Château des Brigands translates as “Castle of the Thieves.” An intriguing name that finds its roots during the 15th - 16th century. Located near Mont Aurelien, it was both a pathway and a notorious smuggler’s hideout, where a band of thieves brought their loot back after their raids on the nearest roads. But don’t fret! Those were the only negative deeds done on these lands!
On the contrary, Stephane Garcia, his wife, his sister, and her husband discovered a far more valuable treasure: the terroirs of this estate. The natural drainage, the complexity of sediments (clay, limestone, and multiple rocks) of the slops, the exposition to the sun, and the natural underground water source make for an ideal place to grow remarkable vines , in the Sainte Victoire Cotes de Provence region.
Prior to their purchase, the two couples owned three retail shops in the near by vicinity. They bought the estate in 2013 raw, without any building, and with a big dream: making high quality wine without any irrigation system. They refuse to follow this regional trend. Indeed, Provence is the only region of France allowed to water their plants due to the proximity to the canal. Nonetheless, this method lowers the quality of the juice, deluding them, and making them thinner by artificially increasing their yield . And many famous expensive rose de Provence wineries apply this farming!
When they started, the main building was roofless, and their thermoregulated vats had not been delivered yet. It was only thanks to the neighborhood’s help and support that they were able to bottle their first vintage that year. They did not cut corners, and dedicated themselves, for the past decade, to build the winery they dreamt about. Along with the necessary machines , their farming helps nurture the vines to their best potential. They practice minimal intervention with only organic certified compounds and refuse to irrigate. This can only happen when you apply yourself thoroughly to plow, preventing the growth of shallow roots, and stressing the plants to source their water from the deeper layers of soils, loaded with minerals and natural nutrients.
Overall, their 15 hectares (38 acres) is divided in 2 major terroirs, subdivided in 10 plots: 2 - 3 ha in Sainte Victoire, the rest in Cotes de Provence AOP. They also have leased 10 ha (25 acres) in IGP Mediterranean. They farm 4 ha of Cinsault, 4 ha of Grenache, 3 ha of Syrah, 1½ ha of Clairette, 1 ha of Rolle, and ½ ha of Carignan.
The future of the estate belongs to the next generation. Both families have a son. They will team up to carry on the legacy of proper farming and better understanding of their terroirs. Naturally, they will need to continue investing and upgrading their equipment, finish to build a cellar dedicated to more complex vinification techniques , and replanting about 2 - 3 ha (5 acres). We are proud to grow along with Chateau des Brigands, family owned and operated with passion, and only imported in the US by CeleriersCellar.com!