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Both convinced by the extraordinary potential of Languedoc-Roussillon wines, Laurent Calmel and Jérôme Joseph decided to set up their own wine trading company, focusing on wines from private cellars throughout the region. They meticulously select the grapes they vinify in their cellar before blending them until they combine the harvests of three different winemakers per wine. Together, they vinify, blend and mature the wines, with the common will to prove the still unknown quality of these Mediterranean terroirs. Very keen to vinify according to their different convictions and savoir-faire, they set themselves the challenge of producing (high-quality wines in line with their terroir to work on the expressions of one of the most complex wine-growing regions. They choose to vinify as naturally as possible from rigorous plot selections and don’t hesitate in enhancing the value of little-known indigenous grape varieties. From their careful and skillful blends are born creative, typical and promising wines, far from the Languedoc wines of the past which favoured quantity over quality.

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Domaine Calmel & Joseph

They belong to the new generation of Languedoc-Roussillon winemakers. From this mosaic of terroirs, emerges a wine-growing identity of their own. To understand it, Jérôme Joseph answers our questions.


Your mission is to reveal the extraordinary potential and the quality still too little known of the various terroirs of this vast vineyard that is Languedoc-Roussillon. Creation takes an important place in the various ranges of wines that you offer. It is understandable that this is part of a desire to reaffirm and redefine the wines of the region, where for a long time they have been produced in quantity to the detriment of quality.

In your opinion, what is the identity of Languedoc-Roussillon wines?  

Jérôme Joseph : One of the great lessons of the last few years is that a new generation of winegrowers, convinced of the potential of their terroirs and tired of production centred on wines rich in alcohol and without much taste, have demonstrated that it is possible to produce great wines in Languedoc-Roussillon, freeing themselves from the influence of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Côtes du Rhône wines, and thus define their own winegrowing identity. It is a logical continuation of the revolution that began thirty years ago in Languedoc-Roussillon.

The over-ripe, extracted, woody style inherited from the 90's and 2000's still exists and works in some markets, but this young generation excels in producing wines that correspond to the personality of the region: a generous character, without imbalance or heaviness, and a Mediterranean aromatic palette. Moreover, the ambition to better identify the best terroirs of Languedoc-Roussillon and the revival of "autochthonous", or at least "identity" grape varieties, such as Carignan, Piquepoul Noir, Cinsault, Macabeu, Grenache Gris, or even Ribeyrenc, Carignan Blanc or Terret, is proving to be an excellent thing for this great wine-growing region.

A pioneering duo

Do you consider yourselves pioneers?

Jérôme Joseph : The traditional Languedoc wine trade specialised very early on in supplying the various major national and international distributors with fast-moving wines and in high-volume markets. They bought and blended finished wines at the production stage, whether from cooperative wineries or winegrowers.

The originality of our approach is based on the identification of terroirs with high potential with partner winegrowers. It is there that we vinify and mature our own wines. The relationships we build with these partner winegrowers are very close, based on trust and loyalty.

These are long-term relationships built around work that begins in the plots. The choice of plots is guided by the wines we wish to make: balanced wines, without artifice, revealing the essence of a terroir. They are made from vines cultivated with respect for the environment and natural wine-making process. 

We produce one wine per vintage, which offers a guarantee to our customers of the constancy of the wine profile throughout the year and from one vintage to another. We have the same philosophy with our customers through the choice of selective partners offering a qualitative distribution, with close and long-lasting relationships.

We were inspired by the great Burgundian merchants in our approach, which was very innovative for the region and perhaps makes us pioneers...

The meeting

Dégustation Calmel et Joseph

You work as a duo, can you tell us about your meeting and how the project came about?

Jérôme Joseph : Originally from Languedoc Roussillon, I have long been convinced of the potential of this vineyard. Although I don't come from a family of winegrowers, wine has always fascinated me with its concrete and mysterious qualities.

I trained in hotel management at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. After starting my career abroad, I returned to my native country in 1995 to develop a trading activity focused on foreign markets. I designed an international future for my Languedoc-Roussillon wines. As a real connoisseur of the terroirs, I let my passion for culinary art also guide my work of selection and tasting. My self-taught status allows me to free myself from preconceived ideas to better ensure that the wine fulfills its ultimate objective: the pleasure of taste and sharing.

When I met Laurent Calmel in 2007, a new future took shape. Laurent is an oenologist. He first practiced his profession in Languedoc, Provence and the Rhone Valley before enriching his experience in worldwide vineyards. He has worked in the United States, then in Moldavia, Chile and Australia. He came back to Europe in 2003 to work as a winemaker in Languedoc and Spain. His work has enabled many estates to win medals, awards and citations in prestigious guides.

Always eager to explore the diversity of expression of the wines of Languedoc Roussillon by vinifying wines resulting from a very fine selection of the plots he knows well, our association has proved to be an obvious choice.


What are the particularities of each of you in the process of making a new wine?

Jérôme Joseph : Laurent takes care of the entire upstream part of the process of creating our wines. He takes care of all the relational and technical aspects with our partners. The final elaboration, the blending is a close collaboration between us in order to take into consideration everything that characterizes a wine as a whole: the wine and its position in our ranges, its packaging and its future.

We have to think about tomorrow, about the wines we create.

Calmel et Joseph, le renouveau des vins du Languedoc Roussillon


Les vins Calmel et Joseph

How do you define the style of wine that characterizes you?

Jérôme Joseph : Our wines reveal the incredible diversity of the terroirs of Languedoc Roussillon, offering us wines that stand out for their freshness, tension and impressive aromatic panel.

A mosaic of grape varieties and appellations where each cuvée brings a complexity linked to the soil and climate on which it depends.

Precise and typical wines with a consistency from one vintage to another.

Wines with a strong personality but linked to each other by a very singular "house" style.


How would you define a great wine?

Jérôme Joseph : The most important question is if there is such a thing!

It is true that, as with taste, the evaluation of the quality of a wine remains very personal and subjective, making a definition of a great wine rather difficult to formulate.

... Perhaps a wine that reflects well its region and terroir.

... Undeniably, a wine that has a structure, a style, a future.

... But also, a wine that has balance, elegance, complexity, a strong personality.

And certainly...

A wine is a great wine if it is part of a story we are not used to hearing.

Jérôme Joseph


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You have an international reputation since most of your volumes go abroad, what are your ambitions for the French market?

Jérôme Joseph : From the outset, our respective backgrounds have led us to turn towards international markets. It is on these export markets that our networks have been built. Since 2015 and the purchase of Domaine Calmel & Joseph in Montirat, just a few minutes from Carcassonne, it has become an obvious move to be present on the French market.

For a little over two years we have been investing in sales forces such as Vinatis, events, trade shows and national competitions in order to strengthen our presence in traditional and online networks

Photo credits Calmel & Joseph ©Ludovic Charles