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Yeast in French... and in wine + next Bandol winetastings

Winemaker Jean-Marc Espinasse
Photo of Jean-Marc taken in 2008, after his first year of making wine in the Rhone Valley. Seven years and two vineyards later, he is in his element here in Bandol, where his natural rosé will be released in 2016!

TODAY'S WORD: levure

    : yeast

la levure chimique = baking powder, chemical leavening
la levure de bière = brewer's yeast
la levure sèche = dry yeast
la levure de boulanger = baker's yeast

Hear Jean-Marc pronounce these French words:
Download MP3 or Wav

La levure. Les vins que je pense élaborer seront naturels, ce qui veut dire levure indigène, et pas de souffre ajouté, pour refléter notre joli terroir.

Yeast. The wines I plan to elaborate will be natural, which means indigenous yeasts, and no added sulfur to reflect our beautiful terroir.

Nov2014Mas de Perdrix. A home in France that artists and writers love to rent.  Work on your creative project in this inspiring environment.


Hi there,
You may know me as "Miss France", "Chief Grape" or "Mr Sacks" but actually, I am  Kristi's husband and my name is Jean-Marc. Kristi has asked me to talk about our new vineyard project at Mas des Brun, which actually started 3 years ago and which is, step by step, taking shape.
In 2014, we have planted 0.5 Ha (1.25 Acre) of Mourvedre and Cinsault grapes and this year, we have planted 0.8 Ha (2 acres) of Mourvedre, Cinsault and a bit of Ugni Blanc. Eventually, we plan to plant 3.5 Ha (8.75 acres) at the end of 2017 to produce only rose wines in the Bandol Appellation.

We are farming our vines organically with Biodynamics methods. The wines I plan to elaborate will be natural, which means indigenous yeasts and no added sulfur, to reflect our beautiful terroir. I plan to make a light and high acidity rosé wine to enjoy drinking casually.

Jean-Marc starts the natural yeast process at our previous winery, Domaine Rouge-Bleu

Our first official harvest will be in 2016 with only a maximum of 220 cases produced. Most of them will be sold locally but some will also cross the Atlantic.

Mas des Brun comes from "Brun" which is an olive varietal so we also have centenary olive trees which should produce enough fruit to make a decent olive oil production, after having been severely pruned two years ago. At last, we have a few bee hives to make a bit of honey and make this place as harmonious as possible.

       Bee hives at Mas des Brun

Our vineyard is also our home, so it is private, but we often organize wine tasting upon appointment. Next ones are October 3rd, October 14th and October 19th where we taste some wines I made at Domaine Rouge-Bleu and some rose I made last year sourcing some grapes from local friendly vineyards. You are welcome to sign up for one of these events.  Kristi and I hope to see you.


Chief Grape

Beneath a roof of dried grape stems, Jean-Marc and the agronomist discuss  natural winemaking and permaculture at Hatzidakis winery during our trip to  Greece


Our most recent winetasting grew and grew and included two wine writers Katherine Cole and Robert Camuto. You will enjoy their books:

Katherine Cole's Complete Wine Selector: How to Choose The Right Wine Every Time


To read the wonderful reviews of Katherine's book, and to order, click here.


And Robert Camuto's book Corkscrewed: Adventures in the New French Wine Country See the excellent reviews and order Robert's books, here

We have added one more winetasting to our October calendar.
=> Contact [email protected] to reserve your seat.

October 3rd, 11 a.m.
October 14th, 3 p.m.
October 19th, 3:30 p.m.


Watering his baby vines during last summer's heatwave. Thank you for reading and for sharing this post with a friend. And thanks for checking out our sponsors: 

Sablet home for high quality vacation rentals in the heart of Provence.

To leave a comment, click here. For more words in a French life, click here.


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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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Trina from St. Petersburg, FL USA

Look forward to the time when your wine will be more available in the US ... or when I can come to a tasting and purchase it in France. Best wishes.

Leslie M. Ficcaglia

I love the fact that you're using organic methods now. I'll be in France during some of your tasting sessions but in the Aude near Limoux, which is unfortunately a bit far to come participate!

Patty Cargill

Today's post hit my "impulse button!" and makes me want to buy a ticket to France TODAY for your next tasting! I so admire your ongoing creative endeavors at your new home, gardens and vinyard! Cheers from a very soggy Roanoke...the river is way up!

catharine ewart-touzot

When I lived in France 20+ years ago I searched for organic vineyards, there were only a very few, as I'm certain you know..good for you deciding to go that route! Good article, thanks for taking the time to give explanations. Wish I was there now to come to one of you wine tastings.

Julie Farrar

I'm so glad your vines made it through the summer. Hope to get to the Oct. 19 tasting. I'll let you know after I clear up business in Dijon.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,

There is one vineyard in our area that is certified organic. I believe it takes dedication and hard work to do it this way. In our area with all the rain, humidity and cold it is very hard to be organic. I was wondering if JM finds it difficult or does your weather and terroir make it easier to take on this big job and do it organically? Good luck to JM and can't wait to try the wine! We still have some Lunatique and Mistral from our wine dinner at the Clifton Inn! So fun!

I agree with Patty Cargill.....I feel like buying a ticket to France for one of your wine tastings in October!!! :-)


Thank you J-M for your story. It is always good to hear from you. Can' wait to try the 2016 rosé .


Ce rosé naturel me met l'eau à la bouche!
I think that élaborer does not translate to 'elaborate'. Rather the wine I plan to create or make would be closer to Jean-Marc's thought.
A votre santé

Patty Cargill

Eileen: let's go!!!


Olive trees, olive oil, wine, and honey....these are some of my favorite things....what a beautiful way to live...nature provides...

Eileen deCamp

Hey Patty Cargill.....I'm game if you are! :-)


I think that you have done wine tastings in Seattle. But, I would love to host a wine party here if you are in the area again!

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