A happy new year for Ridley Scott
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 rosÃ©s under the ProvenÃ§al 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 ProvenÃ§al 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. âIn 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 InfermiÃ¨res (the Provencal word for “nurses”), an old property near the village of OppÃ¨de 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 ProvenÃ§al 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 InfermiÃ¨res 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 mÂ² cellar capable of producing around 30,000 bottles.
The cellar was completed just in time for the 2020 harvest and vinification. The result: the Source 2020 cuvÃ©e, a Syrah-Grenache blend available in red and rosÃ©. Its distribution began in early spring 2021. At the same time, another rosÃ©, the Chevalier cuvÃ©e, was added to the range. The bottles, sold in France and soon available in the UK, are priced at around â¬ 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 InfermiÃ¨res is labeled Bee Friendly and nearly six hectares are dedicated to bees. âWe wanted to adhere to an environmental approach but, rather than being organic, we chose to be ‘Bee Friendly’ and protect the bees,â 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