Château Mourgues du Grès: Authenticity and conviviality in Costières de Nîmes
Text: Katie Turner | Photos © Château Mourgues Du Grès
Fresh and fruity are words that not only describe the wines of Château Mourgues du Grès, but also the estate they are produced on. As well as the vines, you’ll find olive groves where you can pick your own fruit, and olive groves from which the château produces its own extra virgin olive oil.
The wines – red, white and rose – are low-sulphur and organic. “They are a reflection of everything about this landscape and this land,” says owner Anne Collard who runs the winery with her husband François. “The stony soil is unique to this part of the Rhône Valley and gives it a wonderful mineral quality. We’re also not far from the sea, which gives a freshness to the wines, and we’re blessed with good weather, which helps ripen the grapes so you get a real burst of fruit.”
The couple took on the 160-acre estate in 1990 and it’s now a paradise for day-trippers. Wine lovers, of course, get to taste the numerous wines produced here. But Anne’s background in urban planning has seen an estate, which could have continued merely promoting its rich history, move firmly into the future.
The winery has its own app, MourguesdugresConnect, which allows visitors to connect and follow a trail across the estate. As you walk, you get in-depth information about the vineyards and countryside, as well as the flora and fauna. “I wanted to bring the place alive,” explains Anne, “and every bottle of wine we produce has a story. The environment here is really important, not just for growing grapes, and on the app you can track the local birds, for example, to find out what they look and sound like.”
“We’ve created a family atmosphere,” she continues, “and visitors can park up and roam, on foot or by bike. Or if you call ahead, we’ll prepare you a picnic,” she adds. “You can eat it out among the vines, or if the weather’s cooler, under our majestic 16th-century vaulted ceiling inside.” The food is all locally-sourced and in season, and fruit is from the estate itself.
The winery is a picture-perfect location and one that’s within easy reach of Nimes, Marseille and Montpellier airports, as well as the historic sites of Avignon, Arles and the Pont-du-Gard.
“I want our guests to really understand the joy of wine,” says Anne. “It’s not something made up of a single element – there’s much more to it than that and I want to share our passion with the world.”
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