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Les Arabesques | Saskia van der Horst
'As a grower, every year is different. When you are planting and looking after vines year after year, they become part of your history — your memories — and other people’s too. This is something beautiful; and to be proud of.'
Organic (Certified) working biodynamically
Born in New York, Saskia was studying photography in London before she turned to a life as a sommelier and her love of natural wine began. After working in the London scene for several years, Saskia decided to study wine in Burgundy, while doing internships with famous growers such as Jean Claude Rateau in Beaune and Jean Christophe Comor in Provence. She then worked with Alain Castex in Banyuls-sur-Mer before starting her own project in the Pyrenees Orientles where her family is based.
In 2013, she found vineyards in the Roussillon and decided to create the domaine ‘Les Arabesques’. Her love for old vines and her tenacity (she does all treatments and soil work by hand as she does not own a tractor) is an inspiration. While only 4.5ha in size, her eight vine plots across three neighbouring villages provide a rich diversity of terroir and soils: schist in Montner, marl slate in Planèzes, and greiss granite in Latour-de-France.
Les Arabesques uses natural and organic winemaking methods in the respect of age-old traditions: grapes are harvested and carefully selected by hand, and fermentation takes place thanks to naturally occurring indigenous yeast. Saskia is using a mixture of old oak barrels and fiber glass tanks. Grape varieties in red and dry white vintages include Carignan, Lledoner Pelut, Grenache Noir, Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Macabeu, and Syrah. Our favorite, and already a classic of hers, is the Ocarina, coming from a vineyard located in Montner that is co-planted with Carignan Noir, Syrah and Grenache. This low yielding vineyard sits on black schist and always provides a fruity, spicy aroma that can only be found in this wine - a truly exceptional Rosé.