Source: Department 66

Source: Department 66

DEPARTMENT 66

Maury, France

In March of 2008, I took a friend up on an offer to visit Maury, France. She and her husband had recently purchased vineyards in the area and thought I may have an interest in the town and its wines. We flew from San Francisco to Barcelona and made the two-hour drive up to Maury that night. When we arrived it was pitch black...I had no idea what the morning light would bring.

When I awoke, what I saw was insane. I looked out my bedroom window and saw one of the steepest, oldest vineyards I had ever laid my eyes on. I was in - hook, line and sinker. It was a challenge to be polite and get through breakfast. If this is what I could see from my bedroom, what else was out there? The answer was perhaps the most amazing confluence of vineyards I've ever been exposed to. I spent the next two days driving around with my jaw agape, stunned by the raw beauty of this truly unique place. I called my wife and told her not to tell anyone where I was and what I was doing. She told me not to do anything stupid. I left that first visit committed to purchasing just under forty acres of amazing old vine Grenache. The only stupid thing I did was not buy more. Since then, I've returned at least once a month during the regular season, and every seven to ten days during harvest.

In the spring of 2009, we began construction on a winery and now have over three hundred acres of vineyards. We have a home there and an amazing group of friends. My wife and kids love it almost as I do. Someone once commented on how nice it was to have a second home in France and I said, it's not my second home, it's my other home. We have found a place and a group of people that are unmatched. I am so lucky to have been introduced to this amazing area and so proud to share its wines with you.

Cheers, Dave Phinney

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