Mas Carlot

Roman remains found near Mas Carlot are evidence of human presence in the area for over 2000 years. The current buildings date from the seventeenth century, but they were substantially remodelled in the nineteenth century by the Grasset family. A century later, Paul Blanc completely restored the old farmhouse allowing it to regain its original charm.

Mas Carlot was purchased August 5, 1853 by Admiral Grasset who was in the service of Ferdinand II of Bourbon, King of Naples and the two Sicilies. He felt the Italian revolution approach and he wanted to cover his back - subsequent events proved him right. He bought Mas Carlot from a Mr. Louis Verdier for the sum of 300,000 gold francs. The property included a mansion, an workhouse and 120 hectares of land.

In 1868, after the death of Admiral Grasset, the property was inherited by his eldest son, Emmanuel Ferdinand. An early widower, he then married an American, Miss Louise Heilbuth, in 1888, with whom he had a son, Joachim Emmanuel, before he died suddenly in 1900.

Emmanuel Joachim Grasset, a member of the Camelot Du Roi who founded the Bellegard section of Action Française to regroup patriotic royalists. He refused to live in the city because he missed his beloved Mas Carlot to which he was very loyal, but unfortunately he was killed in Verdun during the First World War without having an heir.

The Countess Grasset (born Heilbuth) died in 1943, and the property returned to her heirs: to her sister, Madame de Lacroix and to the children of her brother Monsieur Heilbuth, and her sister Madame Faucamberge.

The Rossi family maintained the estate until 1947, when Mas Carlot was bought by Monsieur Laurent. In 1956, he undertook significant work to redevelop the domaine. His son, Albin Laurent, subsequently inherited the land and began a substantial conversion to forestry. Unfortunately, ten years later, he was forced to uproot the trees for economic reasons. He replanted the estate with peach trees but by then he could no longer cope with his many debts.

Paul-Antoine Blanc acquired the domain in 1986, and he retained Albin Laurent as estate manager until his retirement. The domaine possessed an excellent selection of grape varieties and the maintenance of the vineyards was exemplary. However, a great deal of renovation of the winery, the cellar and the barrel room was necessary. In 1998, Paul’s daughter Nathalie took the reins.

Born in Paris, Nathalie Blanc-Marès spent her childhood close to the Louvre; her playgrounds were the Royal Palace and the Tuileries. Her father and grandfather worked at Halles and ran the famous Le Pied de Cochon restaurant. Her uncles also founded restaurants in Clement in honour of their father.

Because of his attachment to the land, her father Paul sold Le Pied de Cochon to buy Mas Carlot, having spotted the quality of its terroir and its many other charms. At the age of 18, Nathalie worked a harvest under the tutelage of oenologists Maryse and Alain Demezon. It was love at first sight and she decided to become a winemaker.

She left Paris to study viticulture and oenology at Montpellier, wanting to learn everything aspect of winemaking from the vine to the glass. After four years of studying and working the harvests, she gained her oenologist diploma and had a sound technical knowledge.

Wanting to complete her education, she began a masters in the international wine trade and studied in many countries including the USA at UC Davis. After an internship in the wines and spirits department of Sopexa in Paris, she took up the role of sales and marketing manager for a wholesaler in Rungis.

However, she missed the land and she could not resist the call of the harvest in 1996. It was then that she met Cyril Marès at Mas des Bressades next to a barrel of Roussanne and he would eventually become her husband. In 1998, she left Paris to run her first harvest at Mas Carlot. She began to renovate Mas Carlot which had begun to rest upon the laurels of its past. She planted 25 hectares of new vines, she rehabilitated the precious old vines and undertook the renovation of the cellar.

17 years later, her attraction to the area and her passion for her profession have remain undimmed. Stubborn, courageous and perfectionistic, she carefully works the Mas Carlot estate to produce the best possible grapes to make wines that we love year after year. We used to regard the wines of Costières De Nîmes as simple and easy, but at Mas Carlot Nathalie has crafted wines of great complexity and depth that express the true heart of her Provençal vineyards.
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