One of the more inventive vintners in the Languedoc is former Burgundy winemaker Bruno Lafon, who is now based in the heart of the small and ultra qualitative production area of Pezénas. Lafon moved to the Languedoc in 1998 to start his own winery, Domaine Magellan. Bruno, along with his wife Sharon and more recently his daughter Alice, manage the estate today. “We have great terroir in the Languedoc, but we are young—it took 1,000 years for regions like Burgundy to become what they are today. We in the Languedoc should make good wines that are good values as well,” Lafon says. When he and Legros bought the estate in 1999, it was a rundown collection of vineyards planted to a multitude of grape varieties; its former owner had planted the range to see which grapes would work best there. Today, Lafon has rehabilitated the estate and now manages 104 acres planted to a salad bowl of 13 different varieties, including the Tempranillo grape of Spain. Lafon shies away from the use of new oak barrels because he values the pure fruit flavors that his grapes provide.Domaine Magellan takes its name from the small town of Magalas, north of Beziers, where the winery is located. While Lafon’s wines carry the Vin de Pays moniker because his vineyards lie outside officially preferred real estate such as the Coteaux du Languedoc, his quality is on par with that of some of the best Coteaux estates.In terms of viticultural practices, Magellan produces organically farmed reds and sustainably farmed whites.
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