Domaine Camin Larredya

Jurançon, Midi-Pyrénées, France

"Reading our environment is more and more precise every year, allowing us to offer our customers the full discovery of our terroir, our wines and their history" - Jean-Marc Grussaute  
Camin Larredya is a family estate in the Jurançon Appellation, south of Pau. The Grussautes have a small but remarkable vineyard. The 9,5 Hectares, planted by Jean-Marc’s father in 1970, are terraced and lie on steep and curved slopes that form an amphitheater. Local grapes (Petit Manseng - Gros Manseng - Petit Courbu - Camaralet) are farmed organically since 2007 and following biodynamic guidelines nowadays, with wines being named after the vineyard parcels from which they come. This former rugby player combines the strength of theJurançon terroirs with the precision of the blend. Jean Marc Grussaute's family has been making Jurançon at Domaine Larredya several generations. They are based at La Chapelle Rousse, at the opposite end of the appellation from Domaine Cauhapé, so the wines are stylistically very different. Wines from the steep slopes, here at the eastern end of Jurançon, have a cool, mineral quality to them and age extremely well. This is a small domaine of 9,5 hectares, including one hectare of 40-year-old vines.

Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wine. What’s the difference?

To understand this concept and its various ramifications, it is necessary to keep something clear in mind: before the 20th century and the spreading of affordable synthetic fertilisers, all farming was organic. When the shift to the use of synthetics and pesticides happened, it became necessary to diversify traditional organic farming from the new modern farming. 


Simply put, organic farming forbids the use of synthetic fertilisers, synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified organisms. The basic requirements are generally specific and engage the farmers not to use any chemical fertilisers and other synthetic products in the vineyard. It does not prevent the vintner from using the conventional winemaking process after harvesting. 


Let’s take organic farming one step further: Biodynamic. The creator of this agricultural system is the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, who developed the principles of biodynamics in a series of lectures given in 1924 in Germany. Here lies the foundation of true organic wines, with a strict limit in the use of additives, stringent requirements and at the end obtaining a biodynamic certification.


The previous definitions are usually, and rightfully, associated with it, because most natural wine is also organic and/or biodynamic. But not vice versa!

Natural wine is wine in its purest form, simply described as nothing added, nothing taken away, just grapes fermented. No manipulation whatsoever, minimal intervention both in the vineyards and in the winery. Healthy grapes, natural yeast and natural fermentation, with no filtration nor fining. Sounds easy, right? However, making natural wine is unforgiving and it requires a bigger amount of work than conventional wine. To this day, natural wine has no certification yet.