New producer

Dominique Faget

Dominique Faget long desired to have her own vineyard, though her dream didn’t come to fruition for 25 years. While running a wine shop in Hossegor (South West France), she acquired four hectares planted to Colombard, Petit Manseng, and Gros Manseng, and immediately began converting them to organic farming. In 2021, the goal of making her own wine finally came to life with the first vintage of 'Ça fait rire les oiseaux, ça fait chanter les abeilles.'

The land that Dominique acquired originally belonged to her father, who was an Armagnac producer until 2019. His operation unfortunately went into bankruptcy, and not long thereafter, she dealt with the loss of one of her brothers, who lived just in front of the parcels, to sudden illness. As no one was buying the parcels at the time, the local administrative committee suggested that Dominique purchase it herself. Reluctant at first, she eventually gave into her long standing dream to make her own wine according to her convictions, and that would be her tribute to her brother.

Having always favored natural wines, she did not hesitate to jumpstart conversion into organic farming, with a view to transition towards biodynamics. She let the parcels lie fallow for a year in order for the soil to rest and accumulate organic matter. The following year, cover crops are allowed to grow, and today, are roller-crimped when the time comes. Additionally, pests are controlled principally by mating confusion practices, and biodiversity is extensively promoted in and around the parcels. There are field beans and peas planted everywhere, as well as patches of oats near the parcels.

Dominique’s wines are made in a nearby insulated structure that once was a garage. There, she got a couple of stainless steel tanks and a small pneumatic press, which she uses in batches while family, friends, and neighbors participate in the harvest. Simplicity is the sole watchword when it comes to vinification. The grapes go into the press in whole clusters, fermentation occurs spontaneously with indigenous yeasts, and the wine is never filtered or clarified, and there are no additions, save for a very minimal amount of SO2 at bottling. In short, Dominique works according to her intuition. Her guide in this process is her lifetime of reflections on all sorts of wines, and her exposure to countless vineyards through her work owning and operating her wine shop.

Dominique’s great asset is the community of people surrounding her. In the vines and in the cellar, she takes advice and inspiration from winemakers whose work she admires, such as Jean-Marc Grussaute from Jurançon, Stéphanie Roussel in the Côtes du Marmandais, Christine Dupuy from Madiran, and Alix Roque from Faugères. Her father is back in the vines, tirelessly working on their maintenance, and one of her siblings moved back to France to operate the tractor and other machinery. The label was created by a friend, and was designed using a drawing made by her nieces and nephews. Lastly, the wine takes its name from a Compagnie Créole song, which was one of her brother’s favorite songs.

Among other things, Dominique hopes to add another hectare to her holdings and plant it with Baco Blanc, with the goal of making Armagnac herself, as well as to collaborate with local agroforestry engineers to populate the parcels and their surroundings even more with fruit trees and bushes. Although still in its youth, Faget’s estate is already making waves across the Sud-Ouest; we can’t wait to see what she does next.

Key information

Southwest

Gers

4 hectares

Founded in 2021

Organic

The wines