Daily observation of the vine, memory, and experience are the cornerstones of the vineyard’s management. From this osmosis, the vine is sublimated, like a horseman guides his purebred by holding his reins with his fingertips. A new era of vine cultivation is underway at Domaine Cauhapé, with a very strong approach and awareness of the vegetal kingdom.
The winegrower, Henri Ramonteu, is in communion with the plant, which is stimulated and protected with plant extracts. His connection to the plant makes him believe that an intimacy can be established with the vine through messages, positive attitude towards it, and by the vibes one emits. One must always be in a good mood when entering the vineyard. The energies deployed and released in the vineyard will naturally end up in the grapes and subsequently in the wine.
We want the earth to be alive, expressing all of its forces and elements. The vine roots draw from it all of the minerals necessary for its perfect blossoming and for the production of a better vine. The vineyard benefits from an exceptional ecosystem. The vines are perched on the hillside and are bordered by oak and chestnut woods. When autumn comes, we pick magnificent “cèpe” mushrooms that, before being served on our plates, fill the kitchen with their fragrance. It is a "LAND OF REAL TASTE" that expresses unique flavors.
The earth is not worked; its clay content (up to 39%) and its compactness prohibit any action. On the other hand, the soil’s microbial life is linked to the grass cover, which plays an important agronomic role (respiration by the root tissues, humus produced by the crushing of the shoots and grass). Countless earthworms crisscross the soil; a great deal of work is done to energize the soil (Cauhapé secrets). This is how the vine roots explore the depths of this living earth.
At Cauhapé, it is important that the area under the row be free of grass. We are very sensitive to the fact that, two months before the harvest, the grapes breathe the smell of warm soil. To keep this space free of grass, we innovate by applying foam at 90°C.
Since 2021, the Cauhapé domain is the first to conduct and protect its vineyard by activating its natural defenses through plant extracts (phytotherapy). The plant protects itself by guiding the nature’s forces to act with a total respect for the environment.
Cauhapé’s wines express the specificity of Jurançon grape varieties. Petit manseng is our main grape variety. It is a vine with small bunches of grapes under the leaves. The thick skin is a great asset. It allows us to push the harvest very far and to obtain a very high level of maturity. Gros manseng and courbu bring finesse and fruity aromas. For several years, Cauhapé has also been exploring the forgotten grape varieties camaralet and lauzet, which have ennobled the dry Jurançons, producing wines that are more authentic and expressive than ever.
Aware that the earth is not enough to produce great wines, that it also needs "breath and spirit", Henri Ramonteu has succeeded in bringing together earth and sky. The wine coalesces the character of a climate, the influence of a land, the expressions of a grape variety, and the man’s hand and instinct. In other words, the vineyard expresses a soil through a history, a way of life, a culture, and a grape variety. This is the true definition of a "wine of terroir".
The influence of natural elements, the omnipresent hand of man, and an exceptional terroir are the keywords for the magic to work.
In December, the grapes passerille (the French term for air-drying to increase sugar concentration). They are withered by the autumnal sun, waffled by the frost, and candied by the weather.
From this dehydration and supreme concentration flows a juice with unprecedented flavors; the beginnings of an exceptional cuvée.
To be close to perfection, to perpetuate the mystery, and to take a place in the dreams of the amateurs.
It is the sweet wine that has made the history of Jurançon. It can be as fresh, savory, and rich as the greatest wines in the world. Nowadays, however, sweetness in a wine is less popular. At the moment, wines that express finesse and freshness are more appreciated. Real wine lovers are looking for wines with high authenticity. In the past 15 years, dry Jurançon has arisen. It is more difficult to produce, but the high potential of our "rare" grape varieties, gros and petit manseng, camaralet, courbu, and lauzet, have enabled us to produce dry white wines with great character.
It is the advent of the dry Jurançon, "tomorrow’s wine!”
It is on the lands of "Caussapé", heating feet in Bearnais, currently called "Cauhapé" that the first vines were planted in 1558. Today, the vine is sublimated. From our knowledge and quest for the best, are born wines that reach a very high level of authenticity.