Faugères is a wine-growing region in the Languedoc region of southern France. Fine, the French word for brandy, from Faugères was the third most popular brandy in France after Cognac and Armagnac. Production declined in the mid-20th century and ended with the closure of the last distillery in 1985.
In 2000, this tradition was revived and continued by L’Atelier du Bouilleur under the direction of Martial Berthaud. In an old mobile still, Martial distilled wine from red Carignan grapes from winemaker and natural wine pioneer Catherine Roque (Mas d’Alézon). The distillate was then aged for eight years in an oak barrel.
Orange | Latakia Tobacco | Leather | Cedarwood
Candied orange | Toffee | Mango
Dark chocolate | Dried apricots
- Fermentation by Freimeister
- Pot still
- Fractionating column
- Barrel aging
100 % Carignan Wine from vineyard Mas d'Alezon (Catherine Roque)
Distiller | L'Atelier du Bouilleur | Autignac
We know of numerous unusual biographical paths that lead to the still via various detours, and thus the passion for distilling awakened by serendipity. Martial Berthaud’s, however, is probably one of the most exciting and unconventional among the biographies of distillers. A conscientious objector, he spent years trying to escape the grasp of the authorities in squats in Paris, Lyon and Geneva.
His run from military service brought him to the Cévennes region, in the southeastern French Massif Central. It was in this rural area that he became interested in distilling. He distilled the fruits of the arbutus unedo tree on homemade equipment. Source of knowledge and inspiration was Matthieu Frécon’s book “L’Alambic”, which was important for the French craft distilling scene. Soon the self-made apparatus was replaced by a real alambic still.
Years later, when Matthieu Frécon announced he was selling his distillery, Martial considered turning distilling into a profession. He offers Martial to take over his entire workshop in Autignac, where, as distiller in Faugères (Languedoc), he had accompanied the revival of “Fine Faugères”. Martial then founded with a friend L’Atelier du Bouilleur, a cooperative (SCOP) that continues to be the distillery of Fine for the winegrowers* of Facugères region. But in addition to this local brandy Martial also produces a range of other spirits. Whether pomace, distillates from wild-gathered herbs or berries. His reputation has grown and it is said that Martial makes “art in bottles”, he “distills as if he were making music”.
Winemaker | Faugères, France
Architect Catherine Roque started a new life in 1985 when she renovated an old “mas” (South French farm) that included a few hectares of vineyards. She created a winery and from the beginning she was involved in the recreation of an identity for wines from the Languedoc.
Inspired by organic and biodynamic farming, Catherine follows her own philosophy: planting trees in the vineyard, sowing chickpeas and letting the grass grow between the vines. She is particularly fond of the Faugères slate soil which, as an architect, fascinates her not only for its mineral expression in the wine but also for its pointed, cutting and straight shapes. For many years she has practiced natural vinification, that is, without any additive or adjuvant.
“Vin Libre”, as natural wine is also called, is completely in line with Catherine: accompany, do not force anything, support the free expression and take the freedom to do things differently.
She has a special love for Fine Faugères, which she calls the “spirit of Faugères”. She reserves a single-varietal Carignan wine for it every year, if possible, and lets the distillate age in barrels for a long time.