February 8, 2022

Paul Mas reinvents the ‘tradition of tomorrow’ with a drop of wax

The renowned wine maker’s new gothic edition brings back lost traditions while taking an environmental step forward. We asked Jean-Claude Mas, Founder and Executive Manager, Les Domaines Paul Mas, to tell us about this year’s innovations in an exclusive interview

We have made a new wine bottle for our ‘gothic range’ with the help of students at the Beaux Arts – Fine Arts school. The bottle is inspired by the concept of rural luxury and designed to look like a ‘gothic flûte’ with a crystal finish. They are sealed with a drop of wax instead of using a traditional cork or screw top. This technique is nothing new, it was used during the so-called Californian wave around 25-years ago. But all the machines have gone out of circulation and I couldn’t find one anywhere. So three or four years ago, I started working with a manufacturer to relaunch the so-called ‘wax drop’. In the gothic range I’ve used a variety of grapes, all well suited to the flûte, including a shiraz from the north, a grenache, a pinot noir, pinot gris, riesling, gewurz, viognier.

there are two types of wine – pleasure wines and dream wines.

What are the advantages of using wax over caps?
It has many advantages over screw tops which are harmful for the environment. So for people who want to go the extra environmental mile, there is a natural product here – made with a drop of wax, paper and glass, which is much better because it can be recycled over and over again. For now, we can’t use the ‘wax drop’ in France because of the marianne or CRD. Hopefully this will change, but it’s going to take time. In France, change has always been complicated. You have to reinvent the tradition of tomorrow. Because today’s tradition is not fixed, it’s always dynamic.

You export wines all over the world. What advice would you give other wine makers looking at new horizons? 
When it comes to wine making, there’s always room for innovation, but the key is to make wine which is enjoyable to drink. You see, I think there are two types of wine – pleasure wines and dream wines. Pleasure wines, you buy a bottle without really looking at the label and you buy more because you like the taste. So for pleasure wines, appealing to the palette of new consumers is very important. Obviously, people’s tastes are different in other parts of the world, and you must not fall into the trap of trying to tailor wine to a specific market, but there are different terroirs which are better suited to some places than others. So discovering what terroir reveals the right style of wine for a certain place is key.

How do you see Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris 2022?
I think Paris has always attracted more people, so naturally we needed to have a big wine trade show like Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris. It’s been two years since people have been to a trade show, so I think they are going to be thinking ‘let’s do it’.

Photo: Jean-Claude Mas,
Founder and Executive Manager, Les Domaines Paul Mas