Ethos & Vision
Our aim is to create wines that truly give a sense of place, with minimal intervention that allows the terroir to speak for itself. We make wines in small volumes using organic methods, and are working towards being fully biodynamic, too. We believe this is the best way to create wines that truly express their terroir, with each of our cuvées telling a different story.
Named after the two hundred metre-wide meteorite crater which lies at the heart of the domaine, our vineyard sits in the village of Cabrerolles, at over three hundred metres of altitude in the foothills of the Haut-Languedoc mountains.
The land on which we are situated influences the quality of our wines considerably. The Cevennes mountains to our north shelter us from harsh winds and create a down-current of cool air that brings freshness and acidity, while the Mediterranean to the south provides the warm sea breezes which bring full maturity to our fruit. Beyond that, the soil in which our vines are rooted has notable expression in the wines themselves.
We are situated on rocky schist soils, derived from slate and found in only a few areas in the world. On schist, vine roots are forced to grow deep, which keeps yields low and brings a distinctive minerality to the wines, whilst they are suffused with the aromas of the wild herbs which characterise the area.
At Domaine du Météore we are unique in having vines in two of the area’s most famous appellations: Faugères and Saint-Chinian (Roquebrun), between which the structure of the soils differs considerably. Faugères tends to be composed of yellow/brown schist, while Saint-Chinian is dominated by blue schist. Having vines in both of these places allows us to explore and compare their influence across our range.
The domaine is owned by Paul Jenkins, Paul Jarman, Vinkey & Andrew Allen. The two Pauls are London-based doctors, friends and wine enthusiasts who have known the area well for many years. Passionate about the possibilities presented by the Faugères schist terroir to create truly compelling wines, they spent a long time searching for a vineyard with the right potential, history and a truly unique setting. When they found Domaine du Météore, they knew they had found the right land and vines to create the wines they wanted. They were joined in 2021 by Vinkey & Andrew Allen, friends and fellow wine enthusiasts, who live in San Francisco from where they are building out the US business.
Simon Frech, Director
Born in Bordeaux where his grandfather was a winemaker, Simon Frech is our Director. He has considerable international experience having worked in prestigious vineyards in New Zealand and Argentina; in the latter he was head of R+D in a 130 Ha estate where he learnt an enormous amount about vinification techniques. He has worked in France for the last 15 years, gaining awards for his wine-making, but is passionate about the potential of our terroir and shares our view that it can make great wines. He believes that in order to do so, humility is essential and it is only when you can observe and know the vines from each plot, and their corresponding wines, can you adapt different techniques to make original wines that can fully express our great terroir.
Jean Natoli, Consultant
We are very pleased to be working with Jean, a highly renowned agronomist-oenologist and one of the Languedoc’s most influential wine consultants. With a guiding principle that every wine should have its own character and purpose, he has helped to create some of the Languedoc’s very best wines. He works together with Simon to help bring our wines to life, bringing impressive technical experience to match Simon’s winemaking skills.
The vineyard is quietly nestled in the Haut-Languedoc national park and we are delighted to welcome visitors for tastings, walks and more. With sweeping views down to the Mediterranean and, at our heart, the huge meteorite crater after which we are named, it is a truly one-of-a-kind place to visit.
Find out more about visiting the domaine, tastings, exploring the area and more.