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The spirit of Barbanau

Story and Family

OUR STORY

Around 1889 Emile Bodin, my great grandfather chose to become a winemaker in Cassis and created the vineyard of Clos Val Bruyère.

Our own story begins a hundred years later when my parents and I chose to completely change our lives and careers to take care of the few vines left by heritage by my grandfather.

The same year, we bought Château Barbanau with its abandoned wine storehouse, built a brand new wine- cellar and created the first vintage in 1989. Since then the Château Barbanau brand has gone from strength to strength. Today, Didier, my husband, and I are in charge of Château Barbanau.


OUR FAMILY

Didier SIMONINI

After studies in biology, I graduated in oenology at Dijon University. Then I ran vinifications in different regions of France. Sophie and I married in 1996 and two years later, I joined her at Barbanau. 

Sophie SIMONINI - CERCIELLO

After studies in literature and marketing, I opened and managed a sportswear outlet in the Alps. Then in 1988, I chose to go back to school to learn about winemaking.
In 1989, I conducted my first vintage at Barbanau. 

Sophie’s parents Claude and Lucien spent 40 years in a ski resort in the Alps before joining her in this new adventure: winemaking. Today, Lucien is retired and spends a lot of his time in the Southern Alps: a return to basics!

We have been working to preserve the history of Barbanau ever since. Our daughter Juliette might one day take over and continue this century-long family story…

In love with Southern Africa, we have been roaming the African bush for years.

Sophie loves wildlife photography and Didier has a keen interest in ornithology. Guess where La Girafe Verte and Kalahari cuvees come from?

Beware: we are inexhaustible when talking about our travels!

And last but not least, Kalahari the donkey and mascot of Barbanau, Idefix the mischievous Pony, Google and Dagga-Boy the Golden Retrievers complete our family.


 

The spirit of Barbanau

The Mother Earth concept

Organic and Biodynamic

Conventional agriculture destroys our soil, organic agriculture preserves it, and biodynamic agriculture resurrects it

We feel organic out of passion and out of conviction. Our commitment is totally altruistic.

Organic farming is not just about refusing chemicals, it is about recreating Biodiversity : not making a huge vine field, but imagining rows of trees and diverse bush species to stimulate the development of a wide variety of insects and animals and regain a natural equilibrium in the vineyard.

Nature does beautiful things, all it takes is to respect it and be guided by her.

Naturally, this passion and this notion of respect have led us towards Organic agriculture. We stopped using any pesticide or fungicide in 1995 and from the 2008 vintage, have been recognised as an organic certified producer.

This constant research of synergy with the natural elements has grown and evolved in our minds throughout the years and this is why we chose to turn to biodynamic agriculture.

Since 2014, we try our best to learn and to put into practice this approach in which we firmly believe.

We only use natural preparations in small dosage and their immense energy strengthen the resistance capacity of the vine and of its ecosystem. Each of our intervention is thoroughly considered in respect of the natural cycles of the Earth and the Moon.

"Vegan friendly"

Out of respect for the animals we do not use any product of animal origin in the elaboration of our wines. The fining is made with mineral and vegetal additives. Our wines are therefore suited to vegetarian and vegan diets.


 

The spirit of Barbanau

Our terroirs

Côtes de Provence

On the extreme western part of the appellation Côtes de Provence, 23 hectares of vines gently flow on the sides of a 360 meters high hill, surrounded by a huge white cliff overlooking the sea.

Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Rolle varieties grow here on a limestone and clay soil and produce the best grapes. Between each parcel, different trees are growing, like cypress, olive, cherry, apple, almond trees, and each parcel gets the name of the tree that grows there-or from the animals who like roaming around and eating the grapes! So, the parcels go under names like Cherry Tree’s Syrah, Apple Tree’s Cabernet, and Wild Boar’s Rolle...

Our annual yield is close to 100.000 bottles spread in the following way: 50% of rosé wine, 40% of red wine and 10% of white wine.


Cassis

Facing the sea, in the small Cassis Vineyard, Barbanau also farms a 7 hectares walled plot which was planted more than 100 years ago by Emile Bodin-a wonderful history and connection with the past!

The unique combination of the sea breeze, sun and local soil gives birth to great white wines, especially the Clos Val Bruyère and Kalahari, made from Marsanne, Clairette, Ugni blanc and Sauvignon grapes.

Faithfull to the tradition of the Cassis wines, we chose to only make white wines with a year’s production from this terroir of just 20 000 bottles.


 

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