I’ve been wanting to take part in a harvest at Domaine de Mouscaillo in Roquetaillade for some time now. The astonishing views of the Pyrenées and the pure, age-worthy Chardonnay cultivated on Limoux’s exceptional terroir always caught my attention. The timing seemed opportune in 2019, as Thomas Fort and his wife Camille had fully returned back to the domaine, after Thomas finished his dissertation on ecology, with a focus on the effect of forest microbiology on the vines.
As we arrived to the small family chai in Roquetaillade, a small buzz of fermentation could be heard from 600L demi-muids. Camille was busy pressing the very last batch of Chardonnay for the Crémant and was saving some grape must for the future second fermentation. As we discussed the unpredictability of harvest until its very last moment, Thomas pointed out auspicious engravings of DSLS Dieu Seul Le Sait (Only God Knows) on a few older barrels, which were given to the duo as a gift from a close family friend, Didier Dagueneau, from Pouilly-Fumé (Pierre also made his first vintage chez Dagueneau!)
At dawn, we headed back to the vines in the middle of the Saint Pierre parcel and began picking Chardonnay alongside the rising sun. Located on steep slopes of Roquetaillade, at the crossroads of the mediterranean and oceanic climates, every time we got up to stretch our backs, an astonishing view of Pyrénées awaited us. At the foot of the hill, there was a small pond that Thomas dug earlier this year to invigorate the biodiversity of the vineyard.