A happy new year for Ridley Scott


Ridley Scott at the Mas des Infermières. © Mas des Infermières

In his domain in Luberon, in Provence, the British director and producer puts his first bottles of wine on the market. We can expect after-effects, says Patrice Bertrand.

Away from the dark oppressive backdrops of Extraterrestrial Where Blade runner, Ridley Scott has started producing his own reds and rosés under the Provençal sky, in the brand new cellar of his Luberon vineyard. A great oenophile and collector of fine wines, Scott has also just opened a boutique there evoking his cinematographic universe. Three rental cottages allow visitors to immerse themselves in the Provençal vineyard.

“When I lived in my country 25 years ago, the rain was a real problem for me who needs light,” Scott told the French press. “In Provence, the climate is spectacular and I found my happiness there. It is this quest for the sun that led him to acquire in 1992 the Mas des Infermières (the Provencal word for “nurses”), an old property near the village of Oppède which served as a hospital in the 17th century.

But while the director of Thelma and Louise settled in the Luberon to draw and paint in his spare time, he quickly discovered another passion: the art of the vine. Already, in 2006, the Provençal vineyard interested him enough to be the subject of A good year, his film shot in the region with Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard. His neighbor and friend, the late Peter Mayle, wrote the screenplay. Then, curious to know if the 14 hectares of vines of Mas des Infermières could produce quality wines, he began, in 2009, to cultivate the plots himself, the grapes being vinified by a local cooperative.

The success of some 6,000 bottles produced each year ultimately led him to develop his own wine. In 2017, he recruited a team of wine professionals and began major work, in particular the construction of an ultramodern 2,200 m² cellar capable of producing around 30,000 bottles.

The vineyard
The filmmaker’s vineyard. © Mas des Infermières

Alien spacesuits

The cellar was completed just in time for the 2020 harvest and vinification. The result: the Source 2020 cuvée, a Syrah-Grenache blend available in red and rosé. Its distribution began in early spring 2021. At the same time, another rosé, the Chevalier cuvée, was added to the range. The bottles, sold in France and soon available in the UK, are priced at around € 15. They all have a special feature: labels designed by Ridley Scott himself, who also drew up the layout sketches for the facilities and the store which has just opened for the season.

The store is decorated, in a separate area, with memorabilia from his films, including the famous spacesuits from the film Extraterrestrial. In addition to wine, olive oil and honey from the estate can also be purchased on site. Moreover, the Mas des Infermières is labeled Bee Friendly and nearly six hectares are dedicated to bees. “We wanted to adhere to an environmental approach but, rather than being organic, we chose to be ‘Bee Friendly’ and protect the bees,” explains Christophe Barraud, manager of the estate.

Very involved in the activity of his estate, Ridley Scott is present here six months a year and, at 83, obviously does not plan to put an end to his wine adventures anytime soon. He has just planted vines of Vermentino and Roussanne on new plots. These grape varieties will allow him to produce white wines which will be marketed around 2023.

For more information, visit masdesinfermieres.com

From France Today magazine

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