Marie Couderc, Diane Cauvin, Martine Rougevin-Baville and Anne Ribes have chosen to be winegrowers in the heart of Fronton AOC. These are 4 enthusiasts. They tell their journey.
One day Marie Couderc decided to give up everything to go into wine. Alone. This fluid mechanics engineer is now based in Frontonnais, where she acquired her first hectare of land in Villaudric on 1 April 2016, as well as Peyraux Castle. “At the time it was all overgrown. The castle was in very bad condition, also the cellar, but that was the point I liked, ”Marie Couderc announces. In 2016 she still manages to guarantee her first harvest and a first cuvée, “La Petite Négrette”. She also gets the first medal. “She helped me for the future, people took me more seriously,” she says. The following year, she Marie decided to replant the vines in her wasteland. A boring job, but one that bears fruit since today the winemaker works 5 hectares. She has never regretted her choice of her “even though I still have the same fear of not making it”. Marie is aware that she is practicing “extremely hard work. There are times when I am so tired that I get out of the tractor, lie down next to it and sleep. This often happens to me now. But there are still a lot of rewards on the side.
Marie Couderc advises us to contact Diane Cauvin, of Château La Colombière, in Villaudric, “with her husband they produce excellent wines bearing our appellation of Fronton. These are our locomotives, “she says.
“We produce our wine together”
Here she is, Diane Cauvin. Before working with her husband, she started alongside her father “doing a little bit of everything: harvesting, bottling, marketing”. She then she settled in 1998 and since 2006 she has been working with her husband on the 15 hectares of biodynamic vineyards. The brothers’ last daughter, it was she who chose to take over the family estate when she was in college. . “I didn’t see myself in a big box, I wanted to be outdoors. Initially, the other winemakers greeted my arrival. I think they were quite admired. I have long been a role model for those who were settling down. After her BTS, Diane returns to the estate. “It was working on site that I changed the profile of the wines, the profitability…”, continues the winemaker, who has never doubted her success. “Today we manage the estate together, with my husband. We make wine together, we discuss everything. Without each other we would be nothing. In her turn, Diane Cauvin advises us to contact Martine Rougevin-Baville, at Château Caze, in Villaudric, “she was one of the first women in the Fronton denomination”.
“At 12 I knew I would become a winemaker”
Indeed, Martine Rougevin-Baville knew from the age of 12 that she would become a winemaker. “It was obvious, I decided when my grandmother gave the property to my father,” she explains. Today, at 55, she recognizes that she made the right choice. “Being a woman means testing yourself from the start, because you evolve in a masculine environment. This was even more true in 1991. At the time, I should have been the only female winemaker. Also, I was a kid since I started at 24. So there were two good reasons to wait around the corner. Since then, I have amply demonstrated my skills, “she says.
At 27, Anne Ribes shares the same passion for wine as Martine Rougevin-Baville. On the 37 hectares of the family estate “Le Roc”, in Fronton, the young woman is about to experience her seventh vinification. She works with her parents and her cousin Grégoire, who is also her partner, “and two employees. We are peasant winegrowers, that is, we do everything ourselves. We also have about forty sheep grazing in the vineyards, ”she explains. The young woman admits that she felt “discredited in the world of wine, because of my gender and my youth”. Today you say you “do the same work as men” on the family estate “. With a specialization in the cellar. From the beginning of the harvest to bottling, it’s really up to me. There I bring a different sensitivity”, concludes the winemaker.