Jean-Claude Mas focuses on quality in the Languedoc

The owner of Domaines Paul Mas is looking to increase the proportion of premium wines produced at his vineyards.

A Languedoc native steeped in winemaking, Jean-Claude Mas has come a long way since he founded Domaines Paul Mas from 35 hectares of inherited family vineyard in 2000.

Domaines Paul Mas is now made up of 15 estates, all clustered within a one hour and 15 minute drive of the company headquarters in Montagnac, but showcasing the Languedoc’s different terroirs.

It is perhaps no surprise that Mas, who was born in Beziers in 1964, has become one of the Languedoc’s most renowned wine producers. Aside from his family’s deep winemaking history, he has studied business at university and held a variety of commercial roles within the wine industry.

His career before the formation of Domaines Paul Mas also helped him to hone his skills in oenology and to gain a broad knowledge of winemaking by studying his family’s estate near Château de Conas.

Although expert in all stages of the winemaking process, Mas’s skills as a blender are especially renowned, and it is his mastery of tasting that is credited with his ability to put his unique stamp on the 145,000 hl of wine he produces annually.

Like many other producers in Languedoc, Domaines Paul Mas has tended to focus on more affordable wines, with the majority retailing for between 5 and 10 euros.

However, Mas has more recently put his expertise to good use in the creation of more upmarket wines.

These are produced from the finest grapes from three of Mas’s estates, with Clos Astelia coming from Astelia, Laurinya from Château Lauriga, and Silenus from Domaine Silène.

Mas’s upmarket wines have enjoyed long aging periods in tronconic wooden vats and, showing great attention to detail, are presented in original bottles that he designed.

The aim is for these premium wines to account for one in five bottles from Domaines Paul Mas, something that will help to consolidate the producer’s name in the long term.

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Photo: Jean-Claude Mas inspecting his vineyards