Where strong vines and homegrown organic produce meet
La Commanderie de Peyrassol, located on the slopes of the Massif des Maures, stretches across 850 hectares, of which 92 are vines dedicated to making ‘Provence wines’ in all three colours. Since taking over the reins in 2001, Phillipe Austruy has rejuvenated the domain, tapping into its clay and limestone terroir, restoring kilometres of terraced walls and building a fully-equipped cellar. This year marks the end of the estate’s transition towards becoming environmentally sustainable, with the final stages coming to fruition during the 2022 millésime harvest. Building on Peyrassol’s wine offering seemed natural for Mr Austruy, who has added two restaurants, the Bistrot de Lou and Chez Jeanette, which serve a wide range of local ‘terroir products’. To replenish their kitchens’ stockroom, an organic farm has been opened halfway between the Commanderie and La Rouvière, above the parcelle du Clos. A market garden covering 5,000 square metres offers an abundance of seasonal fruit and vegetables throughout the year, while the vegetable patch is home to long rows of tomatoes, beans, salads and other vegetables, as well as aromatic herbs. Another 30 hectares have been dedicated for the rearing of animals, with wooden pens and shelters allowing each species to roam freely. Organic feed and strict sanitary conditions have also been implemented to guarantee the meat’s quality and taste. The combination between vines, farm and kitchen is what makes Peyrassol such a unique and interesting place to visit. Many guests chose to spend more than a day exploring the domain, which also exhibits an impressive collection of contemporary art.
The ‘miracle’ millésime 2021
Delivering the vintage 2021 was by no means a simple task, but Peyrassol managed to navigate the elements without any real bruises. Because the vines’ vegetative cycle was late, no severe losses were sustained when a historic frost gripped the region and temperatures dropped to -9°C at the end of April. There was not a drop of rain in the sky all summer, yet Peyrassol’s deeply rooted plants did not go thirsty and resisted the baking heat. A violent forest fire tore through la Plaine du Luc mid-August, but was blown back in the opposite direction by the Mistral before it could reach the domain. In early September, a hail storm destroyed the village of Pignan’s entire harvest, just a few kilometres away, but the surrounding hills sheltered Peyrassol from the clouds. Finally, while the surrounding areas experienced severe flooding during the year, the water stopped at the gates of Flassans, which meant the estate was kept dry. Some might say the story of Peyrassol’s millésime 2021 is nothing short of a miracle. Regardless, it has certainly made for some fine wines.
Hall 4 / Stand FG-058
© Christophe Goussard