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Les Cigales dans La Fourmilière
'The cicada and the ant is a metaphor for life: one works hard, whilst the other goes slow and enjoys life. Ivo & Julie want to do both, and actually bring these two energies together when working under the same roof.'
Both Ivo and Julie are humble yet driven, with a clear vision of what they want to achieve in the vines and later with their wines. Just like our friend Tom Lubbe, they carry a refreshing ‘no bullshit’ attitude, without over romanticizing the idea of farming, and make wines in an area where low yields are a common theme.
Despite having merged their land and vineyards a few years back, Julie and Ivo both give each other space to experiment and keep two personal approaches when it comes to the wines they make. They have created together a joint venture ‘Les Cigales dans la Fourmillière’ with the aim of amalgamating their respective production styles, and turning it into a proper space for creativity and freedom.
Julie and Ivo tend today 10ha of vines together in and around the village of Montpeyroux, in the Hérault department. Their joint story started when they created a partnership in 2016, allowing them to have more room to experiment in their day to day work. Ivo isn’t your average type of French vigneron. Originally from Portugal his early years in wine were spent alongside legendary names like Jean-Marc Brignot and Chateau Le Puy. He created Domaine de l’Escarpolette in 2009 (meaning ‘Swing’ in old French, and you can see these scenes in his blanc and rouge labels) to try and find a place where he could farm that has less pressure from mildew.
After working with fellow partner Aurelien Petit from Domaine Le Petit, Julie also started her own venture in Montpeyroux, before joining forces with Ivo. They both now share a cellar in Montpeyroux, working with different winemaking techniques (maceration for whites and reds), and various vessels (fibre glass, 225l and 600l barrels, large foudres), all in the aid of making singular, distinctive wines.