The domain

Informations about the winemaker and his work.

Jean-Sébastien Gioan was born in Auvergne. He comes to Paris in 1997 and meets Antony Cointre who will make him drink his first natural wines.
In 2002, he starts a delivery job and is regularly in contact with businesses that milit for natural wines such as Le Baratin at Raquel and Pinuche's and Le Verre Volé at Cyril Bordarier's or Le Chapeau Melon at Olivier Camus's. That will be the opportunity to improve his knowledge of soils and vine-plants and to express his taste for fruit, thirst and pleasure wines.
In 2005, he gets an opportunity to work for eight months in Touraine, at Thierry Puzelat's who introduces him to his vinification methods and his work in the vineyards.
In 2006, Jean-Sébastien Gioan settles in Pyrénées Orientales and goes on learning his job of wine-grower with Jean Francois Nicq «The Boss» at domaine Les Foulards Rouges. « The Boss » will offer him in 2007 to vinify the grapes of a parcel of old carignans he had worked on during that year. These will be the first bottles of Pari Trouillas and Potron Minet.
In 2008, he gets a more formal wine-making training and cultivates 6 hectares of vines in the Aspres. Domaine Potron Minet is born. Since 2009, he is settled in Fourques in the Aspres and rents 10 hectares of vineyards in five distinct locations around the village.
POTRON-MINET comes from the colloquial french expression « dès potron-minet » which means « very early », « at crack of down ».
The old french word potron means behind (ass) and minet means cat (kitty).
« Dès Potron-Minet » literally means « as soon as the cat shows his behind ».
They are a series of barren and wooden hills under the Canigou mountain. They slope down east to meet Roussillon plain. There, the landscape becomes flat, covered with vineyards with a remarkable view on the Aspres mountains : blue crests with the Canigou coming out on top.

Vine-growing Aspre shows a particular landscape, not so flat as the rest of Roussillon plain, but quite different from the hills of Aspres mountains which spread west of Thuir. That morphology is the result of the erosion, during the last ice-age, of a wide chalky surface which spread over Roussillon plain at Pliocene age (-5 million years). The landscape is made of terraces made of rolled stones.

The great number of rivers that come from the mountains (The Cantéranne, the Réart, Passa river...) flow down small ravines which are often waterless and draw the general landscape : flat vineyard terraces, small eroded ravines, lengthened surfaces.
The soils consist mainly of clay and sand, or clay and alluvium and rolled stones in Fourques district, and red clay in Tordère district.

Ploughing is done with tractor between the lines and crossed with a small crawler tractor.
The 10 hectares of vineyards are cultivated according to the rules of organic agriculture.

There are about 3 hectares of Carignan, the same in black Grenache, 1 hectare of Mourvèdre", 1 hectare of grey and white goblet shaped Grenache, most of them fifty years old (the oldest planted in 1905), 1.5 hectares thirty years old of Syrah grown in double Cordon de Royat, and small parcels of Macabeo and Muscat Petits Grains, goblet shaped.

The average production is about 20hl/ha.
The grapes are harvested by hand in 20 kg boxes, then cooled in a cold room for 12 to 24 hours before vatting.

The grapes are introduced in vats with floating lid, saturated with carbonic gas, without any sulfites or yeasts added.
The carbonic maceration lasts for 8 to 15 days, without cap-punching or pumping-over, with indigenous yeasts and no additional sulfites.

After the devatting, the pressed and free-run juices are blended in barrels or vats with floating lid.
All transfers are done by gravity. The wines are neither filtered nor fined.

The wine is bottled by hand and by gravity with 10 mg/l of SO2.