Ad Vinum

Gard, Languedoc

In 2016 Sébastien Châtillon moved to Vallabrix in the Gard to begin making wine.

Having fallen in love with wine in his youth, Seb ended up working with René Mosse in the Loire for four years and here he discovered a new kind of wine. A long stint working as a sommelier and caviste at the famed Le Chateaubriand in Paris followed and on regular visits to vignerons in the South, Seb fell in love with the Gard. Here, within a relatively small region, he found a diversity in grapes, climates and soils that very much suited his curious nature.

Seb started looking after his own vineyards in 2018 and today farms a total of ten hectares divided in two parts. The first sees Grenache, Syrah and Sauvignon planted on rolling hills outside the village of Vallabrix over old alluvial deposits from the Rhône. The other is planted on the plains outside the village of Bourdic, where the soils are predominantly clay and limestone, with a single parcel planted over a thick vein of blue marl. The grapes from each of the villages are usually vinified separately, to respect the differences in climate and soil.

As well as his own grapes, each year Seb continues to purchase fruit from a wide network of friends further afield as part of his négociant project, allowing him to feed his insatiable curiosity and relentless desire to experiment. Once the grapes reach the cave, Seb exercises both creativity and restraint, blending grapes from different parcels, varieties and colours. The wines age in a variety of vessels and are bottled unfiltered, with no additions.

As Seb has settled into his life as a vigneron, there has been an increase in clarity, focus and continuity that comes with getting to know his parcels across several vintages, with each release revealing a little more of the work of a grower who refuses to sit still.