Extract from “La Vigne” - N°280 - November 2015
To expand its range of wines, Pierre Cros imported grape varieties from Italy and Portugal (Nebbiolo and Touriga nacional). He also rehabilitated traditional Mediterranean varieties long decried. [...]
“When I wanted to plant them in 1998, these two varieties were not yet enrolled in the French catalogue. I had to spar me for authorization in an experimental setting,”says the former rugby player who does not let adversity stop by.
Pierre Cros cultivates today seventeen varieties on the 22.5 ha of his farm located in Badens near Carcassonne. Being curious of what others are doing, he would just not do with the traditional varieties of the appellation Minervois, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. In 2001, he planted 1,5 acres of Nebbiolo and 2,5 acres of Touriga Nacional.
“I fell in love with the wines from Barolo, made from Nebbiolo. This grape has silky tannins and a lot of finesse and that’s what I am looking for,”he notes. He discovered Touriga nacional, known for its roundness and aromatic complexity, while travelling in the Dao region, in Portugal,. “It’s more powerful, more generous than Nebbiolo.”[...]
However, he fumbled quite a bit around to find the proper way of wine making. Carbonic maceration has not been successful. “Today, fermentation is done the traditional way, in wooden barrels, and aging is done in bottles.”
Field study with the Chamber of Agriculture
The Chamber of Agriculture has supervised the experimental plantations of Touriga Nacional and Nebbiolo from Pierre Cros.
“We bought grafts in from Italian and Portuguese nursery and produced the plants,” says Didier Viguier, head of plant production at the Chamber of Agriculture.
After accumulating the agronomic and oenological observations, the Chamber of Agriculture filed a registration for the French catalogue.
“Since 2012, these two varieties have been registered and can be planted by all in France,” Pierre Cros notes, not without satisfaction.