The domain is located on the foothills of the Black Mountain, at an altitude of 200 m, overlooking the plains.
From a geological standpoint, the basin consists of a mixture of clay, limestone, psammites, sandstone, schist, and conglomerate between the hills and the plains. The name of the domaine comes from the “Bouys” family who has owned the domaine since 1820. We have decided to keep the name for keeping the history with us. The house was modified and enlarged in 1834 but has been around as a smaller building since Roman times.
After two centuries of Bouys family, we have taken over the domain with the ambition to keep it in our family for at least the same period of time! We are looking to obtain the best quality for well-balanced organic wines. Our winemaking philosophy is simple: to make good wine, it is essential to use the best grapes.
Our vine plots are located close to our cellar (800 meters maximum). Our domain being small, we can undertake the harvest in each plot at the exact moment when the grapes have reached their optimal maturity. We harvest by hand the best grapes from our old vines, which are then transported in small recipients to ensure their perfect integrity until they reach our cellar. We make wines as simple and natural as possible with very limited use of sulfites.
For the red wines, the grapes are destemmed and each variety is vinified separately (with some exceptions) in stainless steel vats from 5 hL (hectoliters) for the smallest ones to 30 hL. Once the fermentation is over, the free-run wine is transferred to another tank and the marc goes through our pneumatic press. Then, we age our wines in stainless steel tanks or oak barrels of 500L or 600L.
For the white wines and the rosé, the grapes are pressed directly and the juice is cooled down and clarified. The fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature in order to preserve the full range of flavors and savors of the wine. Since 2016, we make our white wine in tanks and barrels. We want to emphasize the quality of the wine by maintaining a production rate between 15,000 and 20,000 bottles a year (from 10 to 35 hL/ha depending on the grape variety). Our wine creation at La Grange de Bouys is a demanding but virtuous process. All the work that we accomplish in our vineyard aims at producing well-balanced wines for pleasure and conviviality while preserving a natural ecosystem. Diversity is of very high importance in organic and biodynamic practices. And we are convinced that we can create quality products all the while improving our local environment!
We are fortunate to have 40 hectares of land unsegmented that surround the family property. Our 6 hectares of vines are planted on hillsides that are oriented south-east and in well-protected areas. The environment of our domain is natural and diversified, with garrigue, woods, and pasture, as well as steep areas and a little ravine. Dry stone walls shape our domain throughout the fields and terraces.
The diversity of the fauna and flora at La Grange de Bouys contributes to the well-being of our vines. We take great care in protecting and promoting our natural environment all the while developing and restoring the historical agricultural landscape of our domain. Our lands are a sanctuary for a great range of birds, wild boars, partridges, rabbits, hares, pheasants, lizards, bats, and of course countless insect species. This great biodiversity is the cornerstone of the good development and natural operation of our biodynamic practices throughout the domain.
In particular, it enables to repel insects that could become a threat to the grapes. In our vines, we let wild plants and wildflowers grow in winter and early spring, then we use an intercept to control the vegetation without plowing. In order to preserve our environment and our clients' health, we use organic and biodynamic practices that consist of considering the soil as a living organism. With a soil filled with worms and micro-organisms, we get healthy vines that are naturally more resistant to diseases and pests.
The garrigue of our hillsides is prolific in thyme, rosemary, fennel, and wild asparagus. We also have a great variety of trees: mulberry trees, almond trees, fig-trees, oak trees, cypresses, arbutuses, pines, and a beautiful olive grove. In our vegetable garden, we are growing lettuce, onions, tomatoes, potatoes... and various aromatic herbs along with a few fruit trees.
Every time we go for a walk on our lands, we are marveled in wonder by the scents and sounds coming from this prosperous environment: the scent of wildflowers and herbs, the buzzing of bees bringing pollen into their hives... And we are happy to help them live on!
The old dry stone walls that circle a large part of the plots and terraces of the domain are essential for preserving biodiversity and we have decided to restore all of them. These magnificent constructions put up generations ago and evidence of an ancestral savoir-faire in this area, are particularly well-adapted to the surrounding fauna and play an important role in the prosperity of natural diversity. Throughout the domain Grange de Bouys, many of these walls need to be restored or fortified. Florence, with the help of her passionate friends from the association "Dry Stones", regularly spends some time renovating this vernacular heritage.
It is with this association located in Faugères, and with professionals in France and abroad (Burgundy, Languedoc, Ireland, and Minorca) that Florence was trained and that she acquired the necessary skills to preserve and build dry stone walls without using any mortar. As an active member and treasurer of the association, she gladly shares her savoir-faire to wwoofers or any other dry stone amateur.
In our domain, we endeavor to respect the 3 founding principles of permaculture for shared well-being: to take care of the soils, forest, and water - to take care of humans - to share with fairness. Regarding the soil, we have created in our vegetable garden mounds of soil rich in nutrients (organic manure, green plants, and shredded plants) and organized the plants in such a way that neighboring plants complement one another. Regarding the forest, we have planted more than 380 trees, focusing on fruit trees well-adapted to our climate: olive trees, almond trees, mulberry trees, and fig trees... Regarding the water, we have created a wetland to boost biodiversity and we maximize the reuse of water for our vegetable garden needs.
The permaculture patches, the orchard, the basin, the seedling table, the perennial plants, and the annual plants give rhythm to our activities within the vegetable garden. These activities are undertaken manually with no use of systemic chemical products and according to the biodynamic lunar calendar and its fruit days, leaf days, flower days, or root days. The vegetable garden brings us a daily amount of fresh, colorful, and high in vitamin ingredients for our family meals.
We try every day to take good care of ourselves and of all those who come and share a piece of our everyday life (wwoofers, domaine guests) by adopting a life rhythm in harmony with the earth rhythm and by favoring vegetable garden cultures for our food.
In our vegetable garden, our vineyard, and throughout our lands, we aim at having a sustainable production, able to sustain our needs while preserving the natural resources and without ever reaching their ecological limits. As members of the association "Jardinons Ensemble", we participate in the sharing of advice and feedback from all its active members.