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Domaine Lafage

The Lafage family have been winegrowers since 1798, with skills passed down from father to son for over two centuries and seven generations. Fast forward to the 1980's when, as a boy, Jean-Marc Lafage actively worked in his father Guy's vineyards in Roussillon, the southernmost point of France. Jean-Marc clearly had wine in his blood, but it wasn't until Guy gave him sole charge of a batch of his finest Maury grapes, that Jean-Marc realised that he wanted to become a winemaker himself. Whilst Jean-Marc was studying wine he met Eliane, who would become his wife. She shared his passion for new wine discoveries, and together they experienced harvests and winemaking in South America, California, South Africa and Australia, learning innovative techniques, then little known in France. The couple retuned home to Roussillon and finally took over Jean-Marc's family estate from his father in 2001. Guy continues to work in the vineyard whilst his mother Marthe travels to wine fairs and shows all over France. The continuation of the family estate is assured as their daughter Léa is studying to become an agricultural engineer, and their son Nicolas already has a flagship cuvée in his name. Jean-Marc's family had always made wine for themselves and sold their grapes to the local cooperative but Jean-Marc had the ambition to found his own domaine. The Lafage domaine is in the heart of Roussillon in a 15th century Catalan farmhouse in Perpignan called Mas Miraflors, acquired in 2006. The original 36 hectares of family vineyards around Perpignan, Canet and Maury, have now been extended to over 350 hectares with vineyards in all the emblematic terroirs of Roussillon - from the shores of the Mediterranean to the foothills of the Pyrenees. Jean-Marc has identified six main sub-zones; the Crest, the Upper Agly Valley, the Uplands of Fenouillet, Lea Après, the Mediterranean Plain, and the Rocky Coast. They cultivate 15 grape varieties, planted on a patchwork of Roussillon terroirs, with limestone, clay-limestone, black schist, brown and red schist mixed with quartz, and gneiss granite all represented. Lafage take an organic approach in the vineyard; the grapes are hand-harvested and indigenous yeasts are used for fermentation in tank, vat or barrel, with ageing in tank, foudre, or French oak demi-muids. They have some heritage vines that are centenarians and it is from these ancient Grenache Blanc vines that their sublime Cuvée Centenaire Blanc is produced. Lafage make a comprehensive range of multi-awarded wines: sparkling, white, rosé, red and sweet all feature, each one reflecting the typicity of the Roussillon regions which, for wines of this quality, represent amazing value for money! Domaine Lafage are benchmark producers of Roussillon wines and are proud to be Catalan!