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Cabrerolles (Hérault).– Sitting on one of his machines at the edge of the plot, Didier Barral is inexhaustible. Unlike the vines that can be seen on a slope in the distance, the branches hanging from iron wires, the rows clearly separated by strips of earth, his grow in the shape of a parasol, in the middle of the grass. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the feet, as the plot is grassy.
“We forgot, but here, 30 years ago, the vines grew in ‘goblet’ form, to provide shade. Cultivation on trellises to make tractors pass comes from Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley… It is not a culture adapted to the Mediterranean climate here. »
Here, it is the west of Hérault. Under the foothills of the Caroux massif, about thirty kilometers north of Béziers, Didier Barral has been making Faugères wine for 29 years after buying the cooperative cellar for which his father, and several generations before him, worked. And for 29 years, he has been experimenting with iconoclastic methods in a wine-growing world conquered by mechanization and chemistry, between astonishing discoveries and a return to ancestral methods.