Condom: the successful conversion of Stéphane Picarelli, passionate winemaker
His childhood dream has come true. Since 2015 at the Domaine de Pouypardin, the Condomois Stéphane Picarelli has been producing its own wines.
You are not originally from the wine scene. How did you manage to realize your project?
Born in Condom, I have always been passionate about nature. After studying at the wine school of Riscle and having obtained my agricultural and wine BEP, then continued with a Bac Pro “internship”, my ambition was to acquire a domain. This was done 8 years ago, after being used for 10 years in the vineyards.
The average area of the domains in the Côtes de Gascogne is 65 hectares. What differentiates you from other productions with your 9 hectares?
At 40, I am a grape-harvest-grower, an independent winegrower. I distinguish myself by betting everything on quality, in particular by harvesting entirely by hand and guaranteeing a long vinification of the wines of the order of one or two years. After placing them in stainless steel vats, I let them work for another 12-30 months in oak barrels. This gives mature wines, with a lot of structure and a nice length in the mouth.
So what types of wines do you produce?
I have 17 references with 80% of the production in red through seven cuvées. Two desserts, 2 rosés, 4 whites and 2 “traditional method” in “champenoise technique” complete the range marketed here. Restaurateurs, wine merchants and delicatessens (in Condom, Rhône, Hauts-de-France) also order bottles.
How do you ensure the sale of your wines?
If I’m present in the markets, I don’t go to any fair or exhibition. I organize every Thursday of every summer, from Thursday 6 July of this year, evenings in estate with tastings and catering. The setting lends itself very well, we are in the middle of the vineyards and at the foot of the vats, barrels, etc.