winemaker Contact: Franck Pasquier
Town: The vines are located in Eygalières & the winery in Marseille
Grape varieties Production:
Certification: organic wine (AB, Ecocert)
Wines of Franck Pasquier, L'Abri
Originally from Mayenne, Franck Pasquier moved to Marseille in 2010. After a career in IT, he decided to retrain in 2012. After a year's study at the Lycée Agricole in Gardanne and some experience in other estates in the region, he set up his own vineyard in 2014 at Winery de Costebonne in Eygalières in the Alpilles. After selling fresh grapes for 4 years, Franck decided to set up his own winery. chai in the heart of Marseilleboulevard de la Corderie.
Organic vineyards at Eygalières in the Alpilles region
The vines, organic since 1998, are located in the commune of Eygalières (near St Rémy de Provence), on a foothill of the Alpilles massif, in the locality of Costebonne (le bon coteau in Provençal). South-facing, the plots are made up of limestone, marl and clay, and rise in terraces to the forest massif covering the top of Costebonne. From 2016 to 2018, a small dozen hectares were replanted: Grenache, Cinsaut, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan for the reds, Vermentino, Grenanche Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc for the whites. The new plantings are based on massal selection, either grafted-welded (work with nurseryman Lilian Berillon) or grafted in the field (work with Marc Birebent's grafters). Grafting work is still in progress and will be finalized this year (Cinsaut and Syrah).
Working the soil on horseback
The soil is almost entirely worked by horse. Two local workers take care of under-row maintenance (de-cavaillonage and ridging). Work on the rows is carried out by tractor (treatments and green manure sowing). All the vines are grassed (half natural, half sown). After flowering, the grass is laid down with the Rolofaca (editor's note: a machine that lays plant cover on the ground to stop the sap from rising) to bring organic matter to the soil and protect it from the sun while conserving moisture.
The grapes are harvested by hand by a dozen pickers. The grapes are sorted by plot, so that only those in perfect health are brought in. Harvesting takes place over a 3-week period, generally from the end of August to mid-September, due to the wide disparities in ripeness at Winery (early in the upper part of the vineyard, later in the lower part). The harvest is cold-stored in small 10 kg crates, to avoid overcrowding, then shipped to Marseille at l'Abri, the winery located above the Old Port.
And vinification in Marseille!
Franck decided to set up his winery in the heart of Marseille, on Boulevard de la Corderie. Vinification is carried out using indigenous yeasts, in stainless steel tanks, without fining or filtration. Only a pinch of sulfur is added at bottling (10 mg/l).