Domaine Fons Sanatis - Benoit Braujou
St Jean de Fos, small village nested in the Languedoc
7 hectares - 17acres
total production 18 000btls - 1500cs
Witiza 2009: 100% Carignan - Vin de Table (18hl/hectare)
Vinified in concrete vats and aged for 18 month in burgundy barrels (228L)
No punch down or pump over are made, Benoit just presses the must cap 10cm (4 inches)
under the juices in order to keep the extraction as gentle as possible.
Benoit comes from a family of winegrowers and coopers. His grand father had to abandon
his cellar in the 60’s and started working for the local Coop, selling the fruit of his land without
vinifying it. When coming back from the war in Algeria in 1962, his father was not able to revive
the family domaine, yet kept on working the vineyards with passion, and passed on to Benoit his
love of the land and farming along with a respect for nature.
Benoit began working in the family vineyard as soon as he was 14 and went to school part time
to study viticulture and oenology. He did many internships in order to broaden his knowledge,
in Alsace with Pierre Kappler, in Cote du Rhone (Cairanne) at l’Oratoire St Martin as well as in
Cote Rotie with Yves Cuilleron, where he was hired as Vineyard Manager at the age of 23.
These experiences allowed him to learn about vinification, the wine aging process and the
different stages of wine from when the grapes come in to the winery through the moment when
they are bottled.
In 2003, Benoit came back to his home land and started from scratch his own domaines, “Fons
Sanatis” in St Jean de Fos. To begin, he was able to rent vines in the village of Aniane and
Puechabon (2.5 hectares, 6.17 acres) - also known as the homeland of Mas Daumas Gassac
(Benoit’s grand father was the one to tell Aime Guibert which parcels to buy when he first settled
in the region in 1978) and Grange des Peres.
In the vineyard he rented there were some traditional varieties such as carignan and aramon,
and also some merlot and cabernet sauvignon perceived as more noble. He rented a shack in
the village, got some equipment and that is how he started to work like his grand father did back
in the time where they had a family estate, in a natural way (organic). He likes to say “we did not
invent anything, we forgot about it”.
Benoit does not submit his wines to the AOC. He does this in order to be able to make the
wines he wants and likes without having to answer to any type of standards that would impose
a certain brake down of varietals, or a certain profile that he thinks standardizes the wines
rather then letting them express the land and vintage they come from. In order to be in the
AOC system you need to put a lot of “noble” varietals like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. He
has very little of those and prefers working with the indigenous varietal which are carignan,grenache, aramon and vermentino.