Claude Vialade, Woman of Wine and founder of Domaines Auriol
The four vineyards and family brand names, the soul and forerunner of the company located in Corbières - Languedoc-Roussillon, in the heart of the valley of Orbieu between the communes of Lagrasse and Fabrezan of which:
- Part is cultivated in conventional viticultural methods: Saint Auriol La Châtelaine and its alter ego Maison Vialade.
- Part is cultivated in organic viticulture: Corbières Montmija
- And the last part is an experimental vineyard directed towards wine tourism: Château Ciceron
As a girl, Claude would go with her father, Jean Vialade, to the vines and cellars of the Château where he was the estate manager. During the grape harvest, she would dip her fingers into the fermenting must, much to her father's delight. After completing her business studies, Claude embarked on her career in wine distribution on the international market in a leading regional group of wine producers.
Ten years later, she left the group to become director of the AOC Corbières syndicate, where she focused on wine routes, terroir/production area policy, communications and market economics. She nevertheless felt closer to matters economic and to the land itself than to syndicalism and its compromises.
She accordingly left her post as director and, in 1995, created a wine-producing merchant company specializing in the wines of southern France. She called it the SAS Les Domaines Auriol. This company exports 10 to 12 million bottles, and also distributes the products of the family estates.
These wines have individual, highly personalized identities. They correspond to a 'first growth' approach and position Domaines Auriol among fine wines and well-crafted brands. Company wines at this level now enjoy an established international reputation.
The wines of the family estates are vinified, matured and bottled in our estate wineries.
working the vines
The vineyards are managed with the greatest respect for the environment. The pruning of the Carignan is still Gobelet, but trellising is largely developing (currently 60% of the vineyard). The amendments are subjected to rigorous controls for a low regulated yield on all the parcels. The location of the vineyard at semi-altitude, implies particular attention to the load of bunches per vine stock, as well as their position on the plant (close to the earth so they are protected from the sun but at the same time can profit from the heat). To bring the grapes to optimal ripeness requires early pruning and a developed leaf surface area.