“Who cares what other people think?”

His world - Michel Raynaud

The untamed land

His world - Michel Raynaud
His world - Michel Raynaud
His world - Michel Raynaud

The land is wild and untamed in and around the village of Montséret, situated in that arid, rugged, mountainous part of the Languedoc north of the Pyrenees, halfway between the sea and the sun, where Mediterranean spray meets scrubby vegetation. To tame the land, you must listen to it, understand it and respect it.

It was here that Michel Raynaud’s forebears decided to plant their first vines in 1860. The Corbières terroir has remained an indelible, non-negotiable part of family life ever since. Michel is a child of this region – a place he has never left. He has worked in the vineyards since he was young, simply learning by doing. This grounding continues to guide his ethos and approach to viticulture.

Michel is a man at one with his environment. His vision is to make great wines that articulate a sense of place and reflect his own identity. Living, breathing wines from his home patch in the south of France.

His world - Michel Raynaud

Naked terroir

Michel Raynaud’s idea of wine? Rigid standards are certainly not for him. Quite the opposite. Wine is a creation that should express its own personality and the character of its maker. Michel’s wines obey only one clear rule, which is to reveal the inherent energy of their terroir.

The only way for him to achieve this goal is to respect and nurture his vines, particularly by following the rhythms of the lunar calendar. Michel Raynaud devotes all his attention to the vineyards, even if this means neglecting things like paperwork – eco-labels are of little interest to him. His vines know the value of his work, and that is what counts.

The same approach applies in the cellar, where Michel goes against the flow. For example, his use of carbonic maceration to harness the freshness of whole bunches is a rarity in Occitanie. Even during the vinification process, he takes care not to conceal terroir expression and is fastidious in ensuring that neither wood or any other artifice corrupts the wine’s origins.

Les Icônes

refers to Michel Raynaud’s top-of-the-range bottles – uncommon, appellation-defying wines that go against the grain while representing the best that the south has to offer. Firstly, we have Tirébouché – an explosive, rare Vin de France born of a single plot of 140-year-old pre-phylloxera vines. Combe Long is Michel’s second ‘icon’ to savour – a fine wine imbued with the energy of a fascinating piece of land, marrying a sense of place with the imprint of centenarian vines.

Les Classiques

are Domaine Plan de Roque bottlings that fly the flag for the Aude Hauterive IGP and receive the same attention to detail as their Vin de France counterparts. Terroir is the common thread in these wines and the quality that Michel aims to highlight above all. This is less about the vision and more about staying true to Michel’s own vivid, authentic style. The results speak for themselves – dense, pure, intense wines rooted in the south of France.

Les Cépages

are Pays d’Oc IGP wines that are easy-drinking but full of flavour. There are two whites (Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc), a red (Merlot) and a rosé (Syrah) – each one a single-varietal wine typifying Michel’s home region. Mediterranean sun in a bottle.