Domaine viticole du Petit Chaumont

The Domain

The Domain of Petit Chaumont

Located in between both department "Gard" and "Hérault", in the center of the area of the Sands in the Petite Camargue, the field of Petit Chaumont extends on 120 hectares from a singular soil (Terroir) thanks to the nature of the ground and a temperate climate.

It is within this sunny framework that the know-how (Savoir-faire) of the Bruel family, as well in the culture of the vine as in the handling of the grape, enables them to carry out wines recognized for their multiple qualities and their specificity.

It is on these bases that Brigitte and Nathalie, the two heiresses of the history (Histoire) of The Petit Chaumont, took again this family exploitation. And always in a spirit of respect for nature and culture, since 2008 they converted the domain with organic agriculture. And it is in the cellar (Le Caveau) that they will offer you with great pleasure, the possibility of tasting their various wines.

A singular soil

Near from Aigues-Mortes and La Grande-Motte, the Domaine du Petit Chaumont is in the middle of the area of the Sands, in the Petite Camargue, formed by sediments coming from the Rhone (river) deposited by the sea and the wind, with a unique geological structure; the ground is only composed of mineral substances, silica and limestone, without any trace of clay or silt. This ground is particularly poor, permeable and very sensitive to the wind erosion.

Moreover, the low altitude (1m with 1,20m) over the sea level, limits the volume of ground available for the plant. Acting like a rocky table, this water table causes the spreading out of the roots on all the surface part of the ground. A comparable situation with one of a slope vintage.

Lastly, the marine breezes and the presence of the ponds support the phenomena of condensation and dew, this allowing a continuous growth of the vine, even during maturation of the grapes, and also supporting the synthesis of sugars. Maturation is also facilitated by a maximum of sunny days and the relatively low amplitude between the temperatures of day and night, the seas constituting a formidable thermal regulator.

A unique know-how

The fragile balance of this soil requires a particular maintenance and a permanent control of the ground water level.

For that, the systematic putting under grass of the vines practiced each year makes it possible to fix sand against wind erosion, and thanks to the grass the manures and the mineral manures are well spread out.

At the time of its hiding during spring, a more compact sole of ploughing is created, playing the part of a condenser.

A constant work of the sand, preventing salted water to increase by capillarity and supporting the penetration of condensed water in the ground. Thus soft duckweeds on the top of salted water are constituted.

A turbulent history

Known for more than four centuries, the Wines of the Sands had already had their followers when at the 19th century, their vineyards knew a quick expansion thanks to their natural immunity to the invasion of phylloxera(vine illness, due to the impossibility for this one to dig galleries in sand.

But this favorable situation was put at evil by the second war, when the occupying army was hiding mines on all this unloading favourable zone. Thus, the grounds were abandoned until the end of the years 1960: “Even the poachers did not venture their selves in this infested zone…”.

It is however Alain Bruel's father who recovered the 200 ha of the Petit Chaumont. His mother, during the large war, had developed the family vineyard in the mountains of Médéa, in the south Algiers, where the vintage was astutely transported by… cable car.

At Aigues-Mortes, Alain Bruel endorsed this technical ingeniousness, and, at the beginning of the Seventies, after finalizing the mine clearance, he adapted the first American machines to pick up grapes, developed farming systems against the salt increase and innovated oenological processes.

Today his two daughters, Brigitte and Nathalie, perpetuate this passion, mixing tradition and innovation, know-how and technology with success.

Discovery of an independant vine grower

Alain Bruel took an active part in the creation of the Independent Vine growers. It is particularly for this reason that it made the Petit Chaumont one of the first particular cellars of "Gard", applying then one of the elements of the The Independent Vine grower's charter : he receives, advises tasting and takes pleasure to present the fruit of his work and his culture.

Thus you will be able to see and taste at the cellar wines we are producing : the range Nef Saint Louis (Gamme Nef Saint Louis) which gather our most poprular products, the Illustrated series (Série Déco) whose bottles are illustrated with the colors of our soil, and the Prestige Vintages (Cuvées Prestige) with more specific development. It should also be highlighted that you will be able to find many local products there.

The Charter of the Independent Vine grower

This vine grower :

Respect its soil.
Work its vine.
Collect its grape.
Vinify and raises its wine.
Worked out its brandy.
In its cellar its production bottles.
Market its products.
Improves in the respect of the tradition.
Accomodate, advises tasting and takes pleasure to present the fruit of its work and its culture.

Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful for health, do appreciate in moderation