Alain Carrère founded Domaine de Majas in 1992. Located in the French Catalanes Pyrenees, the vineyards are planted predominantly with Carignan on schist, volcanic stone and mountainous limestone.
Discouraged after a stint selling grapes to the local wine coop (a common practice in the region) and a five year contract to sell all of his production to a large French grocery store chain (a situation that required he make wine to their exact specifications, wines he found lacking in soul and any evidence of terroir) Alain was searching for a way to make better wine, wine of which he could be proud. He believed that converting to organics would help his wines, but really had no idea how to start. Enter Tom Lubbe, a friend of a friend, whose certified organic winery Domaine Matassa is dedicated to the idea of local grapes and terroir-driven wines.
Tom’s story begins with him working in South Africa at one of the few wine estates using indigenous yeasts and focusing on low yields in the vineyards. He was keenly interested in working with Mediterranean grape varieties and managed to snag an internship with Domaine Gauby a respected producer in Roussillon. Three harvests later, Tom married Gerard Gauby’s sister and the two started Domaine Matassa, a winery dedicated to organic viticulture and traditional varieties from the region.
Tom quickly eschewed the Côtes du Roussillon AOC designation, preferring to produce wines under the Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes classification in order to be able to produce wines the way he wanted without having to worry about conforming to the Côtes du Roussillon AOC regulations.