are guided by a desire to offer our vineyards the means to bring out their best. This requires an understanding of their environment, how they function, what their needs are. Exploring ancestral techniques that have fallen into disuse as well as new techniques that have yet to produce scientifically proven results have been key in our ability to accompany our vineyards.
Concerned about the longevity and the unicity of our vineyards, we have been practice massale selection. This entails taking grafts from very old vines that have resisted for more than 80 years the various aggressions that life has thrown their way. This choice, more expensive and less productive, is not without risk but it delivers high quality wines while improving vine resilience to prevailing conditions. T-bud grafting is much less stressful for the plant and we believe greatly contributes to the life expectancy of the vines.
We have also returned to bush-vine training of our Grenache and Mourvèdre. This technique that dates back to our Roman ancestors and means a commitment to hand- harvest only, is particularly adapted to our climate by allowing a constant aeration and a protection from the sun.
Tilling and organic vineyard management are time-consuming, but they help guarantee our vineyards a balanced ecosystem whose benefits on quality have already been felt and will only increase with time and dedication. The bearing of fruit is delayed and so the vines have the time to develop their rootstock and their armature before producing.
We are convinced that all this work has a very positive impact on the longevity of our vineyards and therefore their capacity to produce great wines.
Winemaker: Michel Gassier
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