Born to established wine-making parents, Caroline Bonville naturally gravitated to Œnological studies in 1996. Her grandfather, Franck Bonville, created the family vineyard in Avize; her father, Alain, moved to Bordeaux in 1974 to take the reins at Chateau Marac, in the Entre-deux-Mers.
Caroline started her wine career in St-Emilion at Chateau Figeac, where she assisted the cellar master. However, it was in 2003, after having acquired vast experience in the wine trade overseas, (USA and South Africa), that she decided the time was right to take on the challenge of making world class wines in the famed hills of Roussillon. Hence Mas Karolina was born.
Mas Karolina’s vineyard encompasses 17 hectares, and is situated at the foot of the Pyrenées in Maury and its immediate surrounding areas. Ideally situated in the heart of the Mediterranean climate, the vines here benefit from constant sun and ideal meteoroligical conditions, necessary for making grand wines. Planted on red marne soil, granite and schiste, the vines benefit from perhaps the finest bedrock in France, fully contributing to the complete ripeness of the grapes.
Caroline’s objective has been to express the terroir’s individuality to the maximum, while allowing the land’s diversity to come through. Hand-harvesting and careful selection, with only limited use of insecticides (to counter the cicadas) the goal is to produce wines of great feminine personality, while maintaining formidable power, richness and balance.
Respectful of nature, all work has been done manually or naturally since the puchase of this property including organic fertiliser in careful doses each year, natural grass between vines to avoid using weed killer, manual turning of the soil to aerate and favour natural bacteria and “green farming” with manual de-budding, de-leafing, crop-thinning. At a density of only 20 hl/ha her grapes are treated as VIPs with only the very best quality making it into the vats.
I had been directed here after sampling her wine at our friends Alain and Irene and I was not at all disappointed. Tasting her wines balanced on a barrel while she still directed the production of the 2015 harvest that we had dragged her away from, we were immediately struck by the quality and clarity of flavours of her wines. So were Hachette who have recognised her output in their 2016 edition noting her Muscat de Rivesaltes and Maury Rouge (both coming to us next year) as well as for her Côtes de Roussillon Villages (red) which we currently have in stock along with her excellent matching Côtes Catalanes (white).
This region has a growing reputation thanks to young producers like Caroline and prices will undoubtedly rise as production will be limited. I urge you to get in early and try her wines now.