- ARDÈCHE -
If the Ardèche, and in particular the Southern Ardèche, has become a breeding ground for young winemakers attracted by "natural" wines, it is largely due to Gérald Oustric and his domaine Le Mazel. A pioneer of "sulphur-free" wine since the 80s and 90s, he works with a clear objective: honesty, authenticity and drinkability.
When he took over the family estate in Valvignères, in the heart of the South Ardèche on the right bank of the Rhône, Gérald Oustric found himself at the head of a conventional vineyard of some thirty hectares supplying the powerful local cooperative cellar. But the discovery in the 80s and 90s of Marcel Lapierre's "sulphur-free" morgons, and then of the wines soon to be called "nature", led him to the practice of chemical-free viticulture (organic certification in 2002) and natural vinification without inputs: thus were born the wines signed Le Mazel, from the name of the GAEC that he created in 1998 with his sister Jocelyne. This approach attracts young winegrowers (such as Andréa Calek and Sylvain Bock) with whom he chooses to share some of the vines - the estate now has only twenty hectares or so - as well as equipment and experience, giving this winegrowing region a new lease of life. A single objective: honesty, authenticity and drinkability.