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TARN, France

Domaine et Distillerie Artisanale Cazottes is a study in diversity.  Located in Tarn, Occitanie, Laurent expanded his father’s distillerie into an organic, polyculture farm business dedicated to growing the raw materials for an arsenal of clever products.  He cultivates pear and plum trees, saffron, sunflowers, a huge number of truffle oaks, grains and a wide array of aromatic plants for the production of essential oils and tinctures.  Known for Eau de Vie, Laurent’s creations run the gamut from simple to arcane.  One product is distilled from 72 unique tomato cultivars while another is made from pure Einkorn grain, the oldest known cultivated wheat.


Among his many passions are 4 hectares of vineyards, all planted to local heirloom varieties Mauzac Rose, Prunelart and Folle Noir.  Laurent supplements his own fruit with the crops of other nearby organic vigneronnes to produce a line of unpretentious regional wines that celebrate the often overlooked charms of France’s bucolic sud ouest.  





Given all the time Laurent spends among fruit trees and aromatic plants it seems fitting that his crisp, table white should be an elaboration of orchardy white Mauzac and Loin de L’oeil, a hyperlocal white known for flirty, fruity aromatics.  Like the red, vinification is all in steel with extremely minimal sulfite application. 


Tarn’s premier red variety is a brambley, surly grape called Braucol, which operates under the alias of Fer Servadou in other appellations.  In this case, Braucol’s gruffness is partnered with Syrah for aromatics, acidity and greater character.  The grapes are destemmed and fermented on the skins in steel tanks for one week of maceration before pressing back to steel for aging through the winter. 


In tandem with Stephane Lucas, Tarn’s preeminent viticultural matchmaker, Laurent sources Mauzac Blanc from terroirs around the town of Aibi.  The vines are raised without tillage on Southwest facing clay-limestone slopes that require a little extra care to keep the grapes from developing sunburnt skins.  The must is cold settled for maximum clarity, fermented and aged in steel and then bottled in March with light filtration and the barest 2ppm of added sulfite for stability.

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