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Domaine noté ★ - Stars en devenir ou vigneron de qualité - Guide des Meilleurs Vins de France
Rated by 88 customers

It was in 1996 that Guillaume Tari fell in love with the Bandol region and acquired the Domaine de la Bégude. This estate is steeped in history and bears its name well, since beguda is the place where one drinks in Provençal dialect. Guillaume and his wife Soledad have been producing organically certified wine and olive oil since 2006. 23 hectares of vines scattered within... Read more

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Domaine de la Bégude à Bandol

interview with Guillaume Tari

Located in Bandol in Provence, Domaine de la Bégude takes its name from beguda (place where one quenches one's thirst in Provençal) and offers remarkable wines for ageing. Guillaume Tari tells us more about the secret of their making.

In the land of Mourvèdre
on the highest point of Bandol AOC

Parcelle de la Brulade. Domaine de la Bégude - Bandol. Domaine de la Bégude

Guillaume Tari fell in love with the Bandol region in 1996 and bought Domaine de La Bégude with his wife Soledad. This native of Bordeaux, owner of Château Giscours in Margaux, honours the Provençal terroir and the characteristic local grape variety, Mourvèdre, so well that the name La Bégude is now undeniably associated with the best wines of Provence.

The couple was able to breathe new life into this property, which had fallen into oblivion, and from the outset they decided to use organic farming methods for the plots. Orchards and olive groves, terraced vines, landscapes of garrigue and pinewoods give the wines the scent of the South on this land swept by the sea winds.

One of the particularities of the vineyard lies in its location at altitude. On the highest point of the appellation, at 410 metres, the vines preserve a freshness with significant temperature variations between day and night. This freshness is notably found in the rosé and white wines of the estate.

But what is rarer is that La Bégude produces red wines from Provence, yes! A true reverence to the king grape variety of the country, Mourvèdre, vinified here in a blend (with Grenache and Cinsault). Mourvèdre knows so well how to render the particularities of its terroir (rocky soil, significant sunshine, altitude, iodized mistral wind), that wine lovers should not miss the red and rosé wines of La Bégude!

Guillaume Tari, tells us more by answering our questions.

Winemaker's interview

Taming the land

The estate has become a reference among the best wines of Provence, what is the philosophy of the house?

Guillaume Tari: Our philosophy remains the search for harmony and respect for the terroir. We are at its service in order to extract great wines. Indeed, you can be the best winemaker in the world, but without a great terroir, your wine will be "technic", technically irreproachable but without soul, disguised like a stolen car...

We are wary of certainties and are well aware that nothing can be taken for granted. This estate has a strong personality and we are taming its terroir without domesticating it.

Guillaume Tari Domaine de la Bégude

For the love of Mourvèdre

How do you interpret the terroir and the uniqueness of the grapes?

Guillaume Tari: We are located in the north of the appellation, on the highest plateaus, like an aerial balcony over the Mediterranean. This requires adaptation, low-density planting, late ripening, etc.

Vendanges 2019 à Terre Rouge Domaine de la Bégude

The vines are exposed to the Mistral wind which limits the yield but keeps the grapes very healthy... it's the best of all pesticides. The large diurnal range of temperature also gives our wines a great freshness. Finally, the sea breeze tempers the heat of the sun and brings us a little humidity on this dry terroir where it rarely rains. Our appellation has the most hours of sunshine per year, which allows us to have a grape variety that matures very late.

Bandol wines are made from this strange grape variety called Mourvèdre. It is a rather capricious grape variety that I fell in love with. I have been passionate about it since I arrived in Bandol in 1996. It was complicated at the beginning because I had to understand it. It is not at all like the grape varieties I was brought up with in Bordeaux: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are good soldiers. They obey. That's why they have multiplied all over the world. Mourvèdre, on the other hand, can be disconcerting. It's a bit of a rogue grape variety. On the other hand, it is irresistibly charming and offers us a few cold sweats at times, but unquestionably wines that are seductive in their youth and with good ageing potential.

A commitment beyond organic

What do you look for in your wines?

Guillaume Tari: To restore in our wines, our feeling, our pleasure to live on the estate every day, the freshness of the wines in the image of our nights and the "perfect" maturity (as much as possible) which made the Bandol appellation famous!

They must embody the terroir and the vintage and tell us a story.

Tell us about your organic commitment.

Guillaume Tari: We go further than organic in the true sense of the word, we are not "economic" organic but committed from the start. The vineyard was born on the Mediterranean coast and as soon as I arrived, organic farming became obvious to me.

We are fortunate to cultivate 27 hectares of vines in the heart of an extremely wild, incredibly beautiful and preserved estate of over 500 hectares. Our vineyard is spread over some fifty plots, the forest and the aromatic scrubland are the most beautiful of all.

We do our utmost to preserve the balance of this ecosystem by also respecting the lunar cycles. In addition, we graft on the vines with grafts selected from our old vines and our collection of Mourvèdres.

Vendanges parcelle de Prométhée, Domaine de la Bégude. Crédits José Nicolas

Photo credits Domaine de la Bégude, José Nicolas