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Winemaker Interview: Samuel Guibert, Mas de Daumas Gassac

Cépage speaks to the owner and winemaker of the 'first growth of Languedoc' estate, Mas de Daumas Gassac, Samuel Guibert about all things wine. We have their 1993 blanc in our cellar collection and will be adding more cuvées very soon!

Daumas Gassac prides itself in the Pays l'Herault for its experimental approach to wine making, using varietals such as Cinsault and even Nebbiolo to give beautiful layers of depth and complexity.

What got you into wine? Has it always been in your family or did you develop a passion? I grew up on the Mas de Daumas Gassac vineyard, played amongst the vines, built tree house in the surrounding forrest and took part in the manual harvest since i was a child. The passion came later, during some overseas travel as I spent 7 years in New Zealand and started working in the wine industry then. In 2000 I started working for the Mas de Daumas Gassac family estate, thinking that it would lest 10 to 12 years maximum before moving onto something else. 20 years later I have just vilified my 21st vintage!!! What do you do in your spare time, besides wine making? I love going to the opera, reading, travelling when the Covid let us (!!!). A big part of my free time is also spent enjoying Mother Nature, via long walks or Mountain biking ride. How did you get to Daumas Gassac, where were you before? How did you start winemaking? I started working for mas de Daumas Gassac in April 2000, after 7 years in New Zealand and learn the art of winemaking alongside my father who was the founder of Mas de Daumas Gassac (with my mother) and it’s head winemaker until 2006. Winemaking is a long learning process, 20 years later I’m still learning, although experience plays a big part as well. Is there a particular Mas de Daumas Gassac cuvée that’s your favourite? I have many child and no favorite, it is teh same for teh various vintage of Mas de Daumas Gassac.Having said that there is one vintage that I have always enjoyed tremendously, no matter the situation or context and that is the 1988. Other than IGP de l’herault, where in France is making extremely interesting wine, in your opinion? One can find interesting wine everywhere where there is an individual full of passion and desire to extract the best of its terroir. It is amazing to see how many exciting wines can be produced in every part of our beautiful country, whether it is an historical wine region or not….. How is the 2020 vintage looking for the region? 2020 has been a superb vintage, to start with it is the 1st vintage in 4 years where we have had a normal crop (after on average minus 40% in 2017, 2018 & 2020). it has balance, finesse, moderate alcohol and amazing fruit complexity. At Daumas Gassac we are looking at a vintage with phenomenal ability to age! Is there a particular wine that has been a ’starstruck’ moment for you? 1995 Domaine Vieux Télégraphe What is the best local dish or food in the region? Grilled Goat cheese salad and Mediterranean grilled Dorade with olive oil and caper are two of my favourite dished that represent so well our Mediterranean region

Burgundy or Bordeaux? I was raised with the Great Bordeaux pre-90’ and loved them, wine with finesse, character, individuality.From the 90’s onward I’m more in line with Burgundy, alongside Italian wines, and of course the Rhone valley.

Have you tried any wine from England, if so, what are your thoughts?

I love trying wines from every region, country I travel to. SO I have of course drunk wine from England on a number of occasion. It is a very young industry but that has covered so much ground so far, so exciting to watch!

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