Château Barbanau

Year Established: 1989
Location: Cassis, Côtes de Provence
Size: 30 hectares
Varieties: Cinsault, Clairette, Grenache, Marsanne, Mourvèdre, Rolle, Sauvignon, Ugni blanc
Viticulture: Organic (certified in 2008). Biodynamic (certified in 2015). Vegan-friendly (no animal products used in the winemaking).

In the late 1980s, Sophie Simonini-Cerciello and her parents completely changed direction in their lives, leaving behind their homes and business in the Southern Alps to move south near the sea, taking over the care of the Clos Val Bruyère vineyard in Cassis, which had been planted in the late 1800s by Sophie’s great-grandfather, Emile Bodin. They also purchased nearby Château Barbanau with its abandoned wine storehouse, and built a brand new wine cellar. Their first vintage was in 1989. Sophie now runs Château Barbanau in partnership with her husband, Didier Simonini, who joined her in 1998 after obtaining a degree in oenology at the University of Dijon. Didier is passionate when he talks about farming organically and biodynamically. “Look around – the vineyards surround our home,” he says. “We live here. What is good for the vines is good for us, and vice versa, it’s really quite simple.”