“From a winemaking family in Anjou, Joseph was essentially working full time in the vineyards by the age of 13. In his late teens and early twenties Joseph honed his craft with stints in Burgundy, the Roussillon, Canada and then Virginia, USA. In 2008 he returned to his native Anjou and partnered with his stepfather, Jo Pithon, and Wendy Paillé to create the now internationally renowned Loire estate of Pithon-Paillé. During his 7 years at the helm of Pithon-Paillé, Joseph produced wines from multiple appellations throughout the Loire Valley, and established himself as one of the region’s top talents with Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Despite his success in the Loire, Joseph felt a calling to explore a new region. In late 2014 he made the difficult decision to leave the family business for the Roussillon where he started Domaine Benastra.
In just four short years Joseph has garnered a reputation for producing wines of vitality and nuance that clearly showcase the potential of the Fenouillèdes’ unique terroirs in the hands of a supremely talented vigneron. Joseph believes wholeheartedly that to produce great wine you must first be a great farmer. Yields are kept naturally low by the combination of poor inhospitable soils and the ever present northerwesterly wind, known as the Tramontane. Organic and biodynamic practices are employed in the vineyards, and the Domaine is in conversion for organic (BIO) certification. Joseph takes a low interventionist approach in the cellar and sulfur additions are minimal, as he prefers to utilize the naturally occurring carbon dioxide to protect the wines. Vinification for the reds is a blend of whole-cluster and whole berry fermentation using indigenous yeasts, followed by élevage in mostly neutral vessels of multiple sizes. The Domaine’s lone white wine is fermented and aged in large oak barrels and certainly showcases why Joseph’s Chenin Blanc’s at Pithon-Paillé are so highly regarded.”
‘La Petite Soeur Rouge’ Cotes Catalanes
Varietal: Lledoner Pellut, Carignan, Syrah, Grenache
Farming Practice: Organic
Organic. 40% Lledoner Pellut, 20% Carignan, 20% Syrah, 20% Grenache. Sourced from multiple parcels on black shale and granite. Blend of whole cluster and whole berry fermentation in stainless steel, except for the Carignan which is fermented 100% whole cluster in concrete tanks. Only naturally occurring indigenous yeasts are used in the fermentation. Aged for 6 months in 70% concrete tank and 30% in 5-year-old 400L and 600L oak casks.