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“It stopped raining at some point”, that was one of the short and concise information that Jean Boucabeille gave us about his work when we met him in Montpellier.
Now the weather is getting nice, you think. For Jean Boucabeille, however, this friendly statement concealed a difficult reality. For the winegrowers of the Roussillon it had already stopped raining 3-4 years ago. Since then, with a few exceptions, the rains have failed, or when the weather started to get rainy, it poured out of buckets. Just like in the summer of 2011, when the important soil was simply washed away. The ever-low yields of the gnarled vines on the barren shale soils have more than halved in recent years. Only 15-20 hectolitres of wine per hectare are produced here. A few years ago, it was twice as much.
Jean Boucabeille says that was the idea when he took over the winery from his father a few years ago and his learned profession was on the line. The father Régis Boucabeille ran the winery more as an enthusiastic hobby, but earned his money in the free economy. At the end of the 1970s, Régis painstakingly re-cultivated his newly acquired land. He had simply fallen in love with the ground, the landscape and the wide view of the sea visible on the horizon.
But back to the present: in view of the dramatically low yields, the wines have become even richer and are of impetuous variety of aromas. The vineyards are terraced on the steep slopes of the Forca Réal near Perpignan. It is impossible to think of a mechanical management of the vines, which are up to 40 years old. Here, organic farming is consistently farmed and fine, pure wine-growing wines are created by hand in the truest sense of the word.