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Fons Sanatis is a special estate. Benoît Braujou works alone, imbued with the experience of the three generations of passionate winegrowers who have preceded him, with respect for nature and the terroir. Here biodynamy is a natural process, and his father and grandfather have always worked organically, without knowing it. In the same way, the name Vin de France is also an... Read more

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INTERVIEW WITH domaine Fons Sanatis:

A meeting with a passionate man who claims to produce the most natural wine possible. Benoît Braujou answers our questions. Far from the usual, discover a winemaker full of convictions!

Winemaker off the beaten track

Carried by his roots, Benoît Braujou produces a demanding wine. For him, wine has a soul.

To learn the trade better, he went to Alsace and the Rhône Valley, where he worked in Saint- Joseph and Côte-Rôtie, employed as a vineyard manager at Yves Cuilleron.

Attached to his Languedoc origins in Aniane, he returned to his homeland in 2003 where he had the chance to cultivate the land of his ancestors at the estate called Fons Sanatis, a source of healing in Occitan.

Benoit Braujou et son père
Benoit Braujou et ses chevaux de trait Bulle et Unau

In the vineyard

On his 7 hectares of vines, he works alone with his workhorses Bulle and Unau. His work is marked by the experience of the three generations of passionate winegrowers who have preceded him, with respect for nature and the terroir.

Here biodynamics is a natural process. His father and grandfather have always worked organically, without even knowing it.

He understood that to live off the land, you must respect it. Generous nature does its work all by itself. The winegrower's role is only to regulate it in order to reap its fruits, with respect and humility. It is no coincidence that "humility" and "humus" (dark earth made of organic material such as decayed leaves and plants) share the same etymological roots... this layer of fertile soil so dear to the grower suggests that in the act of harvesting is an inclination towards Mother Nature.

Don't talk to Benoit about his farm, talk to him about his vineyards! It is an aberration for him to exploit the land, a land where we are only passing through.

Passing labels or certifications that are sometimes considered too rigid, his approach goes even further, since his niche is natural wines: wines without artifice, made with respect for the soil and followed by a healthy winemaking process.

In the wine cellar

In the same way, the Vin de France designation is also an obvious choice: the classic Languedoc-Roussillon appellations, which are too restrictive and standardised in the eyes of the winegrower, do not correspond to the rich, solid and frank profile that he wishes to bring to his wines.

Far from the mass production that was previously common in Languedoc wines, Benoît Braujou is proud to present his own wine. Small quantity (3000 bottles), but great quality!

Besides, he has no recipe: as an observer, he adjusts, adapts, and reflects. Quite a philosophy! His pursuit for naturalness pushes him towards ever greater authenticity in the expression of the terroir and the grape varieties: the essential thing is to cultivate common sense, to return to the logic of things.

Benoit Braujou dans sa cuve à vin
Benoit Braujou et Vinatis

In the glass

Don't tell him you're drinking a Terrasses-du-Larzac either, just tell him you've opened a wine from Benoît!

Fons Sanatis is a curiosity of the Languedoc region and well worth the detour: The pleasure of getting lost is truly unparalleled!

Warmely welcomed at the estate, we were able to gather some fragments of his wine vision. A vision so personal that it deserves to be examined.

Natural wine

What is your definition of natural wine?

Benoît Braujou:

For me, a natural wine is first and foremost made in harmony with the environment, the terroir, the vegetation, the life of the soil... To create a natural wine, the winegrower must have the spirit of a farmer in his vines by treating them with respect and humility. He must try to understand the environment and be present just to help the vines to give their best.

It should not be a farmer who "exploits his property". We must not forget that we are simply tenants of this land (Gaia).

In the cellar, the winegrower must become an artist in order to give free rein to his desires, his emotions and his know-how.

I was lucky enough to have a "natural heritage" thanks to my father and grandfather, who showed me the way to a logical way of working and thus enabled me to obtain lively wines.

Portrait de Benoit Braujou

Producing a natural wine

Making natural wine requires more control than a "technological" wine. It means taking risks, experimenting beyond knowledge and know-how, and forging your own philosophy.

What lessons can be learned?

Benoît Braujou:

Indeed, making natural wine requires a lot of control because we work without a safety net.

We have no miracle solutions for fixing a wine with products or otherwise.

Only know-how, patience, passion and the desire to always do better help us to produce our living wines.

Biodynamics, a second nature

You don't call yourself a "biodynamist" but a "biodynamic".

What exactly are the nuances?

Benoît Braujou:

I am biodynamic because I do not use any method.

I don't follow the ready-made recipes that you can read in books.

I am learning to be in harmony with nature so that I can have the privilege of obtaining healthy, clean grapes.

Bulle le cheval de trait de Benoit

Refusal to use labels

Gamme de bouteilles de vins Fons Sanatis

Away from any label/certification or appellation: In a word, freedom!

Does this refusal of labels make you a dissident in the wine world? What do you claim?

Benoît Braujou:

Being away from all labels and appellations does not make me a dissident, on the contrary it allows me a lot of freedom in my vineyards and my cellar.

I enjoy talking to other winegrowers (organic or conventional) because I think that if we have to act for a cleaner culture, we should not quarrel with our neighbours. Just make them understand that we can do things differently.

I demand a wine that has a soul and that is not like the others.

It means that in each of my wines, you can find a part of me, my moods and of course the terroir and the fruits.
In two words: My Signature!

Atypical winemaker but typical wines

You contribute to the revival of Languedoc wines.

Are your wines typical or atypical?

Benoît Braujou:

I don't know if I'm contributing to the revival of the Languedocs because I'm still an atypical winemaker who makes typical wines.

It is true that my wines have a Languedoc DNA because they are made from grape varieties such as Aramon and Carignan which are "children of the country".

Benoit Braujou dans sa cave

Style of the wine

How do you define the style of your wines?

Benoît Braujou:

My wines are like me. They are rich, solid and frank.

Wine faults under the pretext that they are natural are not allowed.

Since the beginning, I have been looking for purity in my wines while keeping power and finesse.

Benoit Braujou et sa cuve à vin