Jean-the father- started as a market gardener but gradually planted vines of Petit and Gros Manseng. The grapes were taken to the local cooperative winery up until the 1970’s. Jean-Marc-his son-studied viticulture and oenology and in 1988-aged 22-withdrew from the cooperative winery and launched a new programme of plantation and restructuring of the winery. Ancestral methods were modernized with new equipment like a pneumatic press and a refrigerating system. Ten people working full time are needed on this 8.5-hectare domain including 4 hectares cultivated in terraces. Jean-Marc’s goal is to make terroir-driven wines and also leave his own mark. His meticulous work in these parcels planted at an altitude up to 325 metres and protected from strong westerly winds is devoted to his 4 cuvées of dry white wine, semi-sweet and sweet wines. The Gros Manseng-25% of the vines- and Petit Manseng-70%- are well-suited for late-harvest grapes picked at the end of October or mid-November.
The Petit Courbu vines are used for producing dry wines. Gros Manseng give reasonable yields from 30 to 60 hl per ha and from 15 to 25 for Petit Manseng. They produce powerful and characterful wines. Jean-Marie Grussaute, ex professional rugby player, managed to surround himself with influential people like Charles Hours of Domaine Clos Uroulat. He also opened to new ideas like the Herody method named after a researcher in the field of geology and pedology and whose aim is to naturally improve soils’fertility through the lunar calendar. The soil-worked the peasant way-is enriched with compost and grass cover, two elements that contribute towards top quality. The vineyard is tended like a garden with plant or seaweed decoctions without forgetting Bordeaux spray or sulphur if needs be. Whole bunches, no commercial yeasts, temperatures controlled and maturing in barrels with stirring of the lees, up to 18 months for the 100% Petit Manseng cuvee.