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Alain Castex

Alain Castex and his partner Ghislaine were two of the original ‘Garagistas’, small vigneron/wine makers whose limited means forced them to make wine literally ‘in the Garage’, in their case, an old Citroen car garage borrowed from a friend. The original vineyard purchased in the early 90s is called Le Casot de Mailloles and is based on the steep schistous slopes above the Mediterranean in Banyuls. In 2015 Alain sold Le Casot (an old Occitan word meaning Shelter) and being in his 60s moved into semi-retirement but still retains a tiny vineyard where he indulges his lifelong passion for farming and wine production. The single hectare of vineyard where he now produces Les Vins de Cabanon is situated on the sandy, clay soils of Trouillas a little inland from Banyuls and follows the same natural and biodynamic principles which Alain used at ‘Le Casot’. The production is tiny, with just a couple of thousand bottles of four different wines produced each year and a UK allocation of just 150 bottles of each. His wines are some of the most vibrant, energetic and simply delicious you will ever try. They ooze sunshine and vitality and as spring approaches, they make for absolutely perfect drinking. Alain Castex is a rare find in the wine world, a man who has never compromised his belief that natural production is the only way to capture the essence of his grapes and terroir. Even in the early days when natural wine was rejected as poor quality and faulty and when appellations refused to accept the authenticity of these noble bottles, (Alain was refused the local appellation twice and then gave up and simply labelled his wine, ‘Vin de Table’), Alain stuck to his guns. His dedication and commitment to his vision have over the years earned him the respect he deserves and today, his rare bottles have a passionate following.