When holidaymakers push open the door of the boutique at Saint-André-de-Figuière, they inevitably come across Catherine’s wonderful smile. However it is not just a welcoming smile that awaits you. Catherine tastes wine with customers everyday through pleasure and necessity, explaining every detail of each product.
Catherine has recently started working at the Domain after four years of business studies in Lyon and Rennes, and a year spent between San Francisco and Ontario. Catherine is responsible for 20 % of the winery’s sales. She opens people’s eyes and helps them to discover the different « bits of land », as she says.
A fulfilling job, which, according to the season enables her to meet an international, though mostly European clientele. Catherine speaks to them in a poetic manner about the wine, helping them to discover the intrinsic qualities of each vintage; the aromas, texture etc. When she returns home in the evening to her three children at their home in Valcros, she takes pleasure in having friends round to whom she also talks about wine and its history.
Damien, originally from Toulouse, first came to the Domain in 1992. He had already spent three years managing another domain and several other years making wine in Bourgogne, Alsace, The Rhône Valley and The Loire Valley, before becoming indispensable to Alain Combard.
Since then, Damien, a strapping fellow, who studied winemaking and oenology in Orange, Beaune and Hyères, has looked after the domain which he has come to know like the back of his hand. It is no wonder as he lives on the domain for six months of the year which enables him to go deep sea diving at the same time.
Apart from the atmosphere of the place, what seduced him was the balance that the environment gives to the grapes. In his opinion the vine gives back to the winemaker the care that has been put into it: from the pruning, the working of the soil, and choosing the right equipment. Everything has been studied so that the magic of the wine is brought to the fore.
For nothing on earth would he miss the privileged moments when the wine comes into being. The tasting of the wine from the vats and barrels and the blending which is preceded by hours of discussion with Alain Combard, are intense moments which he lives to the full.