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Domaine Magellan

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One of the more inventive vintners in the Languedoc is Burgundian winemaker Bruno Lafon, who is now based in the far less well known Côtes de Thongue appellation. Lafon moved to the Languedoc in 1998 to start his own winery with his sister-in-law, Sylvie Legros. Lafon, whose brother Dominique oversees the famed Burgundian estate of Comtes Lafon, handles the vineyards and winemaking at Domaine Magellan, while Legros runs the business side.

“We have great terroir in the Languedoc, but we are young - it took 1,000 years for regions like Burgundy to become what they are today. We in the Languedoc should make good wines that are good value as well,” Lafon says. When he and Legros bought the estate in 1999, it was a rundown collection of vineyards planted with a multitude of grape varieties; its former owner had planted a broad spectrum of varities to see which grapes would work best there. Today, Lafon has revitalised the estate and now manages 104 acres planted with 13 different varieties. These include the white Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Muscat, and for red wine Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault, as well as Tempranillo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. All are farmed organically. Lafon shies away from the use of new oak barrels at Domaine Magellan because he values the pure fruit flavours that his grapes provide.

Domaine Magellan takes its name from the small town of Magalas, north of Beziers, where the winery is located. While Lafon’s wines carry the Vin de Pays moniker because his vineyards lie outside officially preferred real estate such as the Coteaux du Languedoc, his quality is on par with that of some of the best Coteaux estates.
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