Tom Lubbe & Majas
DOMAINE MATASSA. VDF. CALCE. FRANCE
Farming organically since 2003
After working with the only estate in South Africa (Welgemeend) that championed indigenous yeasts and lower yields in the late ’90s, Tom came to Roussillon and interned at Domaine Gérard Gauby for several years, to explore Mediterranean varieties and climate. During this time Tom met his wife, who just so happens to be Gauby’s sister and together they started Matassa in 2003.
The domain encompasses 12 hectares of different white & red varieties (Macabeu, Grenache Gris, Muscat d’Alexandrie, Muscat à petits grains, Viognier, Carignan, Lledoner Pelut, Mourvèdre and Cabernet Sauvignon) divided in multiple blocks around the village of Calce.
Most of the vineyards are 60-120 years old, co-planted with different varieties, laying on schists & marl and yielding extremely low quantities. An additional 2 hectares of Carignan laying on granitic soil can be found in the cooler, high-altitude vineyards in Fenouillèdes.
All the vineyards are worked naturally without any chemical aids; some biodynamic and plant preparations are used to activate and nourish the soil’s life. Whites are whole bunch basket pressed, and reds are whole-bunch fermented with one pigéage (by foot, of course) in the beginning to get the juice out and the spontaneous fermentation started. They are usually pressed off half-way through fermentation and the sugar fermentation is finished in old demi-muid where they also go through malolactic fermentation. No wines are fined, nor can they be duplicated.
MAJAS COLLECTION BY ALAIN CARRIERE & TOM LUBBE
Alain Carrère founded Domaine de Majas with his wife Agnès in 1992. Today, the estate represents 30 hectares, all in the commune of Caudiès-de-Fenouillèdes. The terroir consists of schist, volcanic stone, and mountainous limestone. After tasting the wines, Tom told Alain he would start helping them rebuild the estate from the ground up. The two agreed on a partnership, and with Tom's guidance, they immediately started converting all 30 hectares to organic viticulture, as well as eliminating all commercial yeasts, additives and excessive sulfur in the cellar. Tom also showed Alain the importance of highlighting different terroirs, a lesson that has produced great results.