Vinisud 2018

Figuiére saw niche market for organic rosé 40 years before it became trendy

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wine

Figuière (‘fig tree’) is celebrating its popularity in organic wine, which it started producing 40 years ago, with a brand refresh and bottle redesign.

The wine estate, based in La Londe, between Toulon and Saint-Tropez in the South of France was established by Alain Combard in 1992.

Provence rosé

Figuieres wines

Prior to that, Combard was living in Burgundy where he and his partner Michel Laroche developed a winery at Domaine Laroche, Chablis.

After the two parted ways, he searched for new unchartered winegrowing territory and discovered the Saint-André de Figuière estate, intending to produce Provence rosé because they deserve the same place at the table as fine white wines.

His decision was to produce high quality wines from the Schist soil, which reminded him of Chablis soil and Domaine Figuière has continued to be farmed organically to this day.

Speaking to Ellen Jakobsmeier, representative, Figuière, at Vinisud tradefair in Montpellier this week, she said the explosion of the Cotes de Provence rosé market was just beginning when Magali (Combard’s daughter) joined the family Domaine nearly 15 years ago.

Sadly Alain Combard passed away in 2015 and his three children; Magali, who is in charge of global sales, Delphine who oversees the administration and Francois, who supervises the vineyard and winemaking are now partners in the domain.

Loyal customers of Figuière will have noticed a large rebrand the winery has carried out over the last two years​,” said Jakobsmeier.  

The look is modern, clean and fresh, with the winery dropping “Saint Andre” in preference for the name “Figuière”​.

She said it has also launched a redesigned bottle for the estate brands of Confidentielle​ and Première.  

Designer Luca Trazzi

Patented by the winery, the Domaine commissioned Italian designer Luca Trazzi to create a sophisticated bottle to symbolize the family’s Burgundian origins, combined with Provencal style.  

The bottle has a long sleek neck typical of Provence-style bottles, but rounds out at the base similar to a Burgundian wine-bottle.

Vignobles & Signatures 

Domaine Paul BLANCK & Fils - Alsace 
Domaine CAUHAPÉ - Jurançon 
COUME DEL MAS – Banyuls, Collioure, Côtes du Roussillon
Champagne DRAPPIER – Champagne
Jean DURUP Père et Fils - Chablis 
FIGUIÈRE – Côtes de Provence 
Roger GROULT - Calvados 
GUILBAUD Frères - Muscadet 
Domaine Antonin GUYON – Bourgogne, Corton Grands Crus 
Vignobles Joseph JANOUEIX – Saint-Emilion, Pomerol
Alain JAUME - Châteauneuf du Pape, Lirac, Vacqueyras
Famille LESGOURGUES – Bas Armagnac, Bordeaux, Madiran 
Famille ORLIAC – Domaine de L’Hortus – Languedoc Pic Saint-Loup, Terrasses du Larzac Domaines Dominique PIRON – Beaujolais, Morgon, Chenas
Domaine ROLET Père et Fils - Jura 
Château de TRACY – Pouilly Fumé

For the 2016 vintage, Figuière wines were given a redesigned bottle with a sleek elegant design​,” added Jakobsmeier. 

The Figuière bottle has a distinctive shape featuring clean lines as a tribute to the mineral purity of its wines and it comes into its own with a simple and stylish new label. A design that reflects the Domaine's new generation of winemakers who are blending tradition with 21st century techniques, craftsmanship and innovation​.

Italian glassmaker Italesse worked with designer Luca Trazzi to produce the iconic bottle for Figuière. The bottle is blown in extra clear glass to showcase the wine's color and has a small Figuière logo on the bottom.​” 

The winery currently exports to the US, Caribbean islands, Canada (Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia), Australia and London.

Jakobsmeier said it is important to note the difference between the generic “Cotes de Provence” appellation that spans a production area of 150km, versus the Cru status of “Cotes de Provence – La Londe” (154ha planted of 411ha available).  

This specific area in which Domaine Figuière is located achieved Cotes de Provence terroir designation in 2008, and is one of four in the region to have it.

Speaking about the summer wildfires, which engulfed the south of France leading to the evacuation of 12,000 people last year, Jakobsmeier said the Figuière estate is made up of 75 hectares of organically grown vines, surrounded by pine forest and scrubland.

Fortunately, the fires stopped at the vines. Another benefit of irrigation: healthy damp terroir prevented the fires from entering the vineyards, and at most, only a few exterior rows were touched​,” she said.  

Domaine Figuière knows how lucky it was not to have the wildfires touch their property, because some vignerons had to resort to washing their grapes to get rid of the ash and undesirable flavors that could be present​.”

The wine estate also belongs to a Club called Vignobles & Signatures consisting of 17 domains of ‘haute couture’ wines, which had a stand at Vinisud.

The Club was established with eight winegrowers from eight major appellation areas and today has become an economic force in the French wine industry with 1,600 hectares of vines, 11,100,000 bottles, 365 employees and a turnover of €84m.

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