Hidden in the rugged limestone hills of the High Corbières, Domaine Sainte Croix is situated in the village of Fraissé des Corbières in the very South of France, on the border between the Languedoc and the Roussillon, 20 minutes inland from the Mediterranean. Its 13 hectares (32 acres) are made up of many different terroirs, from small blocks of steel-blue limestone to sandy, gravelly clay shot through with quartz crystals, to sheets of purple-green schist. The domaine benefits from a strong mesoclimate where cooler maritime weather meets the heat and dryness of the interior. This gives red, rosé and white wines, which have a particularly strong identity with not only fine concentration but also elegance.
Here, there is much in common with the Roussillon, found only a valley away. The local dialect or patois is as much Occitan and Spanish as it is French. This is an area that has been widely reputed for its Grenache-based wines for well over a century and many of these same vines still give grapes of extraordinary depth and concentration. The small vineyard parcels are often bordered by age-old stone walls, fig, almond and wild cherry trees.
Domaine Sainte Croix is owned and run by the English husband and wife team of Jon and Elizabeth Bowen, who have extensive experience of working both in classic French stone ‘caves’ and giant, steel wineries in many parts of the world. From first sight of the unique geology and ‘climat’ here, professional intuition made it clear that it is an area of immense potential.