Cabardes (NW Languedoc), France
For many generations, Marc Penavayre’s family has owned the Chateau Plaisance winery, located in the northern heartland of Occitaine in France’s Languedoc-Roussillon appellation. One of the most passionate vignerons and winemakers you will ever meet, Penavayre believes strongly in organic and biodynamic farming practices and has instilled these same values in his son, Thibaut, who will soon rejoin the domaine after several years of apprenticeships at wineries across the world. Both men also have a deep-seated love for the native Negrette grape, and in their vineyard lands within Fronton they have, in the words of wine experts, “perfectly mastered” their terroir and the expression of Negrette. The wines are elegant while also notably powerful and profound. Chateau Plaisance is an absolute hidden gem in this little-known, but historically rich and important region in southern France.