Going Green: Rosé in a Brown Bottle & Revolutionary Plastic
Château Galoupet's new wines: its Cru Classé and its Nomade
Earth Day seems the perfect occasion to introduce a duo of rosé wines that want to make a difference. Both are produced by Château Galoupet in Provence, an estate that has an ambitious ecological ethos and great plans for sustainable farming. With the release of their first wine, a cru classé of Provence, and their négociant cuvée Nomade, they are also making a bold statement in packaging.
A sleeping beauty
It was in May 2019 that LVMH bought “this sleeping beauty” of a wine estate in deepest Provence. These are the words of Jessica Julmy, the managing director who was installed to regenerate the estate and turn it into an ecological lighthouse for the region. The purchase is LVMH’s first foray into Provençal rosé and Julmy has made a 20-year-plan to revive the estate with its 69ha/170 acres of vines and its 77ha/190 acres of native, protected woodland or maquis.
Birds, bees and Tibouren
Since Julmy’s arrival, “historians, geologists, agro-ecologists and environmental architects have been analysing the soils, winds and water, as well as counting every species on the estate.” Amongst other things they found “over 90 different species of fauna including 12 species of bat and the Hermann tortoise.” The LPD (Ligue de Protection des Oiseaux or League for the Protection of Birds) has completed an audit and will assess the impact of the biodiversity measures implemented while the OFA (Observatoire Francais d’Apidologie or the French Observatory for Insect Studies) has installed 200 beehives on the land with the aim of studying and nurturing queen bee populations. The estate also had vineyards of old Tibouren vines, a grape variety of which there are just 450ha/1,112 acres left in Provence. This variety forms a significant part of the Château Galoupet’s blend.
Château Galoupet: Rosé in a brown bottle
One of the chief selling points of rosé wines are their delicate hues of pink. Most of them are thus sold in clear glass bottles. Clear glass, however, requires new silica sand which takes much more energy to melt than recycled glass. It is for this reason that Château Galoupet’s Cru Classé wine, made exclusively from estate-grown fruits, comes in an amber-coloured bottle made of 70% recycled glass. At 499g, it is also lighter than most rosé bottles. Incidentally, the amber colour also protects the wine from UV light.
Galoupet Nomade: the flat PET bottle that fits through a letterbox
It may seem counter-intuitive, but this flat, lightweight plastic bottle is far more environmentally friendly than a glass bottle. The bottle itself weighs just 63g and is made from recycled “prevented ocean plastic” – and is fully recyclable itself. Its shape also means easy and reduced packaging, reduced carbon emissions and ease of use – since it is unbreakable. This is a revolutionary move on the part of LVMH.
What are the wines like?
There is a real stylistic difference between the two wines of the estate: Château Galoupet Cru Classé, made from Grenache, Tibouren, Vermentino and Syrah, is a seriously gastronomic wine that will become even better with age. It was partly oak-aged in 600-litre demi-muids to support its rich texture. “We wanted something with enough shoulder for the table, not just an aperitif,” Julmy says. “We look for intensity but also for complexity.” The wine retails at £46/$60 and joins the ranks of Provence’s best rosé wines.
Nomade is a much lighter, zippier, livelier style, pithy and citric. With its light body and fine freshness, it is made for summer picnics and parties, a wine for refreshment and easy sipping. It retails for £20/$26.
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